'Biohacker' implants travel card in hand, court says 'nice try'

An Australian man fined for not having a train ticket argued the ticket was implanted in his hand. Also, his name is Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow.

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Daniel Van Boom
2 min read
Science Party

Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow is (the real name of) a 33-year-old Australian man who's fighting a fine for not having a valid train ticket. His defence? He had a valid ticket the whole time -- inside his hand.

Meow-Meow appeared in Newtown Local Court in Sydney, New South Wales on Friday morning, where he pled guilty to the charge of travelling without a train ticket.

Meow-Meow is "ahead of the law," his lawyer Nicholas Broadbent told the ruling Magistrate, according to BuzzFeed. Broadbent explained that Meow-Meow is a "self-identified biohacker." The prosecutor, Andrew Wozniak, argued that "whatever was in the defendant's hand, it certainly wasn't a card." 

The Magistrate sided with the prosecution, ordering Meow-Meow to pay the fine and legal fees -- a total of AU$1,220 ($950, £680).  

"This is a case where the law is behind the technology," Meow Meow said to CNET. "And I think this is a good take-home message: The technology is moving in a certain direction, I've just moved quicker than the law in this case."  

Though he conceded that he accepted the ruling, he said "everyone knows in their gut that after a period of time this stuff is gonna be commonplace and fine."

New South Wales' Opal travel cards are used for trains, buses and ferries across the state. Meow-Meow, a co-founder of biohacking site Biofoundry, had his Opal card implanted in his hand in April 2017. The chip was cut out of the credit card-sized Opal, encased in plastic and implanted by a piercer.

"I accept the judges ruling, but does it discourage me from further biohacking? No, not at all," Meow-Meow said. "I didn't do this to take this to court, I did this because it was convenient. And it was fun."

Meow-Meow is a member of the Science Party, through which he hopes to score a seat in federal parliament. This is the type of legislation he'd like to change, he said.