Papers Please!: Un-Liberation Tech - Stasi Papers Regimes Rollout re Coronavirus
grarpamp at gmail.com
Fri May 1 01:29:45 PDT 2020
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We’ve seen before — notably after September 11, 2001 — how a crisis
can result in damage to rights and freedoms that persists long after
the initial cause of public panic.
Some advocates for restrictions on individuals and our movements and
activities will exploit any crisis to ratchet the mechanisms of
surveillance and control tighter.
Other officials, including many who mean well but are too traumatized
to recognize the long-term consequences of their short-term actions,
will advocate “temporary” restrictions on individual rights and
freedoms that almost inevitably become permanent.
We don’t yet know what the cost in lost lives of the coronavirus
pandemic will be. But we can already see the outlines of some of its
potential cost in lost civil liberties.
Earlier in the pandemic, we reminded our readers of the risks of abuse
of overbroad quarantine powers. But that’s only one aspect of the
The basic methodology of control of travel and movement is that
compulsory identification of travelers enables surveillance (tracking
and logging) of travel and movement histories, and control of future
movements based on individuals’ identities and the histories and other
databases of personal information linked to those identities.
Already, changes to policies and practices related to (1)
identification, (2) surveillance, and (3) control of travelers have
all been proposed in response to the coronavirus pandemic: Read More
Dare County, North Carolina, has established checkpoints on all roads
crossing the county borders, at which travelers must show their papers
to enter the county. A Federal lawsuit has been filed, seeking to have
this enjoined as unconstitutional (at least as applied to the named
plaintiffs). But as discussed below, the lawsuit barely scratches the
surface of the issues this raises. Why is Dare County doing this?
What’s wrong with this ID requirement?
The press release threatens that anyone who arrives without a working
cellphone, charged, with service and coverage in the arrival area at
the airport, will be arrested:
An airport representative will collect the two forms and begin
verifying their information. First, they will call their mobile phone
number to confirm it rings right in front of them. If it does not
ring, the person may have listed inaccurate information and is asked
to verify the number. If the person refuses to provide a phone number
that can be answered on the spot, law enforcement is contacted and
they are subject to citation and arrest.
The supposed basis for the government’s demands for airlines to
collect and pass on more information about travelers has shifted from
“security” to “health.” But what’s happening is just another chapter
in a long-running story.
Understanding that story requires a deep dive into twenty years of
history of airline and government collaboration and conflict over
collection and use of data about travelers.
Here’s some of the factual and historical context that the Times overlooked:
KTDI is a “surveillance-by-design” vision for tracking and control of
travelers more dystopian than anything we have seen before.
KTDI would use a blockchain-based distributed ledger to bind together,
through an app on a traveler’s mobile device, all of the following
Biometrics (initially facial images, possibly also fingerprints, etc.)
Government-issued ID credentials (passport number, etc.)
Travel history including logs of border crossings, hotel stays,
and possibly also car rentals and/or other events
Purchase logs and possibly bank account information and/or other
financial and transaction records
Pre-crime predictive “risk assessment” and profiling scores
generated at each “intervention” point before and during each trip or
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