A Global Pandemic has Changed the Way We Live, Work and Protect Our Privacy.
By Rick Brinegar
Digital Tools are Now Essential
In a few short months since the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 has degraded the health and economic welfare of thousands, brought countries to a standstill and ushered the global economy into the worst recession since World War II. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to reconsider how essential digital tools are to achieving some semblance of normal, everyday living. Seemingly overnight, we found ourselves adapting to social distancing, nationwide lockdowns, working from home, online shopping, digital banking, virtual classrooms, telemedicine and video conferencing. Unfortunately, along with this digital transformation came facial recognition, drones, license plate scanners, immunity passports, biometric identification, pervasive surveillance, social media data harvesting and countless other technologies which threaten both our personal privacy and the future of the American republic.
We are the Product
Most of the time, some computer somewhere is recording something about us, our patterns of behavior, our lifestyles or our spending habits. Every transaction may be recorded. All of our movements and actions may be traceable. It might seem that digital tools are made available on the Internet just to make our lives easier but each additional “free” tool has furnished yet another way to gather more information. According to Senior Research Psychologist Dr. Robert Epstein, “Companies that use the surveillance business model — and this includes Google and Facebook — don’t sell you anything. They sell you. We are the product.”
Social media platforms amass as much information as they can about their users, their users’ online friends and about their users’ offline friends and it is all legal. Anyone who has ever interacted with someone whose data is stored on a social media website may have had their own information harvested to that website, even though they may not be a registered user. This is known as “shadow profiling” and it is a very profitable product.
According to author Professor Shoshana Zuboff, this data about us is sold to business customers as “behavioral products” for targeted advertising. Zuboff writes this “surveillance capitalism” is “a direct assault on human autonomy.” He states surveillance capitalist enterprises, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and others, oversee “configurations of knowledge about individuals, groups and society that are unprecedented in human history.”
Watching an Invisible Enemy
Also unprecedented is big-government expansion brought on by the collective panic associated with the perceived health crisis. Fear has launched a pervasive proliferation of the latest surveillance technologies. “It’s the most frightening disease I’ve ever encountered in my career,” said Richard Hatchett, CEO of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations founded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. “And that includes Ebola,” Hatchet continued, “…it includes MERS, it includes SARS. And it’s frightening because of the combination of infectiousness and a lethality that appears to be manifold higher than flu.” Citizens and government leaders are operating in fear mode; only this time we are afraid of an unseen enemy. President Trump has said, “I want to assure the American people that we’re doing everything we can each day to confront and ultimately defeat this horrible, invisible enemy. We’re at war. In a true sense, we’re at war and we’re fighting an invisible enemy. Think of that.”
Schools Fight COVID-19 With Surveillance
The Markup newsroom posted a series of articles in September which demonstrated how as some school districts prepare for the new semester of in-person attendance, they are fighting back by not scrimping on the latest surveillance gadgets. Fayette County Public Schools in Georgia bought five cameras equipped with thermal imaging which cost $7,000 each. The school district will not be using the automated mask detection and facial identification but they are available. A New York State school district had started to experiment with facial recognition until state legislators put the program on pause and Bluetooth location tracking is already operating in dozens of schools. An Artificial Intelligence-powered Motorola service detects mask compliance on video. Also, the schools may opt to outfit students with wearables for contact tracing with COVID contact-screening apps. The cameras are potential threats to privacy because it is likely they will stay in schools after the health crisis is over and may end up being used for something beyond the scope of their initial purposes.
Pandemic Simulation Close to Reality
“Event 201”, a pandemic simulation, was hosted by Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, World Economic Forum and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in New York City on October 18, 2019 just six weeks before the COVID-19 outbreak. Fifteen business, government and public health leaders acted out realistic policy problems that would have to be addressed under pressure during a pandemic. It portrayed the outbreak of a “novel zoonotic coronavirus,” like SARS, but more “transmissible”. According to the Center for Health Security Event 201 Scenario, “There is no possibility of a vaccine being available in the first year. There is a fictional antiviral drug that can help the sick but not significantly limit spread of the disease.” In the fictional scenario outlined, the infection rate was not slowed until 80-90% of the global population had been exposed. Harsh policy decisions controlling the lives of masses of regular citizens, as explored in this hypothetical simulation, are a dreadful everyday reality in China.
Chinese Tracking With Rewards, Punishments
By the end of 2020, every one of the 1.4 billion Chinese citizens will be monitored and rewarded or punished for their behavior. Behavior leading to a reduction in an individual’s social credit score would include jaywalking, hazardous driving, smoking on trains, playing too many video games, eating too much junk food, drinking too much alcohol, calling a friend who has a low credit score, having a friend online who has a low credit score, hosting fake news online, criticizing government websites, walking a dog without a leash and letting your dog bark too much. Citizens with low social credit scores will be prevented from taking buses, trains and planes. Over six million Chinese have already been prevented from buying airline or plane tickets, even though the system is not fully deployed yet. The punishment for low social credit scores could place restrictions on renting a house, getting a loan or filling a car with gas.
Good behavior in the social credit system is rewarded with free perks, discounted loans, fast track university, job applications, VIP airport access, faster Internet speeds and better visibility on dating websites. The system will be monitored by an estimated 400 million facial recognition surveillance cameras. It will eventually include real-time GPS location tracking citizens by their cell phones. Ultimately, this data will be unified into a centralized database. The Chinese government states, “If trust is broken in one place, restrictions are imposed everywhere.” American “Big Tech” has already implemented their own “social credit score” system through which they punish people for their political views by deplatforming them, censoring their websites or closing their PayPal/bank accounts, according to Chris Menahan of Information Liberation. A digitized, electronic version of the dollar has been proposed by the Digital Dollar Project and the Federal Reserve but opponents fear it would only add additional tyranny to a world already endangered by the communist social credit system.
Time for a Digital Dollar?
The Digital Dollar Project believes that a CBDC or Central Bank Digital Currency would make the USD greenback “future-proof” and would enable individuals and global businesses to make payments in dollars without the limitations of space and time. However, the danger is that anything which can be turned on electronically can also be turned off. The Federal Reserve is also looking into a product it calls FedCoin for digitizing the dollar. The first version of the COVID-19 spending bill contained a FedCoin proposal which would have enabled the Federal Reserve to track many of our purchases in real time and share that information with government agencies. That proposal was dropped from the final version of the bill.
As many as one-third of the world’s population live under some form of lockdown restriction. Government leaders and policy advisors are considering immunity certificates or immunity passports as a means of allowing people who have recovered from COVID-19 to return to normal activities. However, many of the available tests are reported to be of “dubious quality,” and scientists don’t even know for sure whether infection confers immunity. The American Conservative predicts that immunity passports would support continued infringements on civil liberties and could lead to a crime wave. In spite of these threats to privacy, Europe is forging ahead with plans for health tracking technologies.
Is the COVID-19 vaccine the Mark of the Beast? Watch End of the Age here.
On the Way to Global Dictatorship
A British cyber security company has a direct partnership with the UK government and has secured contracts to deploy its technology in 15 countries. The software is called COVI-PASS™️ Digital Health Passport. Installed on your smart phone, it uses a color mapping system (red for supervised quarantine, yellow for self-quarantine and green for unrestricted movement) to authenticate a COVID-19 test, providing test history and “relevant health information”, so that lockdown restrictions can be removed and public services, businesses and employees can return to normal activities.
In some areas of China today, it is not possible to use public transport or enter any office, shop, supermarket or pharmacy without showing the green light status of a software similar to COVI-PASS. Neighborhoods are bounded by roadblocks at which drivers must present their pass. In China, the software tracks your location, notifying you if you have come near an infected person, changing your status to red and imposing a two-week quarantine. According to Liberty Counsel Action, the software company which produces COVI-PASS and European leaders have similar plans for Europe and the West: “This tech company in partnership with government leaders plans to control which people will be let into stores, events, and other locations—and which people will be denied access based on their past history, vaccination status, or any other government or company policy.”
This same COVI-PASS system has the capacity to harvest other personal information, such as social media and criminal records, with the data incorporated into a detailed personal profile of everyone, setting the stage for the soon-coming tyranny, the authoritarian Antichrist system described in the Bible. The world just ahead is controlled by a single, tyrannical power, the Beast, whose ambition is to become “as God”. The Book of Revelation prophesies a future government Satan will control to deceive and manipulate the nations through his representative, the Antichrist, along with the assistance of the False Prophet.
And [the False Prophet] deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name (Revelation 13:14–17)
Learn more about the One World Government on End of the Age+