Bio-Surveillance: Singapore Issues New Bluetooth Tracking Tags for Citizens
More often than not, you will see one small island state leading the way on all things related to futurism and technocracy. As a self-described ‘smart nation,’ Singapore proudly takes the lead on any new developments in surveillance technology, like facial recognition, and it’s normally sold as something which will ‘improve lives, economic opportunity and build communities.’ So it’s a natural fit to play the role of beta testing ground for the new global bio-surveillance regime now being forced through under the guise of the current ‘pandemic.’
Thus far, we’ve seen a breathtaking leap forward in terms of tracking and social engineering applications related to COVID-19, including new mobile apps which assign green/yellow/red traffic light-style quarantine status levels to people, and governments using mobile phone signal triangulation and geofencing in order to track citizens and enforce isolation quarantines. There’s also disturbing Big Brother apps like FluPhone. We’ve also seen government sucking up data and using mobile alerts to inform people of anyone who has tested positive for COVID within 100 meters of their location. The levels of penetration into one’s life and personal medical health – are unprecedented.
None of this is theoretical any more – it’s what has already been deployed, albeit to varying degrees and in certain regions, in countries like China, South Korea and Singapore. When the COVID crisis first hit, it came as no surprise to see Singapore impose one of the strictest lockdowns and travel restrictions on the planet, and enforced the use of masks. But universal adoption has been hampered in part by generational attitudes and access to technology.
The government in Singapore has launched a new device designed to close that gap. In its bid to supposedly ‘help curb the spread’ of COVID, the government launched its new wearable COVID tracking tag, which is being called a “token.” Under its friendly-sounding brand, TraceTogether, the device uses Bluetooth technology to ping other people nearby using the app – giving the government a running database for tracking potential coronavirus ‘cases.’
NOTE: Readers should be aware that of all the large global corporate mainstream media outlets, Bloomberg News is producing the most amount of ‘pandemic’ propaganda – on a near hourly basis. Follow their Twitter feed to monitor their aggressive promotion of all things COVID; masks, lockdowns and ‘New Normal’ policies.
“It kind of looks like the Apple AirPods case.”
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) September 22, 2020
The new personal track and trace tag is supposed to be ‘voluntary’ but it portends the shape of things to come; by complementing the government’s existing mobile phone app which has achieved nearly 75% adoption among the population, the new Bluetooth tag will help the state to arrive at its goal of tracking 100% of the population.
The initial models are fairly plain, but the government plans to launch a trendier version with new colours to try and make this surveillance device more fashionable.
Since day one, COVID policies in Singapore were among the most obsessive in the world, with state officials seemingly believing they could achieve near “Zero COVID” by constantly tweaking their lockdown strategies, and re-calibrating “exit strategies.” Six months on, there seems to be no sign of pulling back, as the “New Normal” culture has taken on the characteristics of a new state religion in Singapore.
Lipservice to Privacy Concerns
In this age of global media, authoritarian governments and technocrats are getting hip to the need to portray new authoritarian applications as having a ‘democratic’ feel, and something which is only for the collective good, hence the program’s name, “Trace Together.” Any concerns about data protection are usually allayed with platitudes from authorities claiming that the new surveillance technology is there to ‘help vulnerable groups to feel safer.’
Still, in many countries aggressive government COVID contact-tracing programs have triggered public concerns about privacy and surveillance.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg News, Janil Puthucheary, Minister-in-Charge of GovTech Singapore, voiced the new ‘token’ will not track user location and the data collected on each device will be deleted after 25 days. The adoption will also be voluntary.
However, the government gave a totally different answer to the BBC, which reported that the Bluetooth ‘token’ device “helps elderly people keep a precise record of their whereabouts.”
So which is it? It should be pretty clear by now that when governments make claims giving lipservice to fundamental issues like privacy and civil liberties – they are simply telling the press and people what is politically expedient for that moment in time. In general, technocrats believe that concepts like personal privacy and rights are relative to the juggernaut of technology, and are really outdated relics of the past. Technocracy’s ideology strongly believes brave new systems are needed to ‘face the challenges of the future.’
Governments have now enabled an unprecedented global grid of social tracking, but where does it end? People should not be so naive as to think it will not be relatively easy for the state to convert these instruments of bio-surveillance into tools of social control and exclusion. We’re seeing this unfold already in this COVID crisis.
Unless people wake up to this fact and begin to push back, then governments and corporations will simply take their silence as implied consent to the new technocracy police state.
(TLB) published this article as provided by 21Wire
Some emphasis added by (TLB)
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