The dangers posed by digital IDs cannot be emphasized enough. As the researcher Brett Solomon—a man “who has tracked the advantages and perils of technology for human rights” for well over a decade—previously noted, the mass rollout of digital IDs “poses one of the gravest risks to human rights of any technology that we have encountered.”
Vaccine passports and contact tracing are intimately tied to surveillance. More specifically, global surveillance. As the draft notes, the WHO will carry out “coordinated global surveillance of public health threats.” This can only be achieved by member states, all 194 of them, expanding their surveillance systems and contributing to “the WHO’s global systems for surveillance.”
There is a broader legal context for these extra-legal developments in mass surveillance of civilian populations. Since the war on terror began, Western nations have legislatively scaled up their increasingly intrusive networks of mass surveillance (often referred to with the euphemism “bulk collection”).
These new digital surveillance and control mechanisms will be no less oppressive for being virtual rather than physical. Contact tracing apps, for example, have proliferated with at least 120 different apps in used in 71 different states, and 60 other digital contact-tracing measures have been used across 38 countries. There is currently no evidence that contact tracing apps or other methods of digital surveillance have helped to slow the spread of covid; but as with so many of our pandemic policies, this does not seem to have deterred their use.
These are enormously stressful times for all. They require everyone to reassess and rethink our relationship to technology for reasons of preserving freedom, privacy, and independence. We need to do our best to avoid becoming part of the privatization of the state. We have taken an important step in that direction.
The Covid policies we see today in Canada are the product of pretending for two years that Covid can be stopped, that no trade-offs exist when it comes to Covid, and shunning debate on even the most obvious trade-offs and alternative Covid policies. The lack of attention to the human and economic costs of Canada’s Covid response has been appalling.
Once you understand the simplicity of his core confusions, everything else he says makes sense from his point of view. He seems forever stuck in the fallacy that the human being is a cog in a massive machine called society that cries out for his managerial and technological leadership to improve to the point of operational perfection.
What if, by depriving us of normal life, those who stand to gain from vaccines can forever cement themselves at the center of society by providing an artificial replacement for what our immune systems used to do to protect us against common respiratory viruses back when we were still allowed to live normal lives?