Human Rights Watch Warns Governments May Use Coronavirus as Excuse for Mass Surveillance

Pomidor Quixote
Daily Stormer
April 3, 2020


It’s impressive how the flu was so effectively repurposed into the silver bullet that can give governments all kinds of powers over the lives of people.

Measures taken to fight this virus are here to stay and they are not going anywhere, because viruses themselves are not going anywhere.

This is so obvious now that the Jewish group Human Rights Watch is forced to come out and stand against it in order to preempt the backlash.

Daily Mail:

The world is sleepwalking into a surveillance state during the coronavirus pandemic, rights groups have claimed.

Digital surveillance rolled out to curb coronavirus should be limited in time and scope, more than 100 rights groups said on Thursday, warning governments not to use the crisis as cover for pervasive snooping.

From facial recognition to phone tracking, governments are turning to technology to trace infections and keep tabs on the population as they enforce lockdowns, curfews and quarantines.

But without appropriate safeguards in place, tools deployed to save lives could cause lasting harm to people’s rights, leading civil society organisations, including Human Rights Watch (HRW) and Privacy International, said in a statement.

An increase in state digital surveillance powers, such as obtaining access to mobile phone location data, threatens privacy, freedom of expression and freedom of association,’ the groups said.

Opposing surveillance would mean risking people’s lives because of this coronavirus or future viruses.

This pandemic hysteria allows governments to brilliantly frame noncompliance to whatever they order people to do as an act that can hurt the population.

When a vaccine for this coronavirus is presented, it will likely be mandatory for the same reason that the lockdown is mandatory.

To ensure such measures do not trample on people’s freedoms, they should be provided for by law, justified by legitimate public health goals and subject to independent oversight with clear time limits, the human rights groups said.

The recent past has shown governments are reluctant to relinquish temporary surveillance powers,’ said Rasha Abdul Rahim, deputy director of Amnesty International’s tech division.

‘We must not sleepwalk into a permanent expanded surveillance state now.’

In this case, governments are even less likely to relinquish this “temporary” power because new viruses will continue to appear.

Even if all viruses were somehow eliminated, the government and the media can just keep fueling mass hysteria about nonexistent threats.

Earlier this week, the United Nations special rapporteur on the right to privacy warned some countries risked sliding into authoritarianism if new emergency powers were left unchecked.

‘There will be an aftermath to the COVID-19 outbreak. We must ensure that the measures governments are taking right now do not transform this health crisis into a global human rights crisis,’ said Access Now senior policy analyst Estelle Masse.

It may be a little too late for that.

The destruction of the economy due to the lockdown will bring significant unrest, and significant unrest will give governments more excuses to claim even more power for themselves.