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Big Brother pulls the net tight
NOTICE ARCHIVE - 10/04/2020

“Never let a good crisis go to waste!”

Rahm Emanuel, former Chief of Staff to Barack Obama, said this, meaning that politicians can use a crisis as an opportunity to push through radical ideas that would otherwise never be accepted.


Obviously, a lot of governments use this knowledge as a springboard to pass sweeping policy changes while people are too terrified to care. 

At this point in the pandemic crisis, it’s quite clear that plenty of governments are not letting this crisis go to waste. This is now happening around the world:


1. “Shoot them dead!” (quote) President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines. Sure, thousands of alleged drug dealers and users have been killed in the Philippines since 2016. Some were killed by police, and others by vigilantes. Now the Philippines, like most of the world, is on lockdown to try to prevent the spread of Corona Virus. And in Duterte’s own words, “if there is any trouble” enforcing the lockdown, or people who ignore the rules, police should “shoot them dead.” SOURCE: CBS News, 2nd of April 2020.


2. Strap on a wristband to “geofence” you in your quarantine area. Hong Kong is experiencing its second wave of Covid-19 outbreaks. Once you arrive at your destination (your hotel, apartment, etc.) you have one minute to walk around so that the GPS tracker can map out the perimeter. And if you leave the area, the authorities are immediately alerted. Violators face up to six months in prison and fines up to USD 3,200. SOURCE: Chicago Tribune, 8th of April 2020.


3. Send a selfie to the government. Poland’s government developed a special app where users are forced to upload selfie photos to prove that they are inside and not violating the lockdown. It’s called the “Home Quarantine app”, and it’s required for people returning to Poland from abroad who must self-quarantine for 14 days. When the app requests a photo, users have twenty minutes to upload a selfie from inside their home, or the police come knocking. SOURCE: France24, 20th of March 2020.


4. Facial recognition from 100.000 security cameras. Moscow already had a network of 170,000 security cameras in place well before the pandemic hit that had been set up throughout the city over the past decade, with 100,000 of them already connected to the control center’s AI network and the remaining 70,000 expected to be added soon to the pandemic control center with facial recognition in the streets of Moscow to track individuals who are supposed to be in quarantine. SOURCE: France24, 24th of March 2020.


5. Tell me who you hang out with and I’ll tell you who you are. The government tracks your friends with your cellphone. Singapore’s government is using Bluetooth and GPS data from its citizens’ mobile phones to map who everyone comes to contact with. SOURCE: ZDnet, 21th of March 2020.


Yes, strict rules are necessary to follow to control the pandemic. But it’s not possible to ignore the fact that basic freedoms: freedom of assembly, freedom of worship, freedom of speech, privacy, etc. have gone out the window, all over the world. 


Laws and constitutions everywhere are being violated. And while most of the discussion about this pandemic is ‘when will the public health emergency subside,’ and ‘when will the economy go back to normal,’ there’s hardly any discussion about “When will our freedoms be restored?”


It’s hard to imagine they’re going to stop the GPS tracking, facial recognition, the criminal ‘fake news’ penalties, and the countless other ‘emergency measures’ anytime soon. Think about it, 9/11 was nearly two decades ago and we’re still dealing with the freedom-eroding consequences of that event.


The longer the freedom is restricted, the more unlikely it will be restored. 



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