Former NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden warned this week that governments including the United States are sure to employ sophisticated surveillance technology and methods to ‘fight’ the COVID-19 outbreak, and that it could even become permanent, long after the outbreak crisis has passed.
During a remote appearance at the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, Snowden claimed that the U.S. government is allegedly in talks with tech companies including Facebook and Google to capture anonymized location data from users’ cellphones so health authorities can track the spread of coronavirus, C/Net reported.
Snowden, who leaked highly classified documents describing the NSA’s mass surveillance activities, said governments use tech firms to leverage personally identifiable information during a crisis and then use it to monitor people’s activities.
During the current pandemic, for instance, Snowden said it’s likely that governments will say they’re concerned about the spread of the virus beyond their ability to control it and thus send instructions to every fitness tracker looking for measurements like heart rate, then demand access to certain activities.
But after the virus emergency passes, such data will still be available to and collected by governments, which they will likely use to justify their ‘fights’ against other threats such as terrorism.
“They already know what you’re looking at on the Internet,” Snowden said during the interview. “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 intermix these and apply artificial intelligence to it?”
What can Americans do to prevent the collection of this data? For one, they can shun personal electronics while they’re moving. If you’re just going out to the store or for a quick walk/jog to exercise, consider leaving your phone at home. (Related: BEWARE: University studies claiming coronavirus deaths won’t exceed 20,000 are tied to communist Chinese propaganda efforts to worsen the spread in America.)
Another way to cut down on the government’s ability to track you is by using cash for purchases whenever possible. You can also look into an Internet encrypted email program and web browser.
But you still have to go out in public where there are an inordinate amount of surveillance cameras, many of which are either hooked to artificial intelligence programs or soon will be. How do you ‘hide’ from that?
Zero Hedge recommends making and wearing a mask — not a standard one like an N95 but something odd-shaped or otherwise different. Think of the movie “V for Vendetta.”
In the film, residents of a futuristic and very authoritarian Great Britain donned masks resembling Guy Fawkes, a British rebel who was a figure in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605. Led by Robert Catesby, a group of zealous Roman Catholics became furious with King James I for refusing to give them greater religious tolerance, so they sought to depose him and much of parliament by using explosives, but they failed.
Nevertheless, towards the end of the film, hundreds of thousands of Brits filled the streets of London in defiance of authority — all wearing Guy Fawkes masks so as to hide their identity from the regime’s sophisticated surveillance technologies.
It is time to do that once more, Zero Hedge argues — wear a mask for liberty and in defiance of tyranny.
“Indeed, wearing a mask is a revolutionary, grass-roots act … since the big official government health agencies — the WHO and the CDC — are telling people NOT to wear masks,” the news site noted.
“Additionally, if you’d like, you could write any message on your mask you like, such as ‘Don’t Tread On Me,’ ‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death,’” the site noted further. You could even put your favorite sports team’s logo on your mask — whatever you choose.
But wearing one in public, while adopting additional anti-surveillance methods will help keep you off the big grid when the coronavirus surveillance becomes permanent.