The federal government is talking to Big Tech firms such as Google and Facebook to get a hold of location data from smartphones supposedly in order to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Many tech bigwigs met at the White House on Sunday to discuss all the possibilities for the government to exploit this crisis in order to infringe upon the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.
An official from the White House’s Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) said to the Washington Post that the Trump Administration is “encouraged by American technology companies looking to leverage, aggregate, anonymized data to glean key insights for COVID-19 modeling efforts.”
U.S. Chief Technology Officer Michael Kratsios is responsible for bringing all the tech leaders together to figure out new ways for Big Brother to devastate privacy rights.
“The White House’s top priority is ensuring the safety and health of the American people amid the COVID-19 outbreak,” Kratsios said in a statement. “Cutting edge technology companies and major online platforms will play a critical role in this all-hands-on-deck effort.”
The U.S. may end up following in the footsteps of the state of Israel, which has implemented geotracking surveillance on its citizenry because of the coronavirus panic. The government claimed they could not waste time in seizing power because so many lives were at stake.
“Because the pandemic is spreading at an incredibly fast pace, postponing using these tools by even an hour could cause the deaths of a very large amount of Israelis,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at a press conference about the emergency measures.
“I am well aware of the sensitivity of this matter and therefore have instructed that only a very limited number of agents will be handling this and the information will not be saved,” said Nadav Argaman, who leads the Israeli internal security agency.
Some Israelis are up in arms about the controversial moves taken by Netanyahu to curtail civil liberties during a time of crisis.
“It is improper that this is the way using such means is authorized, without parliamentary and public oversight,” said Israeli Blue and White leader Gabi Ashkenazi.
“The citizens of Israel are not terrorists,” said Labor-Meretz Knesset member Merav Michaeli. “There is no justification for such extreme and dangerous steps.”
The coronavirus has given government officials carte blanche to overstep their authority and usurp power. The people may never get their liberties back when this panic is all said and done.