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Fri Apr 10, 2020, 06:38 PM

HBO's VICE News: Shelter In Place



Whether one is in the traitor camp or the patriot camp about Edward Snowden, this look at a post-pandemic future is worth thinking about. It's worth thinking about whether we can develop a Plan B, Plan C, etc.. It's worth thinking about how and who will think about those plans; then who and how our new plans for any new future will "get done."

We're a Big Nation. We read that some have already been saying, "burn it down;" others saying, "let it die," others saying, "go fast and break things;" and others saying, "mend it, don't end it."

If we are to think about how to change our present and future -- knowing this huge nation can't change on a dime -- we would do well to start thinking now, while we "shelter in place."



A summary...

The background of what's being done by governments during the COVID-19 pandemic:


Snowden warns that governments are using coronavirus to build 'the Architecture of Oppression' because

-- "contact tracing" through phones is largely useless;
-- precision of GPS location, used "at scale," cannot be "anonymized" in any meaningful way;
-- if there is no privacy law in the US, we have to make sure that 'pumping the brakes' in the US only applies to the pandemic waves, and not our society;
-- given our getting used to "emergency orders," no one's asking "what does this mean going forward."

Snowden lays out what the "knock-on" effects will be:

-- the "emergency" never ends;
-- civil rights are permanently abused under rolled over stop-gaps like the Patriot Act;
-- wars haven't stopped for 20 years;
-- authoritarianism has creeped into countries that historically have suffered most under it;
-- we who sacrifice our rights also sacrifice our capability to arrest this slide into a less free world.


Snowden reviews questions Americans can ask themselves:

-- Do we truly believe that when the first wave, this second wave, the 16th wave of the coronavirus is a long-forgotten memory, that these capabilities will not be kept?
-- Do we believe these datasets will not be kept?
-- Will those capabilities begin to be applied to small time criminality?
-- Will they begin to be applied to political analysis?
-- Will they begin to be applied for doing things like performing a census?
-- Will they be used for political polling?


No matter how it is being used, what’ is being built is the architecture of oppression. You might trust who is dealing with it, who runs it, but some country, some new president will eventually have control of it, and someone will abuse it.

If this system is not changed our futures will be decided on an automated basis...

What we should be thinking about is how this global pandemic could have been prevented, resisted, imagined.

We have an opportunity in a fearful time, to be thinking about how we can make revolutionary changes by changing the functioning of society, the structure of the system that controls and influences our lives. If we do not change the systems that monitor and track us, those systems will automate our futures.

If we do not decide what we want these systems to look like, the decision will be made for us.

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