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Free Speech
One Database to Rule Them All: The Invisible Content Cartel That Undermines The Freedom of Expression Online

By Svea Windwehr and Jillian C. York
Every year, millions of images, videos and posts that allegedly contain terrorist or violent extremist content are removed from social media platforms like YouTube, Facebook, or Twitter. A key force behind these takedowns is the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism (GIFCT), an industry-led initiative that seeks to “prevent terrorists and violent extremists from exploiting digital platforms.” And unfortunately, GIFCT has the potential to have a massive (and disproportionate) negative impact on the freedom of expression of certain communities.
Social media platforms have long struggled with the problem of extremist or violent content on their platforms. Platforms may have an intrinsic interest in offering their users an online environment free from unpleasant content, which is why most social media platforms’ terms of service contain a variety of speech provisions. During the past decade, however, social media platforms have also come under increasing pressure from governments around the globe to respond to violent and extremist content on their platforms. Spurred by the terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and guided by the shortsighted belief that censorship is an effective tool against extremism, governments have been turning to content moderation as a means to fix international terrorism.

Commercial content moderation is the process through which platforms—more specifically, human reviewers or, very often, machines—make decisions about what content can and cannot be on their sites, based on their own Terms of Service, “community standards,” or other rules.
During the coronavirus pandemic, social media companies have been less able to use human content reviewers, and are instead increasingly relying on machine learning algorithms to moderate content as well as flag it.  Those algorithms, which are really just a set of instructions for doing something, are fed with an initial set of rules and lots of training data in the hopes that they will learn to identify similar content  But human speech is a complex social phenomenon and highly context-dependent; inevitably, content moderation algorithms make mistakes. What is worse, because machine-learning algorithms usually operate as black boxes that do not explain how they arrived at a decision, and as companies generally do not share either the basic assumptions underpinning their technology or their training data sets, third parties can do little to prevent those mistakes.
This problem has become more acute with the introduction of hashing databases for tracking and removing extremist content. Hashes are digital “fingerprints” of content that companies use to identify and remove content from their platforms. They are essentially unique, and allow for easy identification of specific content. When an image is identified as “terrorist content,” it is tagged with a hash and entered into a database, allowing any future uploads of the same image to be easily identified.
This is exactly what the GIFCT initiative aims to do: Share a massive database of alleged ‘terrorist’ content, contributed voluntarily by companies, amongst members of its coalition. The database collects ‘hashes’, or unique fingerprints, of alleged ‘terrorist’, or extremist and violent content, rather than the content itself. GIFCT members can then use the database to check in real time whether content that users want to upload matches material in the database. While that sounds like an efficient approach to the challenging task of correctly identifying and taking down terrorist content, it also means that one single database might be used to determine what is permissible speech, and what is taken down—across the entire Internet.
Countless examples have proven that it is very difficult for human reviewers—and impossible for algorithms—to consistently get the nuances of activism, counter-speech, and extremist content itself right. The result is that many instances of legitimate speech are falsely categorized as terrorist content and removed from social media platforms. Due to the proliferation of the GIFCT database, any mistaken classification of a video, picture or post as ‘terrorist’ content echoes across social media platforms, undermining users’ right to free expression on several platforms at once. And that, in turn, can have catastrophic effects on the Internet as a space for memory and documentation. Blunt content moderation systems can lead to the deletion of vital information not available elsewhere, such as evidence of human rights violations or war crimes. For example, the Syrian Archive, an NGO dedicated to collecting, sharing and archiving evidence of atrocities committed during the Syrian war reports that hundred of thousand videos of war atrocities are removed by YouTube annually. The Archive estimates that take down rates for videos documenting Syrian human rights violations is circa 13%, a number that has almost doubled to 20% in the wake of the coronavirus crisis. As noted, many social media platforms, including YouTube, have been using algorithmic tools for content moderation more heavily than usual, resulting in increased takedowns. If, or when, YouTube contributes hashes of content that depicts Syrian human rights violations, but has been tagged as ‘terrorist’ content by YouTube’s algorithms to the GIFCT database, that content could be deleted forever across multiple platforms.


The GIFCT content cartel not only risks losing valuable human rights documentation, but also has a disproportionately negative effect on some communities. Defining ‘terrorism’ is a inherently political undertaking, and rarely stable across time and space. Absent international agreement on what exactly constitutes terrorist, or even violent and extremist, content, companies look at the United Nations’ list of designated terrorist organizations or the US State Department’s list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations. But those lists mainly consist of Islamist organizations, and are largely blind to, for example, right-wing extremist groups. That means that the burden of GIFCT’s misclassifications falls disproportionately on Muslim and Arab communities and highlights the fine line between an effective initiative to tackle the worst content online and sweeping censorship.
Ever since the attacks on two Mosques in Christchurch in March 2019, GIFCT has been more prominent than ever. In response to the shooting, during which 51 people were killed, French President Emmanuel Macron and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern launched the Christchurch Call. That initiative, which aims to eliminate violent and extremist content online, foresees a prominent role for GIFCT. In the wake of this renewed focus on GIFCT, the initiative announced that it would evolve to an independent organization, including a new Independent Advisory Committee (IAC) to represent the voices of civil society, government, and inter-governmental entities.
However, the Operating Board, where real power resides, remains in the hands of industry. And the Independent Advisory Committee is already seriously flawed, as a coalition of civil liberties organizations has repeatedly noted.
For example, governments participating in the IAC are likely to leverage their position to influence companies’ content moderation policies and shape definitions of terrorist content that fit their interests, away from the public and eye and therefore lacking accountability. Including governments in the IAC could also undermine the meaningful participation of civil society organizations as many are financially dependent on governments, or might face threats of reprisals for criticism government officials in that forum. As long as civil society is treated as an afterthought, GIFCT will never be an effective multi-stakeholder forum. GIFCT’s flaws and their devastating effects on the freedom of expression, human rights, and the preservation of evidence of war crimes have been known for years. Civil societies organizations have tried to help reform the organization, but GIFCT and its new Executive Director have remained unresponsive. Which leads to the final problem with the IAC: leading NGOs are choosing not to participate at all


Where does this leave GIFCT and the millions of Internet users its policies impact? Not in a good place. Without meaningful civil society representation and involvement, full transparency and effective accountability mechanisms, GIFCT risks becoming yet another industry-led forum that promises multi-stakeholderism but delivers little more than government-sanctioned window-dressing.

Source: EFF.org
[Fascist Victoria Premier] Andrews ‘must go tonight’ after horrible example of ‘inexcusable powers’

https://youtu.be/hcHUGZGT9V4
Peter Hitchens quoting lawyer: The regulation used to fine Piers Corbyn – 5b of the Coronavirus Act – ‘was hastily made law the day before the [Trafalgar Square] demonstration was held’

We have ceased to be a parliamentary democracy. There was no military putsch. Nobody passed an Enabling Act allowing rule by decree. But the House of Lords and the House of Commons are now the Dead Parrot Parliament.
They are dead because they do nothing to hold the Government to account. They are parrots because, when asked, they obediently confirm decrees Downing Street put into effect, sometimes weeks before. We used to jeer that the so-called parliaments of Communist and Fascist states were mere rubber stamps. Well, we cannot jeer now.
The most shocking instance of this so far was the £10,000 fine imposed on the eccentric weather forecaster Piers Corbyn (brother of Jeremy) for his part in organising a protest in London. 
That protest has, in my view, been wrongly portrayed as a mass of weirdos and conspiracy theorists. No doubt such people, and worse, were there. But many went to it out of a feeling their liberties are fast disappearing under a strange new regime based on fear and panic. 

The keen-eyed lawyer Matthew Scott, an experienced barrister, is among many neutral observers greatly disturbed by what is happening. You may not like Mr Corbyn, and I have my problems with him, too. But he is in a fine and ancient tradition of troublemakers who have endured derision for standing up for what they think is right, so helping to keep us all free. They did not care if they were liked.

But what Mr Scott says is deeply worrying. The regulation used to fine Mr Corbyn – 5b of the Coronavirus Act – ‘was hastily made law the day before the demonstration was held. It was introduced under an emergency procedure and was neither debated nor given even the most cursory scrutiny by any parliamentary process.

Read more: Peter Hitchens quoting lawyer: The regulation used to fine Piers Corbyn – 5b of the Coronavirus Act – ‘was hastily made law the day before the [Trafalgar Square] demonstration was held’


https://hitchensblog.mailonsunday.co.uk/
WHY FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION IS SO IMPORTANT

By Zachary Yost
If one were to come up with a word cloud for the year 2020, among the largest words, such as “awful” and “disaster” one would most assuredly find the word “lonely.” Thanks to the convenient excuse of covid, numerous state governments instituted a regime of veritable house arrest for their citizens. Streets were deserted, stores empty, churches closed by government decree. Restaurants and bars usually filled to the brim with happy chatting people were instead filled with an eerie silence, punctuated, perhaps, only by the muffled cries of proprietors lamenting their imminent bankruptcy.
While in most places the “social distancing” has lessened in its severity, there are still many hindrances to what would be considered normal social existence, as the horror stories coming out of colleges and schools demonstrate all too clearly. Sadly, but not unexpectedly, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a widespread increase in anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and suicidal ideation among the population. Young people have been especially hard hit, with over 25 percent of those ages 18–24 experiencing suicidal ideation.

None of this is surprising. In the words of Aristotle, “man is a social animal,” after all. Under such circumstances, the recent publication of the book Why Associations Matter: The Case for First Amendment Pluralism by Professor Luke Sheahan at Duquesne University could hardly be more timely and needed. In this short and easy-to-follow, yet thorough, work, Sheahan guides the reader through not only a crash course in why the right of free association is necessary for human life and liberty but also through the current state of First Amendment jurisprudence on the subject and a potential legal theory under which the right to association could be operationalized in the courts.
Sheahan opens the book with a short example of freedom of association under attack from the Harry Potter series, specifically the way in which the Ministry of Magic, having effectively nationalized and taken over Hogwarts, banned any groups and gatherings not sanctioned by the authorities at the school. Sheahan asks “What is it about an alternative source of authority, even one as mild as an independent student group, that rankles the ministry?” Tyrants, in whatever form they take, inevitably hate and work to destroy private associations. Such associations are outside of their control and are an alternative pole of allegiance, and therefore must be eliminated.
Such an obvious attack on an essential liberty might seem fanciful to Harry Potter fans, Sheahan notes, but unfortunately, due to recent Supreme Court jurisprudence, such an attack bears an uncomfortable resemblance in some respects to the world we actually inhabit now.
The villain Sheahan points to is not He Who Must Not Be Named, but rather the 2010 Supreme Court case Christian Legal Society vs. Martinez, a case dealing with whether or not a student group was allowed to require voting members and leadership to agree to a statement of faith. Sheahan heralds this case as the point at which the Supreme Court fully erased the freedom of association from legal precedent. He meticulously traces out the way in which First Amendment jurisprudence on the issue has evolved leading up to the Martinez decision. He identifies a trend of freedom of association coming to be recognized only in the context of the freedom of expression, which he identifies as the First Amendment dichotomy.
This evolution culminates in the aforementioned case, in which, in Sheahan’s words, the court “only considered First Amendment rights in terms of speech. This maneuver by the Court effectively removes the freedom of association from First Amendment protection. To sum up: a public forum, governed by the First Amendment and created by a public university for the express purpose of allowing groups to form, was not required by the Supreme Court to protect freedom of associations for groups that formed there.”
If Christian Legal Society vs. Martinez is central to the legal aspect of Sheahan’s argument, the works of the sociologist Robert Nisbet serve as the underlying foundation for the sociological and political understanding of association that explains why freedom of association is so important in the first place. Sheahan provides a chapter-length summary of many of Nisbet’s key points regarding the sociology of groups and social pluralism that establishes a “theory of the social” that serves as the foundation for the rest of the book. Even standing alone this section is a valuable introductory resource on Nisbet’s work and would be beneficial for readers who are not yet familiar with his strong critiques of the centralizing state.


Having laid out a theory of the social that contextualizes just why the freedom to associate is necessary for human life itself and demonstrated that such freedom is clearly under threat under the prevailing legal doctrine, Sheahan turns to explicating an alternative legal doctrine to the First Amendment dichotomy, which he calls First Amendment pluralism.
Sheahan argues that courts must recognize that expressive association, while important, is not the only aspect of association that must be protected. The First Amendment guarantees the right to assemble, but people assemble for far more than to exercise free speech. Every group has some kind of function and develops dogmas to help achieve that end. If the legal system only protects groups when they are engaged in free expression and does not protect their functional integrity, meaning their ability to wield authority within the group itself that preserves the end for which the group exists, the system has left the existential core of the group defenseless.
Having worked through what First Amendment pluralism would look like, Sheahan proposes a judicial test that he calls the functional autonomy test as a method of operation and also suggests a draft piece of legislation modeled on the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act that could serve as a legislative basis for the principle.
In this short book, Sheahan explores many of the facets of the sociology of groups and interprets them into the legal and judicial sphere in a manner that any reasonably informed layperson should find easy to understand. He does so with thoroughness for both his own ideas and alternative interpretations and proposals. His evenhandedness is especially on display when addressing the thorny issue of freedom of association as it relates to groups that desire to restrict membership based on race and how they should be considered, both sociologically and legally. Laypeople, as well as those pursuing or interested in pursuing a legal career, will likely find the book to be a most edifying and worthwhile read.

Source: Mises.org
FREEDOM or FASCISM ?

Here we are. No more speculation about ‘what awaits around the corner’; the jail keepers are escorting us down the concrete corridor and the cell keys are hanging from his belt. Each one of us, in turn, convicted  – without notice and without trial – of being Human and electing to express ourselves accordingly.  That is the new definition of ‘terrorist’.
The battle lines are drawn; there is no other way to honestly state it, we are in the fight of – and for – our lives. We go forward, with the courage and conviction which comes with refusing to be derailed from the path of truth. Or, capitulate to the central control system and fall into a very dark pit from which there is no charted escape. 
We shall know each other by the calibre of our actions. We do not have to wear a badge announcing ‘the resistance’. The army that we are becoming is forming organically. No uniform required, no ‘uniformity’ visible. We know our task and do not need to wait for a command.
We are aware of the composition of the war being waged upon us. And we are aware of being susceptible to certain elements of its dark agenda. So we know we have to rid ourselves of those vulnerabilities in order to come out on top. That is the first lesson in the art of this form of warfare. A warrior without self discipline and self awareness, is a lost cause.
Confronting an often invisible enemy is a new game. Yet a key component of our repressor’s armoury draws upon weaponised digital, algorithmic and irradiating technologies. One deals with these by withdrawing one’s allegiance to the tools and practices of a mind controlling  ‘convenience’ culture.
The tyranny which is now directly manifesting has taken hold as a result of the inability, or unwillingness, of those in positions of responsibility to break the top-down anti-life chain of command and stand firm for truth and justice. Fear and bribery are the main tools being exerted to silence those who should not be silent. 
This is leading to the complete capitulation – amongst all categories of  ‘officers of the state’ – to maintain integrity, responsibility and the imperative to uphold fundamentally civilised moral standards.
Yet there are many awakening to the realisation of their imprisonment. For some, this provokes a desire to seek shelter from the storm and, if possible, to turn a blind eye to recognising the degree to which their imprisonment stretches out into all corners of their daily lives. But others, sensing the profound implications of what lies in store should they not take action, turn to face the music and become warriors in the cause of justice, truth and liberty.
Now the beauty of turning to face the music, is that an unseen cosmic element immediately provides support in the mission one has chosen to undertake. Whereas for those who try to hide, no such propitious event occurs. 
Choosing freedom makes one powerful. But carries with it a keen sense of responsibility to ‘practice as one preaches’. It is not really possible to ditch all one’s bad habits in one go, as those starting out on the conscious path find out. But is is possible, and absolutely necessary, to act on one’s key digressions without delay.
Making the decision to oppose the ways of the deep state and its corporate globalisation spider’s web cannot involve resisting it with one hand and supporting it with the other. That is the road to somewhere worse than nowhere and the antithesis of the warrior’s path. 
In order to ensure continuity between one’s words and one’s actions, one needs to take a quick scan of those daily routines that are not in line with one’s determination to stand for justice, truth and liberty.
The most obvious priorities, given the nature of our oppressors, is to withdraw one’s support (money) from the major banks; one’s food purchasing from the major supermarkets and one’s medicines from the major pharmaceutical companies. Other steps will follow, but without starting by withdrawing one’s support for these great behemoths of rampant social, ecological and economic degradation, can one really say that one is standing against fascism and for freedom? 
The dictatorship descending upon us – using the alibi of the current Covid chimera – provides the starkest opportunity most will ever have to turn to face the music. It is exactly the right catalyst to make one see, or at least seek, the truth – and then act on it. 
The intentional chaos now manifesting, is our wake-up call. The preplanned ‘order out of chaos’ is the imposition of a fascist state; it’s that simple. And we have plenty of time to recognise the symptoms. 
Every artery of society, in whatever part of the (post) industrialised ‘democratic’ world one might live in, has been steadily poisoned by the social engineering, predictive planning and creeping technocratic agenda emanating from the deep state’s global ambition to rule the world. An ambition held earlier by the backers of Hitler in Nazi Germany, Franco in Spain Mussolini in Italy and Stalin in Russia – to name a few.
Our political institutions have capitulated to the blueprint of the Fourth Reich and most of the population have gone along with them, not realising what agenda is being played-out.
The leading edge of the ‘new’ fascism is not an army of occupation, but a digital re-programming of the human mind. A technological toxic blanket of ‘virtual’ control separating man from nature, thus destroying the foundations of human evolution.
We who are now joining together, are doing so to create an army able to resist and turn around this cult of death. That’s why our own integrity in ‘practising as we preach’ is so vital. We must use our powers of discrimination to see through our own vacillations, and to dump the supposed ‘conveniences’ that undermine and delay our active commitment to respond to the key imperatives of our time. 
Then, slowly but surely, the compromises that detour us from our goal – only to refresh the pockets of those we claim to be fighting – will be deleted and done away with. The integrated beings who emerge via successfully battling with their own vicissitudes, will be the only ones capable of taking-on the seemingly immovable oppressors of this planet, its peoples and all the living entities that comprise its vast diversity.
The emancipation of all these rests upon the courage and voracity we invest into harnessing our inner and outer drives for integrity and truth. That is what it actually means to choose freedom over fascism.
Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, writer, international activist, entrepreneur and teacher. His latest book ‘Overcoming the Robotic Mind – Why Humanity Must Come Through’ is particularly prescient reading for this time: see www.julianrose.info
It is pretty clear today that what was once a government has by and large been replaced by Governance and the politburo and yes brigade is now firmly in the driving seat, the limits to protest and the growth that normally follows it has basicallly been silenced because of it, has been trimmed down to size as I mentioned earlier in how the number six has come into play arcross the smorgasbord.

I can hear the critics saying, we will be talking until the cash cows have already come home to roost and been milked of what is left from a society, one now quietly in free fall, this is exactly what is happening as we speak and listen, and speak some more and so on, if we carry on we are putting all of our horses before the governors carts for them to cary away any voice and product we thought we had left.

I see this, not a future that we fear, but a past we are already living, and have yet to do anything real about it, like refusing to exchange our labour for their worthless tokens, or supporting the underdog that does not float in and upon the Amazon Jungle and money raft that we use debt as our disposable income.
(08-02-2020, 04:34 PM)Firestarter Wrote: The Dutch language site Rechtenforum.nl, where I estimate that my posts got more than a million views has been taken offline since 20 July (at least that’s when I discovered it) after making my last post on 17 July...
After 7 weeks, Rechtenforum returned... and then “locked” my thread on the coronavirus scam...


Youtube decided to delete Ron Paul’s Liberty Report.
I really don’t know if this was done to boost Paul’s credibility: https://twitter.com/RonPaul

Reportedly this was the last uploaded Ron Paul video: https://www.bitchute.com/video/4oAqI1dkHUU6/


As William Barr has asked Congress to approve censoring online platforms; President Donald warned he is: "watching them very closely during this election cycle.

At the urging of the radical left, these platforms have become intolerant of diverse political views and abusive toward their own users
": https://www.npr.org/2020/09/23/916096008...gal-shield

The following section shows, that Bill Barr’s DoJ under the new “protecting free speech” proposal can simply send “notice” to some internet platform, citing some legal BS, and then expect the platform to immediately remove contents (small outlets don’t have a legal team to understand the legal mumbo jumbo)...
Quote:c. Case-Specific Carve-outs for Actual Knowledge or Court Judgments. Third, the Department supports reforms to make clear that Section 230 immunity does not apply in a specific case where a platform had actual knowledge or notice that the third party content at issue violated federal criminal law or where the platform was provided with a court judgment that content is unlawful in any respect.
https://www.justice.gov/ag/department-ju...y-act-1996

Attorney General Barr can also decide which platforms are allowed to get money from the US government: http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread....ost6956008

Let’s call that “protecting free speech” that sounds soo much better than censoring dissident voices in the last 6 weeks before the election!
Donald Trump is very cozy with the Rothschild crime syndicate: www.lawfulpath.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1038&start=40#p4587
(09-25-2020, 02:38 PM)Firestarter Wrote: Youtube decided to delete Ron Paul’s Liberty Report.
I really don’t know if this was done to boost Paul’s credibility: https://twitter.com/RonPaul

Reportedly this was the last uploaded Ron Paul video: https://www.bitchute.com/video/4oAqI1dkHUU6/
After that Ron Paul appears to have suffered from a “minor” stroke on-air and was hospitalised.
He tweeted that “I am doing fine”, with a photo of him in hospital bed.
https://youtu.be/4kgmqPahsSE
Donald Trump is very cozy with the Rothschild crime syndicate: www.lawfulpath.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1038&start=40#p4587
Ron Paul’s team asked Youtube for an explanation why his video on the COVID-19 hysteria was deleted...

Apparently Youtube doesn’t allow criticism of “the efficacy of the World Health Organization or local health authorities”!
[Image: who.jpg?width=461px&height=142px]
http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/fea...lieve-why/
Donald Trump is very cozy with the Rothschild crime syndicate: www.lawfulpath.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1038&start=40#p4587
Human Rights Watchdog Says Governments Using Pandemic To Crack Down On Online Dissent

Governments around the world are using the ongoing pandemic to crack down on online dissent according to a human rights watchdog.
Washington-based Freedom House said dozens of countries have cited CV as a means “to justify expanded surveillance powers and the deployment of new technologies that were once seen as too intrusive.” They added that it marks the 10th consecutive annual decline in internet freedom, Barron’s reported.
The expansion of technological systems is enabling governments social control, according to the report.
“The pandemic is accelerating society’s reliance on digital technologies at a time when the internet is becoming less and less free,” said Michael Abramowitz, president of the nonprofit group.

“Without adequate safeguards for privacy and the rule of law, these technologies can be easily repurposed for political repression.”
China was singled out in the report noting, Chinese authorities “combined low- and high-tech tools not only to manage the outbreak of the coronavirus, but also to deter internet users from sharing information from independent sources and challenging the official narrative.”
The report stated this shows a growing trend toward Chinese-style “digital authoritarianism” globally and a “splintering” of the internet as each government imposes its own regulations for citizens.
Freedom House said that of the estimated 3.8 billion people using the internet, just 20 percent live in countries with a free internet, 32 percent in countries “partly free,” while 35 percent were in places where online activities are not free. The remainder live in countries that weren’t among the 65 assessed.
The report cited declines in countries where authorities have imposed internet shutdowns including Myanmar, Kyrgyzstan and India, and in Rwanda for its use of “sophisticated spyware to monitor and intimidate exiled dissidents.”
Activist Post has previously reported that countries were using the pandemic to shutdown online dissent back in May of this year. Expressing that governments around the world were using fake news to hide behind their online censorship efforts. Hungary is one of the countries that began arresting citizens for allegedly spreading fake news related to the CV pandemic as ordered by Prime Minister Viktor Orban.


Hungary isn’t the only country that is using the CV crisis to push draconian laws on its citizens.  Activist Post  previously reported early on during the CV outbreak that two individuals were arrested under Thailand’s new “Anti-Fake News Center” for spreading false information about the coronavirus. Malaysia also issued four arrests of its citizens for spreading rumors and “disinformation,” according to a report by Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post. Those “suspects” included a tutor, two pharmacy assistants and a university student whom if found guilty will face upwards to a $12,000 fine and up to 1 year in prison if convicted.
Then there is China, which arrested 8 people who were charged with spreading rumors about a virus before the coronavirus was publicly known. Beyond that, China recently highlighted what can be done with such a law by censoring a media outlet Caijing, which is one of the most reputable outlets in the country. In that article the authors claimed that China significantly under reported both the cases and deaths, especially among the elderly. (archive) (translation)
Another country, Singapore, on April 1st proposed a law to combat online fake news. Under the draft law, those who spread online falsehoods with a malicious intent to harm public interest could face jail terms of up to 10 years, Reuters reported.
Activist Post previously highlighted that the CV pandemic would be used as a Trojan horse to take away our rights and be used to push increased digital surveillance via our smartphones. But that’s not all, it also serves a means for other facial recognition technology to be more frequently used. Top10VPN continues to monitor the increase of the police state and decrease of our digital and physical rights noting the following figures.
[ul]
[li]120 contact tracing apps are available in 71 countries[/li]
[li]45 apps now use Google and Apple’s API[/li]
[li]The U.S. has 23 apps, more than any other country in the world[/li]
[li]19 apps, with 4 million downloads combined, have no privacy policy[/li]
[/ul]
Digital Tracking Measures:
[ul]
[li]60 digital tracking measures have been introduced in 38 countries[/li]
[li]Telecom providers have shared user data in 20 countries[/li]
[/ul]
Physical Surveillance Initiatives:
[ul]
[li]43 physical surveillance measures have been adopted in 27 countries[/li]
[li]Drones have been used 22 countries to help enforce lockdowns[/li]
[li]Europe introduced more surveillance measures than any other region[/li]
As Activist Post previously wrote while discussing the increase of a police surveillance state, these measures being put into place now will likely remain long after the pandemic has stopped and the virus has run its course. That’s the everlasting effect that COVID-19 will have on our society.  The coronavirus may very well be a legitimate health concern for all of us around the world. But it’s the government’s response that should worry us all more in the long run.**By [@An0nkn0wledge](https://hive.blog/@an0nkn0wledge)**Aaron Kesel writes for Activist Post[/ul]
  
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