29 June 2017

Slavery and Corruption - Comparative Law

The elegant 'Slavery and Comparative Law in Eighteenth Century England' (University of Leicester School of Law Research Paper No. 17-08) by Michael Tugendhat addresses 
the contemporary criticism to the European Court of Human Rights in the UK by underscoring how the English law on human rights has been positively influenced by the laws of other European countries, in the same fashion as English law has traditionally influenced such foreign laws. The means for this analysis is a case-study on the introduction of the French law on slavery and the subsequent implementation of such principles in England. Slavery had been abolished in France since the early 1300s. Moorish slaves brought to France were being freed from at least 1571, as was recorded by Jean Bodin in 1576. In England, slavery had practically disappeared at the sunset of the Middle Ages. It resurfaced in the French and American colonies in the New World in the 1600s. In the period 1730-1790 French courts, citing Bodin, freed over 200 slaves brought to France from the colonies. In Somerset v Stewart, 1772, English courts finally held that slavery was not recognised by English law, which led to the termination of slavery in England once and for all; and it was the influence of French courts’ decisions on the bestowal of freedom to foreign slaves that led to the reasoning of the English Court.
'The Market for Global Anticorruption Enforcement' by Rachel Brewster and Samuel W. Buell in (2017) 80(193) Law and Contemporary Problems comments 
In just two decades, enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) has evolved from a backwater of corporate and international financial crime to one of the most prominent and feared laws in those fields. What accounts for the ten-fold increase, over just 15 years, in the annual FCPA case volume produced by United States enforcers? We explain the development as arising from a confluence of independent but nonetheless symbiotic international and domestic political and economic forces. First, in the international arena, policymakers dramatically shifted their beliefs in the harms from bribery. This change and the continuous American pressure to conclude an anti-bribery treaty created a new consensus among major exporting countries to criminalize foreign bribery. This opened up new political and institutional paths to pursue the supply of foreign bribes. Second, U.S. enforcement lawyers eagerly pursued these newly available paths, propelled by political pressure and professional considerations. Third and inevitably, a large and active FCPA defense bar emerged that, perhaps ironically, helps keep primed a now steady pump of FCPA actions into the U.S. corporate enforcement system. A fourth stage has begun in which other nations, particularly in Europe, are both assisting and competing with the U.S. in the field of anti-corruption enforcement. It remains to be seen how this latest development will, over the longer haul, affect the size of the global market for anti-corruption enforcement and the U.S. share of that market.
'Reducing Bureaucratic Corruption: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on What Works' by Jordan Gans-Morse, Mariana Borges, Alexey Makarin, Theresa Mannah Blankson, Andre Nickow and Dong Zhang states that it offers
the first comprehensive review of the interdisciplinary state of knowledge regarding anti-corruption policies, with a particular focus on reducing corruption among civil servants. Drawing on the work of economists, political scientists, sociologists, and anthropologists, we examine seven categories of anti-corruption strategies: (1) rewards and penalties; (2) monitoring; (3) restructuring bureaucracies; (4) screening and recruiting; (5) anti-corruption agencies; (6) educational campaigns; and (7) international agreements. Notably, rigorous empirical evaluation is lacking for the majority of commonly prescribed anti-corruption strategies. Nevertheless, we find growing evidence of the effectiveness of anti-corruption audits and e-governance. In addition, adequate civil service wages seem to be a necessary but insufficient condition for control of corruption. An emerging skepticism regarding the effectiveness of anti-corruption agencies also is apparent in the literature. We conclude with broader lessons drawn from our review, such as the recognition that when corruption is a systemic problem, it cannot be treated in the long-term with individual-level solutions.

Identity Issues

Today's SMH reports on another appearance by Samantha Azzopardi - an echo of Frederic Bourdin, discussed in my doctoral dissertation - for fraud in receiving benefits while pretending to be a child.

The Herald states
A serial conwoman who posed as a 13-year-old Sydney foster child received nearly $20,000 worth of services from the NSW government and charities before she was found out, a court has heard.
Samantha Azzopardi has previously duped authorities in Ireland and Canada into thinking she was a child sex abuse and trafficking victim, forcing them to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars investigating her claims.
The 28-year-old was arrested at the beginning of June after she repeated that same story while pretending to be a 13-year-old Sydney high school student named Harper Hart.
Azzopardi pleaded guilty to four fraud offences earlier this month after she was given an iPad, phone and Opal card from the not-for-profit Burdekin Association, an ambulance transfer paid for by Good Shepherd Australia, and medication from the NSW Department of Family and Community Services.
Hornsby Local Court on Wednesday heard the cost of her lies to the Burdekin Association totalled more than $10,200. That included case management services.
The department spent about $6700 on medication while Azzopardi's charges also cover $1440 worth of counselling from a state government victim services group....
Azzopardi, who did not apply for bail, is due to be sentenced on July 19 when the court will consider a psychiatric assessment.
The 28-year-old faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail, according to court documents outlining police arguments for denying her initial bail.
The document cites her "extensive history of providing false documentation, obtaining passports in false names and assuming identities of other persons" in Queensland, Western Australia, Ireland and Canada.
Irish authorities were dumbfounded in 2013 when Azzopardi was found wandering the streets near Dublin's main post office and tricked them into thinking she was a teenage trafficking victim from eastern Europe by drawing pictures apparently showing a woman being raped and refusing to communicate verbally.
Authorities spent weeks and $A372,218 trying to identify the waif known as the "lost G.P.O girl" before taking the unprecedented step of publicly releasing a photo of her.
They soon discovered she was not a child sex trafficking victim but a 25-year-old Australian scammer with a history of assuming false identities dating back to 2007. ...
Azzopardi] was born into middle class family in 1988, growing up in Campbelltown and attending Mount Annan High School.
After finishing school she got a job at the Campbelltown Pancakes on the Rocks where her former boss described her in 2013 as "a lovely girl who had issues."
Quite so.

Azzopardi is reported to have been convicted in Brisbane Magistrates Court in September and October 2010 oncharges relating to making false representations and forging documents, with a $500 fine. In June 2012 she pleaded guilty in Perth Magistrates Court to offences relating to welfare fraud and was sentenced in October to six months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months.

28 June 2017

Personhood

'The Citizenship of Personal Circumstances in Europe' (University of Groningen Faculty of Law Research Paper 2017-04) by Dimitry Kochenov comments
 The EU’s is a curiously atypical legal system which construes the on-going shift from citizenship to personhood in global constitutional law in quite an atypical way. The advent of the person boasts, globally, a powerful ability to remedy the harsh edges of the arbitrary exclusionary legal fiction of citizenship by embracing those who do not qualify to benefit from it. In the EU, however, the turn of constitutionalism to personhood plays quite the opposite role: it disables the protections of EU citizenship. This curious turn, which this paper aims to document and discuss, has two consequences. Firstly, it annihilates citizenship as a meaningful legal status in the EU, since its declared benefits and protections can always be overridden by personal circumstances of the holder: precisely what citizenship, at its inception, was supposed to make impossible. Secondly, it deprives of protections of citizenship precisely those who need it the most, since they become invisible in the eyes of the powers that be. As a result citizenship in Europe is turning into a ‘citizenship of personal circumstances’ – a figure of inescapable individualism imposed on those in need, who are thereby detached from other citizenry and branded out as not good enough in the eyes of the Union – leaving little space to the grand ideals of the past.

27 June 2017

Biopunks

'“Let’s pull these technologies out of the ivory tower”: The politics, ethos, and ironies of participant-driven genomic research' by Michelle L. McGowan, Suparna Choudhury, Eric T. Juengst, Marcie Lambrix, Richard A. Settersten Jr and Jennifer R. Fishman in (2017) 1 BioSocieties 1 comments
This paper investigates how groups of ‘citizen scientists’ in non-traditional settings and primarily online networks claim to be challenging conventional genomic research processes and norms. Although these groups are highly diverse, they all distinguish their efforts from traditional university- or industry-based genomic research as being ‘participant-driven’ in one way or another. Participant-driven genomic research (PDGR) groups often work from ‘labs’ that consist of servers and computing devices as much as wet lab apparatus, relying on information-processing software for data-driven, discovery-based analysis rather than hypothesis-driven experimentation. We interviewed individuals from a variety of efforts across the expanding ecosystem of PDGR, including academic groups, start-ups, activists, hobbyists, and hackers, in order to compare and contrast how they relate their stated objectives, practices, and political and moral stances to institutions of expert scientific knowledge production. Results reveal that these groups, despite their diversity, share commitments to promoting alternative modes of housing, conducting, and funding genomic research and, ultimately, sharing knowledge. In doing so, PDGR discourses challenge existing approaches to research governance as well, especially the regulation, ethics, and oversight of human genomic information management. Interestingly, the reaction of the traditional genomics research community to this revolutionary challenge has not been negative: in fact, the community seems to be embracing the ethos espoused by PDGR, at the highest levels of science policy. As conventional genomic research assimilates the ethos of PDGR, the movement’s ‘democratizing’ views on research governance are likely to become normalized as well, creating new tensions for science policy and research ethics.
'Steve Jobs, Terrorists, Gentlemen and Punks: Tracing Strange Comparisons of Biohackers' by Morgan Meyer in Joe Deville, Michael Guggenheim and Zuzana Hrdlicková (eds) Practising Comparisons: Logics, Relations, Collaborations (Mattering Press, 2016) comments
In this paper, I want to reflect and shed new light on one of my current research topics: biohacking. While I have been researching biohacking for a few years now, to date I have not yet examined its comparative dimension. The themes I have investigated thus far revolve around the materiality, boundaries, and ethics of biohacking. However, so far I have not problematised or made visible the issue of comparison, despite the fact that comparisons abound in discussions about biohackers. This article is thus an opportunity to use a comparative optics to ‘make new discoveries’ (Yengoyan 2006) on a subject that I felt I already knew well. 
Biohackers are people who hack and tinker with biology. On the one hand, the phenomenon of biohacking can be easily localised (both temporally and spatially). The movement emerged in 2007/2008 and has largely developed in large US and European cities. On the other hand, in order to understand and analyse the phenomenon, comparisons with a wide and heterogeneous set of figures are made by science journalists and practitioners alike. For example, biohackers are concurrently compared to the following: seventeenth-century gentlemen amateurs; terrorists (whom Western powers usually locate in the East); the punk movement that emerged in the 1970s and their do-it-yourself ethics; and Steve Jobs and the Homebrew Computer Club. 
The term biohacking is used today to designate a wide array of practices including the hacking of expensive scientific equipment by building cheaper alternatives; producing biosensors to detect pollutants in food and in the environment; and genetically re-engineering yoghurt to alter its taste, make it fluorescent, or produce vitamin C. Biohacking mobilises and transforms both molecular biology techniques and the ethics of hacking/open source. As such, it can be seen as a recent phenomenon. Its emergence as a distinct and visible movement can be traced back to the past eight or nine years. In 2008, for instance, DIYbio (the first association dedicated to do-it-yourself biology) was created. Two years later, the Biopunk Manifesto (2010) was written by Meredith Patterson, one of the leading figures in the biohacking movement. In addition, at the time of writing this paper, there are a number of associations, laboratories, wikis, websites, and so on, dedicated to biohacking. 
The rise of the biohacker movement has caught the attention of journalists and academics alike. Academics have followed and analysed the movement since around 2008 (see Schmidt 2008a; Bennet et al. 2009; Ledford 2010), and two books dedicated to the subject have recently been published: Biohackers: The Politics of Open Science (2013), by science and technology studies (STS) scholar Alessandro Delfanti, and Biopunk: DIY Scientists Hack the So ware of Life (2011), by science journalist Marcus Wohlsen. In one way or another, this body of work has examined the ethics, risks, potentials, and openness of the movement. 
The geographical spread of biohacking – like its temporal emergence – can also be delineated. According to the main website in the field (DIYbio.org), there are currently eighty-five DIY biology laboratories in the world, of which twenty-eight are located in Europe, and thirty-five are in the US on either the east or west coast. There are now biohacker labs and biohackers in cities like New York, Boston, Paris, San Francisco, Manchester, Vienna, and in recent years, initiatives have developed in places like Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore. The political geography of biohacking (and consequently, the arguments developed in this paper) thus needs to be emphasised. The biohacker movement is developing in Western and Westernised countries; laboratories are usually located in urban or suburban settings; and English is the lingua franca for the majority of the websites, articles, mailing lists, discussions, and wikis devoted to biohacking. 
This paper focuses on how, and to what, biohackers are compared. This is a challenging question, for as we will see below, biohackers are compared to rather unlikely bedfellows. Not only are plentiful comparisons being made, but they are also drawn between different cultures and times, and between different – sometimes opposing – values and ethics. Unlike the ‘comparator’ which needs to be actively assembled, fed, and calibrated in order to provide comparisons (Deville, Guggenheim, and Hrdličková 2013), in the case of biohackers, comparisons are ‘already there’ and they are omnipresent. The frequency and disparity of these comparisons are what caught my interest in comparison and what compelled me to write this chapter. Why are such comparisons mobilised and why are such unlikely gures put side by side? What kinds of effects do such comparisons afford? How should we analyse these comparisons?
It is not unusual for hackers and computer programmers to be compared. Computer hackers, for instance, have been compared to public watchdogs, whistle-blowers, elite corps of computer programmers, artists, vandals, and criminals (see Jordan and Taylor 1998), while recent hacker networks like the Anonymous group have been compared to industrial machine breakers, and to Luddites (Deseriis 2013). The Homebrew Computer Club (initially a group of ‘hobbyists’) eventually became a group of ‘business entrepreneurs’ (see Coleman 2012), and Steve Jobs is today being compared to people like Thomas Edison or Walt Disney. 
Using biohacking as a case study, I will reflect upon and problematise comparison. The list of potential benefits of comparison is long, and it is worth mentioning a few, such as how they help to explore new, unanticipated routes; move beyond national frameworks by varying scales of analysis; and identify social patterns while highlighting the singularity of the cases studied (de Verdalle et al. 2012). The practices, methods, and problems of comparison have been discussed in a number of academic texts over the past decade or so. For instance, Richard Fox and Andre Gingrich (2002) have made an important contribution by revisiting and (re)theorising comparison. Arguing that comparison is a basic human activity that deserves academic scrutiny, they lay out a specific programme for comparative approaches. Differentiating between weak or implicit comparison, and strong and explicit comparison, Fox and Gingrich push especially for the latter and highlight their plural nature (2002: 20). The explicit focus on comparison has now become increasingly common, so that people talk of a ‘comparative turn’ in the social sciences (see Ward 2010). In this sense, comparison is actively engaged with, problematised, and theorised. This interest is visible beyond the Anglo-Saxon world as well. In France, for instance, two collections of essays on comparison have been published in 2012 alone: one is in the journal Terrains et Travaux (featuring on its cover an orange and an apple – a classic image that at once depicts sameness and difference, and is one of the chief challenges of comparison). The other is in an edited book called Faire des Sciences Sociales: Comparer (Remaud, Schaub, and ireau 2012). 
In this article, I want to draw on this body of work in several ways. First, I am interested in several authors’ emphases on ‘thick’ and multidimensional comparisons. Ana Barro, Shirley Jordan, and Celia Roberts (1998) have argued that comparison should be explorative, thick, and multidimensional. Jörg Niewöhner and Thomas Scheffer – who also argue for a ‘thick’ comparison – further emphasise that comparisons are performative in that ‘they connect what would otherwise remain unconnected, specify what would otherwise remain unspecified, and emphasise what would otherwise remain unrecognised’ (2008: 281). In a related way, Joe Deville, Michael Guggenheim, and Zuzana Hrdličková (this volume) talk about approaches that actively ‘provoke’ comparisons, while Tim Choy (2011) examines what comparisons do. 
Second, I do not want to ‘solve’ the issue of comparison, nor tell a coherent account of what biohackers are and what they are not. I am, rather, exploring the problems that biohackers and their identities entail. In this sense, I follow Adam Kuper (2002) who reminds us that we have to ‘begin with a problem, a question, an intuition’ (2002: 161). He further writes:
I remain convinced that methodological difficulties are the least of our problems [...] We lack questions rather than the means to answer them. What we need in order to revive the comparative enterprise is not new methods but new ideas, or perhaps simply fresh problems (Ibid. 162).
I hold that biohackers are possibly such a ‘fresh problem’ since their identity is somewhat ambiguous and unclear, and since the probable risks and innovative potential of their activities are currently being debated. Discussions about biohacking reveal that there are many uncertainties and that it seems diffcult to put their identity into neat categories. The questions that seem to drive most biohacking comparisons – Who are they? How can we make sense of them? Are they to be feared or hailed? – seem to have no clear answer. 
Third, I also draw on Donna Haraway’s and Marilyn Strathern’s ideas around ‘partial connections’ and positionality. In her discussion about situated knowledge, Haraway writes:
[h]ere is the promise of objectivity: a scientific knower seeks the subject position, not of identity, but of objectivity, that is, partial connection. There is no way to ‘be’ simultaneously in all, or wholly in any, of the privileged (i.e. subjugated) positions (1988: 586).
She continues:
I am arguing for politics and epistemologies of location, positioning, and situating, where partiality and not universality is the condition of being heard to make rational knowledge claims [...] Feminism loves another science: the sciences and politics of interpretation, translation, stu ering, and the partly understood (Ibid. 589).
In her book Partial Connections (1991), Strathern further draws on Haraway’s work and uses the term ‘partial’ to say that ‘for not only is there no totality, each part also de nes a partisan position’ (1991: 39). The trope of ‘partial connections’ can be – and already has been – engaged with in work on comparisons. 
For instance, Endre Dányi, Lucy Suchman and Laura Watts (cited in Witmore 2009) have compared seemingly incompatible field sites (a renewable energy industry, the Hungarian Parliament, and a research centre in Silicon Valley) and noted that there can be a ‘remarkable repetitiveness’ when these sites are connected through specific themes (such as newness, centres/peripheries, place, and landscape). Others have talked about ‘partial comparisons’ (Jensen et al. 2011) as a way to think about multiplicities while still recognising that ‘there exists no single, stable, underlying nature on which all actors have their perspectives’ (Ibid. 15). In this paper, I want to use these ideas in order to avoid one pitfall: the depiction of biohackers as a coherent whole that is able to be summated according to the different parts and comparisons reported in this article. In other words, the comparisons made can only be ‘partially connected’. I will thus refrain from taking an analytical view ‘from above’, one that is detached from what takes place ‘on the ground’. Instead, I will follow the actors themselves and consider their comparisons and knowledge claims to be valid and legitimate. In the remainder of this paper, I look in turn at four comparisons of biohackers (Steve Jobs, punks, amateurs, and terrorists). I will think with biohackers about comparison, rather than think about biohackers’ comparisons. In doing so, I not only seek to examine what comparisons do and produce, but I will also be reflexive and critical about my own previous research.

Fertility

'Freezing as Freedom? A Regulatory Approach to Elective Egg Freezing and Women's Reproductive Autonomy' by Vanessa Gruben in (2017) 54(3) Alberta Law Review comments
This article reviews concerns relating to the safety and efficacy surrounding the medical practice and social impacts of the increasingly popular practice of elective egg freezing. It argues that current regulation is inadequate to ensure this technology promotes women’s autonomy and to ensure women are receiving safe and high quality reproductive health care. It concludes by identifying three priority areas where specific regulation is required: information collection and disclosure, informed consent and fertility education, and assessment and counselling. 
 Gruben's 'Donor Anonymity in Canada: Assessing the Obstacles to Openness and Considering a Way Forward' in the same issue discusses
donor anonymity in Canada and the need for law reform in this area. Currently, assisted reproduction is regulated by both the provincial and federal governments, meaning this area is regulated in a piecemeal fashion. Disclosure of donor identifying and non-identifying factors is restricted to limited information, utilized only to keep statistical records. Due to the law limiting identifying information, donor-conceived persons struggle in their attempt to discover their genetic origins. Further, provincial family law does not recognize third party reproduction, which leaves modern family units unprotected. A definition of openness in gamete donation is given in Part II. Part III addresses the law-making and assisted reproduction difficulties arising from the division of powers. Part IV analyzes the potential impact of federal prohibitions on the purchase of sperm and eggs and whether disclosing a donor’s identity will negatively impact gamete supply in Canada. The final two sections discuss the failure of provinces to enact family laws which protect the parental status of intended parents and how past cases under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been challenging for donor-conceived persons. The authors propose that reform should be dealt with by the legislature in four areas: provincial family law reform where necessary; robust and meaningful public consultation; interprovincial cooperation if possible; and, consideration of law reform in other jurisdictions.

GDPR

'Compensation for Breach of the General Data Protection Regulation' by Eoin O'Dell comments
Article 82(1) of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides that any "person who has suffered material or non-material damage as a result of an infringement of this Regulation shall have the right to receive compensation from the controller or processor for the damage suffered". As a consequence, compliance with the GDPR is ensured through a mutually reinforcing combination of public and private enforcement that blends public fines with private damages. 
The first part of this article compares and contrasts Article 82(1) GDPR with compensation provisions in other EU Regulations and Directives and with the caselaw of the CJEU on those provisions, and concludes that it is not clear that Article 82(1) GDPR is directly horizontally effective though the Court (eventually, if and when it is asked) is likely to interpret it broadly. This means that the safest course of action at this stage is to provide expressly for a claim for compensation in national law. The second part of this article compares and contrasts the compensation provisions in the Irish government's General Scheme of the Data Protection Bill 2017 with existing legislation, and concludes that the Heads of the Scheme do not give full effect to Article 82(1) GDPR. Amendments to the Scheme are therefore proposed. 
Claims for compensation are an important part of the enforcement architecture of the GDPR. Private enforcement will help to discourage infringements of the rights of data subjects; it will make a significant contribution to the protection of privacy and data protection rights in the European Union; and it will help to ensure that the great promise of the GDPR is fully realised.
'The Dynamic Effect of Information Privacy Law' by Ignacio Cofone in (2017) 18 Minnesota Journal of Law, Science and Technology 517 argues
Discussions of information privacy typically rely on the idea that there is a tradeoff between privacy and availability of information. But privacy, under some circumstances, can lead to creation of more information. In this article, I identify such circumstances by exploring the ex ante incentives created by entitlements to personal data and evaluating the long-term effects of privacy. In so doing, I introduce an economic justification of information privacy law.
Under the standard law and economics account, as long as property rights are defined and transaction costs are low, initial right allocations should be irrelevant for social welfare. But initial allocations matter when either of these two conditions is absent. Allocations also matter for production of goods that do not yet exist. Personal information has these characteristics. While the costs of disseminating information are low, transaction costs to transfer an entitlement over it are not. In addition, availability of information requires disclosure – and thereby imposes costs. This analysis challenges the traditional economic objection to information privacy and provides a new justification for privacy rules by casting them as entitlements over personal information.
The approach I develop here provides a framework to identify which types of information ought to be protected and how privacy law should protect them. To do so, it analyzes the placement and optimal protection of personal information entitlements while also examining the commonalities between information privacy and intellectual property. At a more abstract level, it sheds light on the desirability of a sectoral versus an omnibus information privacy law.

Cats Pyjamas

Slow news day? The ABC features an item on biopunk Mr Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow (formerly Stuart McKellar), under the heading 'Sydney man has Opal card implanted into hand to make catching public transport easier'.

The item states
If you have ever been caught fumbling for your Opal card at the ticket gate, a Sydney man may have found the solution. He had the chip from an Opal card inserted into his hand and is now tapping on using the technology that is implanted underneath his skin. 
Bio-hacker Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, his legal name, had the Opal near-field communication (NFC) chip cut down and encased in bio-compatible plastic, measuring 1 millimetre by 6 millimetres. He then had the device implanted just beneath the skin on the side of his left hand. 
"It gives me an ability that not everyone else has, so if someone stole my wallet I could still get home," he said. He is able to use the Opal just like other users, including topping the card up on his smartphone. However, his hand needs to be about 1 centimetre from the reader, closer than traditional cards, and he sometimes needs to tap more than once, due to his device's smaller antenna. 
"My goal is to have frictionless interaction with technology," he said.
Mr Meow-Meow had his device implanted by a piercing expert, in a procedure lasting approximately one hour.  He warned others not to do the same without expertise and research. "Most certainly don't try this at home unless you know what you're doing," he said. 
Mr Meow-Meow said there was a risk of bacterial infection whenever anything was implanted beneath the skin, so it was important to consult professionals. "Be aware of the risks involved and make a wise judgement based on that." 
He also said his actions were a breach of Opal's terms of service, which prohibit tampering. "It will be really interesting to see what happens when the first transit officer scans my arm," he said.
The  officer might be more impressed by Mr Meow-Meow's given and surnames, which gained some attention when he stood for parliament.

Last year Bloomberg reported
If your name is Meow Meow, there’s a decent chance you’re an unusual dude. This holds true for Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, a polyamorous, trans-humanist bio-hacker in Sydney. In 2014, Meow Meow opened Australia’s first do-it-yourself bio-hacking lab, in which anyone could pay a membership fee to experiment with DNA and make whatever creatures they could imagine.
For people familiar with the VeriChip controversy there is more bite in 'Towards insertables: Devices inside the human body' by Kayla Heffernan, Frank Vetere and Shanton Chang in (2017) 22(3) First Monday