Post-Pandemic Government Power Sparking Global Concerns Over Delayed Elections, Mass Surveillance
As leaders seize powers to fight coronavirus, fears are growing over invasive government powers.
Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch: “September 11th is the appropriate analogy. We had a fearful public that was willing to countenance a government that was taking steps that undermined civil rights and were difficult to reverse over a long time.”
Has the government gone too far? https://t.co/TgKD8hXNON
— The Ann and Phelim Scoop (@AP_Scoop) April 13, 2020
Democratic nations are embracing strict and invasive government powers to combat the coronavirus, sparking concerns that all that amassed power may not be given back after the pandemic is over.
Lawmakers and civil rights watchdogs are worried that expanded government powers, while maybe necessary to slow the coronavirus, will become permanent fixtures after the pandemic is dealt with, according to The Washington Post. Restrictions around the world have ranged from closing businesses and public places to postponing elections and tapping into cell phone tracking data.
In the United States, the watchdog group Human Rights Watch compared the potential for civil rights abuses over the coronavirus to steps taken after 9-11 to combat terrorism.
The Trump administration is considering building a federal database to track COVID-19 cases by compiling personal healthcare data that is in the hands of private companies. The administration has already reached out to several firms about the possibility, Juvare CEO Robert Watson said.
“We dealt with similar issues in 9/11,” Jessica Rich, a former director of the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection bureau, told Politico last week. “One reason that the government doesn’t have all of this data is there’s a lot of concern about big brother maintaining large databases on every consumer on sensitive issues like health, and for good reason.” More
I said this months ago. Entire governments top to bottom are going to want to keep this fun new power they have. Good luck getting rid of it now. President Trump gave social distancing guidance but he isn’t the one who shut down our economy; the state governors did. Some of the governors, as well as some local officials, seem overly eager to boss around the citizens as we saw with the restrictions on Easter services and forbidding relatives to visit one another. Some states have also postponed primaries and local elections.