A missing piece of the great lockdown storyline was enforcement. How exactly were authorities going to understand the whereabouts of hundreds of millions of individuals without a veritable army of snoops?
Yes, there were some arrests and media reviews and some private drones soaring here and there to snap photos of house parties to deliver to local papers intended for publication. Public health authorities were flooded with calls from rats coast to coast.
But in general, the plan to muscle the entire population in the name of virus mitigation had huge holes.
For example , for many months, there were regulations in place that forced people to quarantine (yes, even if you were perfectly well) when traversing state lines. Compliance had been impossible for anyone who resided in one state and worked in another. But just how was this to be unplaned? And how precisely were professionals to know for certain whether a person found a side entrance to a church and dared to show up with a few other people to pray?
A clue came fairly early on in lockdowns. Whenever you would drive from one border to another, your phone would light up with a warning that you had to quarantine for two weeks before you went back, and then one would receive another note returning. Of course this was impossible however it became darn scary there for a while. Who precisely had been monitoring this?
Our phones also installed for us, even if we failed to want it, track-and-trace software that claimed to alert you if you came near the covid-positive person as if this particular virus was Ebola plus infected people were milling about everywhere. I have heard no reports on how this software worked or if it do at all.
Nevertheless it’s on my cell phone now – labeled “ exposure notifications” – but obviously shut off. There is no way to remove that application so far as I can tell.
Wikipedia explains :
Devices record received messages, retaining them locally for 14 days. If a user tests positive for infection, the last 14 days of their day-to-day encryption keys can be uploaded to a central server, where it is then broadcast for all devices on the network. The technique through which daily encryption tips are transmitted to the main server and broadcast is defined by individual application developers. The Google-developed guide implementation calls for a wellness official to request the one-time verification code (VC) from a verification server, that the user enters into the encounter logging app. This causes the app to obtain a cryptographically signed certificate, which is used to authorize the submission of keys to the central reporting server
So , basically a digital leper bell. Just what everyone wants.
I had friends who flew into airports and were greeted by National Guard troops challenging information on where people were keeping plus a cell phone number so that regulators could check to make sure that you had been staying put and not heading places. Government set up robocalls with scary voices – “ This is the sheriff’s office” – that would ring upward visitors and scare the heck out of them.
Yes, you can lie, but what if you were caught? Were there criminal fees and penalties? And what was the likelihood that you would get caught? No one knew for sure. Even the legal basis for all of this was extremely sketchy: it was all based on administrative dictate imposed beneath the cover of emergency.
As it turns out, the CDC later used your tax dollars to scarf up location information from shady sources throughout the depth of lockdowns to discover whether and to what level people were complying with out of constitute lockdowns, curfews, and capability restrictions. We only know this thanks to a FOIA request from Motherboard, which revealed everyone’s worst-possible fright. According to Vice ,
The Centers to get Disease Control and Avoidance (CDC) bought access to area data harvested from tens of millions of phones in the United States to perform analysis of compliance along with curfews, track patterns of individuals visiting K-12 schools, and specifically monitor the effectiveness of plan in the Navajo Nation, based on CDC documents obtained by Motherboard. The documents furthermore show that although the CDC used COVID-19 as a reason to buy access to the data faster, it intended to use it for further general CDC purposes.
In paperwork, the CDC claimed that it needed the data to give the agency “ deeper insights to the pandemic as it pertains to human actions. ”
The data itself was scrapped by Safegraph from cell phone place trackers. Not everyone has that feature turned on but tens of millions do. The CDC shelled out half a million dollars to get the actual had, all of it gathered with no concern for ethics or privacy.
Location data is home elevators a device’s location sourced from the phone, which can then show where a person lifestyles, works, and where they went. The sort of data the CDC bought has been aggregated— meaning it was designed to follow trends that emerge from the movements of groups of people— but researchers possess repeatedly raised concerns with how location data can be deanonymized and used to track specific people. The documents reveal the expansive program the CDC had last year to use location data from the highly controversial data broker.
What this means is that the CDC has been essentially monitoring if individuals went to get an illegal haircut, attended an illicit house party, or left the house after a 10 pm curfew. Or went to church. Or shopped at a unnecessary store. It seems strange that people would have any such laws in the US regardless, and it is nothing short of an outrage that a government bureaucracy would pay the private-sector company for entry to that in order to monitor your compliance.
And we can see here just how this works. You get a phone and it includes apps that are looking to know your location, often for good reasons. You need a GPS. You wish to see restaurants around you. You wish to know the weather. People who force ads want them to be specific to where you are. So you leave location services on even when you could otherwise switch them off. This allows app companies to scrape vast information from your phone, mostly anonymous but not quite entirely.
This particular data then becomes available at the open market. The CDC becomes a customer, and why should any company hungry for money refuse such an offer? Obviously they should but too often income needs trump ethics nowadays. The check arrives and out goes the data. In this manner, the government has the means to secret agent on you nearly directly. Plus it does this without any legislative or judicial authorization.
This raises profound questions about deploying track-and-trace methods for a virus that is as prevalent as covid. It never held out any chance of controlling the particular spread, no matter what they say. It can introduce profound dangers associated with government surveillance of the citizenry to police people just for compliance, which can very quickly become a means of political enforcement.
The damage is done already but it is wise to be aware now of what is probable. Much of the infrastructure was set up over these two years plus it all still survives. There is every intention in place to deploy it all again when covid mutates again or even if some other pathogen arrives. Lockdowns seem to be in disrepute among the public but the judgment class is still in love with all of them.
What can we learn from this fiasco?
1 ) Congress and the judiciary are not in control of government. Especially once there is an “ emergency, ” the administrative state believes itself to be an autonomous force, doing what it wants regardless of the constitution. There is very little oversight.
3. No matter how paranoid you might be now, it is probably not enough. Pandemic control was a pretext for doing to the people what never would have been tolerated in normal times. The lockdowns are over but the aspiration to track and control us completely has just begun. The years 2020 and 2021 were simply trial runs for what exactly they want to be permanent.
4. There are things you can do to protect yourself but it needs volition and focus. Indiscriminate use of mainstream applications is dangerous to both personal privacy and liberty.
5. What I have reported above already happened a year ago, so it is right to request the question: what are they carrying out now? They got aside with it then, a fact which only encourages more egregious behavior.