We must constantly be aware of what hard-won freedoms we give to the government. In this way, we remember to bring them back.
Adam Gordon is an international human rights lawyer based in Ottawa, and a former Massivar Bernstein human rights researcher at the New York University School of Law's School of American-Asian Law. He is the co-founder and co-director of [人权共同].
As society began to reopen slowly from the Covid-19 blockade, governments around the world are turning to surveillance measures to ensure that more people are safely reintegrated into society. Face-to-face contact. Most notably, these laws include laws that allow them to use phone data for "contact tracking" and monitoring people who should be quarantined. Among the governments considering such measures, there are not only those known for their dictatorship, but also countries that are relatively free and respect privacy, such as South Korea, the United Kingdom, and even Canada .
Several authors have raised concerns about human rights and privacy. In Western countries (except Trump's US), the focus is not on using these measures at all. Given that the coronavirus pandemic is an unprecedented crisis, it may be necessary to take some special measures to restrict our freedom and privacy. Instead, attention turned to how to implement surveillance, especially the reversibility of such measures once the Covid-19 crisis is over.
Two issues dominated the discussion. The first is that once these measures are passed into law, they will never be repealed. In this case, the right to monitor our phone was originally in response to COVID-19, which will remain on the account book, and the government will quietly seek a new method of using the phone. The second problem is that the use of these strategies may set a precedent for the use of similar privacy violations in smaller crises in the future. This precedent is not only legal, but also social. Society may have greater tolerance for government surveillance, making future surveillance measures easier to implement.
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these concerns are correct. The question is how to deal with these problems.
Will the concerns raised by me and others prevent the government from implementing these measures first? not necessarily. The depth and urgency of the Covid crisis means that if governments believe that implementing these measures can help, they will do so (and so should they). At a deeper level, our government sees itself as an intrinsically responsible and trustworthy person. At least in Western countries, all surveillance measures aimed at abolition will be taken. However, after governments begin to rely on this greater access to our information, they may become reluctant to hand over power.
A solution to the surveillance measures was proposed including the sunset clause which caused the law to lapse after a prescribed period of time, unless Congress extended it. But this only solves the problem that current measures remain unchanged;
this is exactly what happened in which does not solve the increased likelihood of taking similar measures every time the crisis is small Trend: Flooding in Calgary, a pair of killers in northern BC, amber alert. ] Canadian anti-terrorism legislation . Promulgated after 9/11 (an unprecedented crisis comparable to COVID-19), the law contains several extreme measures that will be sunset in 2007. Due to concerns about the impact of human rights, Parliament refused to renew. But then in 2013, after the Boston Marathon bombing, MPs quickly followed the new legislation with these same provisions.
In addition, scholars have discovered that the sunset clause has become " the snooze button of democracy ," and emergency measures that were originally intended to be terminated are usually reauthorized without meaningful evaluation. The problem is that such clauses again push the problem to the government they should have bound.
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So what options do we have? As Economist recently pointed out the best defense will be citizens, civil society organizations, and media that hold our government accountable. After completing COVID-19, all surveillance measures should be rolled back and abandoned Implement new. But the trick is: remember to do this.
When this pandemic crisis begins to pass and life begins to return to normal, people’s minds will focus on meeting friends and family, going to restaurants and movies, and returning home. Go to the office and rebook the cancelled holiday. The last thing in everyone’s mind will be to remind the government to enforce some of the forgotten surveillance laws passed a few months ago, and we have gradually become used to it.
No Did we forget to push the government? To allow us to leave home, visit friends, conduct business, conduct international travel, and move across provinces. The problem with rights such as these is that restrictions on rights cannot be ignored. Unlike some digital monitors that are quietly monitored in the background of your mobile phone or in some invisible databases, these mandatory settings are right in front of us, and no one will simply forget them.
Therefore, if we are to start seriously, considering surveillance and other privacy and rights restrictions, we may counterintuitively consider using more intrusive measures. For example, if we determine that we are satisfied with the government tracking our whereabouts to enforce quarantine, then we should not allow them to use our phone data, but should use more compelling content. An exemplary example, if extreme, would be an electronically monitored ankle bracelet: we may forget or no longer care about the GPS information that the government can access to the phone, but no one will forget or stop caring about Electronic monitoring bracelet. Therefore, minutes of surveillance are no longer needed in this crisis, and Canadians will demand that any surveillance laws be revoked. And when we face smaller crises in the future, it is difficult to persuade us to need such measures again.
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Although electronic bracelets provide vivid examples, they may be a little impractical (if nothing else due to a long-term connection with criminal house arrest). However, the idea that interventions can be implemented in a less radical way should be before us. For example, if our phone data is collected by the government, the law may insist that as long as the policy is in place, we must send a notification to all mobile phones affected by it every day to remind its users of the whereabouts
Essentially, if we To protect ourselves from excessive government control in the long run, we need the measures they implement in the short run to be annoying. They said the squeaking wheels would get grease. Therefore, please make sure that we scream loudly.