SOCIAL scientists are predicting a return to carrier pigeon and retro communications after a spate of privacy breaches and identity theft.
This follows revelations that the now defunct News of the World newspaper may have hacked the mobile phone messages of pretty much everyone on the planet.
The latest scandal came on top of concerns that private information on the internet may be public, hackers may have everyone's secret passwords and we are being tracked everywhere we go through our mobile phones and security cameras.
Sociologist Kevin Farsight said the only way people could preserve their privacy was to stay offline, boycott mobile phones, remain mostly indoors and limit their social interactions to small gatherings like rallies in support of former Prime Minister Kevin Rutt.
"It's getting to the stage where you might as well run naked down the street with your pin numbers and passwords tattooed all over your body," Dr Farsight said.
"If this trend continues many people will convert to using carrier pigeons to communicate. But even then there may be some risk that News of the World journalists will catch them and take their little pieces of paper.
"We think it may be safe to communicate using two tins joined together with a piece of string, but these are not particularly effective over distances of more than six metres."
Dr Farsight said he was concerned about information being taken from social media sites and used to steal someone's identity.
Ordinary punter Bill said he woke up one morning and couldn't remember who he was.
"At first I thought it was the two bottles of red I drank the night before but now I believe someone may have stolen my identity," he said.
Opposition Leader Tony Abshot said someone once hacked into his computer and stole his identity.
"But they hacked back in the next day and gave it back," he said. "Ever since I've had real trouble remembering things."
Green Leader Bob Frown said he would like to see tougher regulations on phone hacking, internet privacy and pigeon interception.
"Of course I think there should be tougher regulations on pretty much everything," he said.
Mr Frown later said the guy we just quoted wasn't actually him, but he agreed with everything he said.
Another Mr Frown later appeared, denounced the other Bob Frown identities and gave an identical media conference.
Pundits said all Bob Frowns seemed to be equally annoying.
Prime Minister Julia Gizzard said the new tax on global warming would not impact on identity theft but it would make it carbon neutral and improve the environment.
Thirsty Cow is fiction. Not that there's anything wrong with that.
Thirsty Cow is a weekly humour column.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.