Technology was supposed to be the great helper to empower man to do more with less, to do it faster and with less risk to humans. As we’ve learned over the millennia, technological advancements have been used by the powerful to exert control over the weak. From weapons of war to imprisonment of mind and body, the only thing that seems to be out of the realm of technology’s reach is the soul.
I’m not one who opposes technology. I love it and use it every day. But when technology becomes more of a burden and controlling mechanism even in a “free” country like the United States, it’s time to question the efficacy of allowing technology to become so pervasive.
This has been a big problem in recent years, but the coronavirus crisis has accelerated some of the most draconian uses of technology that we’ve ever seen. The surveillance state of China is becoming a reality in the United States; this has been seen across the board. But the one that may be the scariest, to me at least, is the rise of drone usage to lift the veil of privacy that Americans should be able to enjoy.
The NY Post covered “pandemic drones” yesterday as Connecticut appears to be trying to out-Orwell the rest of the nation. Their police state dreams are starting to come true as technology is allowing them to check people for coronavirus symptoms with their eye in the sky.
The Westport Police Department on Tuesday tested the “pandemic drone,” which can measure body temperatures, read heart rates, and detect for coughing and sneezing from 190 feet away, according to the drone company Dragonfly.
The department also plans to use drone technology to enforce social distancing at beaches, train stations, parks and other areas where people congregate.
“This technology not only enhances the safety of our officers and the public, but the concept of using drones remains a go-to technology for reaching the most remote areas with little to no manpower needed,” said Westport Chief of Police, Foti Koskinas.
Surely this only applies to public places, right? Governments and law enforcement wouldn’t encroach on our private property or spy on us in draconian fashion just because they can, right? The Constitution still exists and it cannot be subverted, right? Wrong.
When a drone identifies a group of people collected together, such as individuals quarantined in their backyard, it says, “you should not be congregating in groups.” Consequences for refusing to abide by the drones in Elizabeth, NJ include a court summons or a $1,000 fine.
In Lewes, Delaware, the police department is using drones to fly over bike trails and beaches. According to a local news station, the Lewes PD Chief said the state may use the drones in the future to enforce out-of-state quarantine protocols. Anyone with an out-of-state license plate would be subject to the drone.
“We haven’t used it to do a car stop of an out-of-state vehicle yet but we may at some point try that. Actually stop the car with the real police officer and fly the drone up near the window to announce the out-of-state quarantine restrictions the governor has put in place,” said Lewes Police Chief Thomas Spell.
Fear of the coronavirus is making too many Americans willfully compliant towards measures that are unambiguously attacking our freedoms. The dystopian future many have feared isn’t coming. It’s already here.
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