Cyborg fined for riding train without valid ticket
Subcutaneous smart card doesn’t cut it in Sydney
A self-described “cyborg” who slipped a public transport smartcard under his skin has pled guilty to riding trains without a valid ticket and copped a fine, plus costs.
Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow, the chap’s actual name, claims to be a bio-hacker and, as we wrote in 2017, wanted to pay for train journeys with a wave of his hand. Mr Meow-Meow therefore hacked – literally – the “Opal” stored value cards used to pay for public transport in the Australian state of New South Wales, extracting its NFC chip. A piercing specialist implanted the chip under his skin.
Transit officers took a dim view of Mr. Meow-Meow’s implant, fining him for travelling without a valid ticket and for not presenting his ticket when asked.
The matter ended up in court today, where Mr. Meow-Meow pled guilty, copped a AU$200 fine and wore $1,000 in costs.
Mr. Meow-Meow’s lawyer argued that the law had not kept pace with his client’s ideas, but magistrate Magistrate Margaret Quinn wasn’t swayed by that logic. A conviction was recorded on the riding without a valid ticket charge, but the not presenting a ticket charge was waived. ®