The coronavirus pandemic is not only causing anxiety for everyone as we shutter inside our homes to help mitigate the spread of the virus, but it is also raising rather disturbing privacy and civil rights concerns.
Your Rights vs the Lockdown
While there is much debate over the restrictions that should be put in place to help curb the spread of coronavirus, but there is little to no mention of the effect these restrictions are having on our civil and constitutional rights. Some claim this is not the time or the place to discuss rights while we are battling a pandemic, to the contrary, this should be the exact time to discuss these things.
A brave American once said…
Now before you misconstrue what I am saying, let me make it clear that I by no means wish for anyone to be harmed nor do I wish for anyone to get sick. I’m merely posing a question that many seem to be either too naive to consider or too afraid to confront. Obviously, we need to be adhering to common sense guidelines to keep each other safe—but we also need to consider the delicate balance between measures to keep us safe versus measures that infringe on our rights as citizens of this republic.
Government App to Leave Wuhan
As we begin to bend the curve and mitigate the reach of the coronavirus we are confronted with a new point of concern. The city of Wuhan in China has recently lifted their lock down with one caveat. Those leaving the city limits are required to download a government mandated app to not only track both their whereabouts and whether or not they are currently infected with the virus.
According to the NY Times,
But a New York Times analysis of the software’s code found that the system does more than decide in real-time whether someone poses a contagion risk. It also appears to share information with the police, setting a template for new forms of automated social control that could persist long after the epidemic subsides.
Using an app to track whether or not people pose a contaigon risk is a sensible way to try and reduce the transmission of the virus. Yet as with most government implemented tracking methods, it will not stop there. We are seeing that play out in real time as communist China is exploiting this app to control the populace long after the epidemic subsides.
Should This Happen in the United States
China can easily get away with tracking its citizens—after all, that’s what a communist country does best. The question will soon become would this type of tracking be accepted here in the United States? The one thing that separates us from countries like communist China is our Constitution. It is essential that despite the crisis people realize their constitutional rights and keep them in mind after this pandemic subsides.