Very similar to air journey was basically modified post-9/11 — justified by nationwide safety and the “conflict on terror” — the world is now profoundly completely different than its pre-COVID-19 state. Freedoms taken as a right in 2019 had been abruptly taken away in 2020, once more justified by nationwide safety and public well being.
However now, even with COVID-19 neutralized, applied sciences supposedly put in place to observe and observe the virus haven’t gone away. Quite the opposite, they’re nonetheless getting used and expanded all through the world, revealing that mass monitoring of the worldwide inhabitants wasn’t about COVID-19 in spite of everything however one thing a lot larger, with the potential to get rid of freedom as we all know it.
A year-plus investigation by The Related Press reveals a regarding pattern worldwide wherein pandemic-era mass surveillance applied sciences are being utilized as devices of management.
“Within the pandemic’s bewildering early days, tens of millions worldwide believed authorities officers who stated they wanted confidential knowledge for brand new tech instruments that might assist cease coronavirus’ unfold. In return, governments acquired a firehose of people’ non-public well being particulars, images that captured their facial measurements and their dwelling addresses,” AP famous.1
Now people are discovering that knowledge is getting used towards them — proscribing journey and activism, in legislation enforcement circumstances and even being shared with spy companies. As John Scott-Railton with web watchdog Citizen Lab informed AP, “Any intervention that will increase state energy to observe people has an extended tail and is a ratcheting system. When you get it, could be very unlikely it’ll ever go away.”2
In China, residents had been required to put in cellphone apps that produce QR codes relying on well being standing. A inexperienced end result, primarily based on PCR take a look at outcomes, permits an individual to maneuver about freely whereas a yellow or purple end result restricted journey or required dwelling confinement. Following widespread demonstrations, the nation said it will now not implement national-level well being codes to open up journey between provinces.