The Surveillance State Forever By James Reed

     Things have changed, for the absolute worst, and it is likely that the surveillance state will be forever, since the psychopathic global elites who rule our local elites, whatever the merits of all the present restrictions, are not likely to want to give up power. It will be just a depicted in the film version of The Lord of the Rings, where all of the bad guys wanted the ring of power, a symbol, of, naturally, power. His guy would know:

“Governments around the world are using high-tech surveillance measures to combat the coronavirus outbreak. But are they worth it? Edward Snowden doesn’t think so. The former CIA contractor, whose leaks exposed the scale of spying programs in the US, warns that once this tech is taken out of the box, it will be hard to put it back. “When we see emergency measures passed, particularly today, they tend to be sticky,” Snowden said in an interview with the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival. The emergency tends to be expanded. Then the authorities become comfortable with some new power. They start to like it. Supporters of the draconian measures argue that normal rules are not enough during a pandemic and that the long-term risks can be addressed once the outbreak is contained. But a brief suspension of civil liberties can quickly be extended. Security services will soon find new uses for the tech. And when the crisis passes, governments can impose new laws that make the emergency rules permanent and exploit them to crack down on dissent and political opposition. Take the proposals to monitor the outbreak by tracking mobile phone location data. This could prove a powerful method of tracing the spread of the virus and the movements of people who have it. But it will also be a tempting tool to track terrorists — or any other potential enemies of the states.

AI becoming ‘turnkey to tyranny’
Artificial intelligence has become a particularly popular way of monitoring life under the pandemic. In China, thermal scanners installed at train stations identify patients with fevers, while in Russia, facial recognition systems spot people breaking quarantine rules. The coronavirus has even given Clearview AI a chance to repair its reputation. The controversial social media-scraping startup is in talks with governments about using its tech to track infected patients, according to the Wall Street Journal. A big attraction of AI is its efficiency by assigning probabilities to different groups of people. But too much efficiency can be a threat to freedom, which is why we limit police powers through measures such as warrants and probable cause for arrest. The alternative is algorithmic policing that justifies excessive force and perpetuates racial profiling. Snowden is especially concerned about security services adding AI to all the other surveillance tech they have. “They already know what you’re looking at on the internet,” he said. “They already know where your phone is moving. Now they know what your heart rate is, what your pulse is. What happens when they start to mix these and apply artificial intelligence to it?” 

     Lord Acton (1834-1902) quotes are relevant here:

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority; still more when you superadd the tendency of the certainty of corruption by authority.”
“Despotic power is always accompanied by corruption of morality.”
“Authority that does not exist for Liberty is not authority but force.”
“Everybody likes to get as much power as circumstances allow, and nobody will vote for a self-denying ordinance.”
“Absolute power demoralizes.” 

     With the coronavirus crisis, the ruling elites have seized absolute power, in the case of some countries, even that of life and death, shooting those who do not comply, as in India.



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Saturday, 20 July 2024

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