The fear that the global pandemic of the new coronavirus will be used to justify a new world order based on a hyper-surveillance system becomes increasingly real. All over the world, multiple projects abound to build a global surveillance and remote monitoring system that stores data about all citizens and controls them partially or totally to prevent the spread of a new infection. Civil liberties, which for centuries have been a real pillar of Western thought and liberal ideology, now appear to be expendable in the name of “preventing a new pandemic”.
In fact, this reality has already begun. On this topic, a group of researchers recently published an article in Reuters, making a large and well-elaborated denunciation about the projects of surveillance and violation of civil liberties. According to this text, at least eight cyber intelligence companies are already involved in monitoring projects under the excuse of helping governments to control the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of these companies is Israeli Cellebrite, a renowned corporation in the field of data technology. The authors of the article tracked an email pitch from Cellebrite to police authorities in Delhi, India, where the company briefly exposes its work, stating that it can use to control the quarantine of infected people the same technology it uses to assist authorities in controlling fugitives and wanted by the police, quickly identifying the location, data and contacts of any person infected with COVID-19. In the e-mail, the company states that such a mechanism should be used at first by consensus; however, nothing prevents it from being compulsorily applied in some more delicate cases in order to safeguard general security. In practice, this means that being infected with a virus will very soon be analogous to being a criminal.
The expert and technologist Chris Garaffa, in a recent statement, expressed his opinion about the proposal presented by Cellebrite saying:
“Ultimately what Cellebrite’s GrayKey does is get a copy of everything on your device. Now, think about what’s on your phone. Not just the photos or emails… So, now Cellebrite is offering these tools to more governments under the guise of tracking the spread of COVID-19. They’re suggesting to governments that they purchase these GrayKey and other devices,