Surveillance State in times of Covid, or normalize the exception

States feed off of fear. They grow with each bite, and to his fatness, they call security. And the more space it occupies, the less room is left for freedom and to –its way more discreet and individual– privacy.So it was, for example, with the Patriot Act enacted in the united States after the eleven September 2001, and well being today with the Covid19. With the first, every person became a potential terrorist that should be proactively monitored; with the second, we are all pathogens: the monitoring then becomes a matter of public health.Location tracking and mobile data; applications to register if you’ve had contact with some infected; surveillance cameras with facial recognition; readers body temperature; drones that haunt the people who go out to their houses. There are few governments in the world that are not emulating these actions (not because I don’t want to, but for lack of technology), originally implemented by China, concerning well known in the field of controls liberticidas. These security measures are erasing the distinctions between authoritarian governments and democratic in the field of citizen oversight, reminding us that the State not wasted an exception to grow (Top10VPN created a platform for further new apps of surveillance created and their use is being discriminated against by country).Since the end of January was circulated the information that China uses drones with speakers to ensure that their nationals wear a face mask and remain in their homes. Photo: K15 Photos / pexels.comLo unpublished of this phenomenon, as well as of all the that have been derived from the coronavirus, is its global scale. Not so much in the States, always hungry for others ‘ privacy, but by the individuals themselves, for fear, begging to surveillance regardless of the future consequences, or perhaps believing that they will be transitory. But there is nothing more permanent than a temporary measure of the State. The State does not slimming as quickly as feedlot; is very jealous of his obesity. And if these measures are useful to combat a pandemic, it will be even more to combat objections policies.This is not to deny that situations like this require exceptional measures, effective decisions that may not take long deliberations and parliamentary polls of public opinions. Although neither one admits that this is the first disease with cure unknown irrigated in this century (remember the Sars-Cov-1 in 2003); while the scientists insisted on the importance of the research, not made to the relevant case. The individual responsibility also plays a role of first importance; decide to stay home after having meditated upon the reasons, and not because you say so on television, is also a form of exercising freedom and reason.The concern lies in the tendency to use the State of Exception as a paradigm of a normal government, the suspension of constitutional guarantees and individual rights (freedom of transit, freedom of assembly and the privacy of this information) as a measure of preventive health in the long term. The Patriot Act remained, as also remained the culture of terror in the media. Now, we are already seeing the first manifestations biopolíticas of passports health cards indexed.The fear is the worst enemy of freedom. Greater the fear, it gives you more freedom and privacy with the hope of safety. But what tactical becomes strategic: governments engolosinan, and do not return so easily to their new powers. Make propaganda, to convince all of us that a new pandemic may be just around the corner, and that without their total surveillance will be impossible to refrenarla. Then they confused the order with the submission; you accept gladly, for your own good, surveillance.Once implemented exceptional measures of surveillance, the State tends to make them permanent, as in the case of the Patriot Act in the united States. Photo: Msporch / pixabay.comVivimos the plague with WiFi. Our life are already digitized, will be digitized more and more. Thus, the panopticon does not need to see you physically to vigilarte: the monitoring is as invisible as a virus. And having our information more valuable and intimate in our devices, use tools to prevent the invasion of privacy is a right and duty as citizens to digital.There are a few who will always resist, that they understand the importance of trying to make a counterweight to the power and use the tools at its disposal to protect the spaces of privacy and individual freedom. This has been the project cypherpunk since its inception, serving a need that is inherently human. So said Eric Hughes in his Manifesto:

People have been defending your privacy for centuries by whispers, darkness, envelopes, closed doors, shaking hands in the key and messengers. The technologies of the past did not allow for the encryption is “strong”, but the current itself. We the cypherpunks, we are dedicated to building systems anonymous. We defend our privacy with cryptography, with systems sending anonymous e-mail, with electronic signatures and with electronic money.A Manifesto Cypherpunk – Eric Hughes

The future, with exceptions increasingly normalized, increasingly looks like a shake orwellian and huxleyano: a society algodonada and irresponsible who gives up his liberty to the surveillance State.Privacy may seem like a Sisyphean task when it is repaired in the dimensions and powers who seek to censure the commission. We insist on the task even in the face of asymmetry of power. Refrain, but not to stop. But as the “privacy loves company” it is necessary to raise the voice and remember the dangers of normalizing the exception, at the risk of that by using privacy tools we will be left increasingly exposed. Privacy is not a luxury-it is the right to an interior life. We must not allow the fear to drive us the freedoms away.Disclaimer: the views and opinions expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Breaking News

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