Canadians Should Be Outraged By Authoritarian Mass Surveillance

‘Temporary’ government powers and attacks on the sovereignty of citizens have a tendency to stick around long after the initial ‘crisis’ has passed. And the government indeed does plan to keep tracking Canadians.

As first revealed by Blacklock’s Reporter, the Canadian government conducted mass surveillance tracking of Canadians without the consent of the Canadian People:

“The Public Health Agency yesterday disclosed it monitored lockdowns by confidentially tracking 33 million mobile devices. Cell tower locators were used to “understand the public’s responsiveness during lockdown measures,” the Agency said: “The Agency collected and used mobility data.””

The Public Health Agency of Canada said they conducted the mass surveillance “Due to the urgency of the pandemic, (PHAC) collected and used mobility data, such as cell-tower location data, throughout the COVID-19 response.”

As noted by the National Post, “The Agency is planning to track population movement for roughly the next five years, including to address other public health issues, such as “other infectious diseases, chronic disease prevention and mental health,” the spokesperson added.”

Temporary fear becomes permanent state power

Canadians should be outraged by this.

The government is once again exploiting the fear generated by a temporary crisis in order to expand their long-term power.

This is what authoritarian and communist states do, and to see it in a ‘free country’ like Canada is appalling.

Note how it’s mentioned above that the government plans to “track population movement for roughly the next five years,” and will use it to “address other public health issues.”

If you read between the lines, you can realize how this lays the groundwork for the permanent mass surveillance of the Canadian People.

Among the ‘issues’ that the government believes justifies the mass tracking of Canadians are ‘mental health’ and ‘chronic disease prevention.’

That is completely wide-open, and if anyone really believes the government will only do that for five years then they’ll believe anything. After all, the government never even asked for your consent or the consent of your fellow Canadians before they decided to institute mass surveillance, so why would they just limit themselves to five more years of it?

Furthermore, the true situation is likely far worse than the government admits:

“I think that the Canadian public will find out about many other such unauthorized surveillance initiatives before the pandemic is over—and afterwards,” David Lyon, author of Pandemic Surveillance and former director of the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University, said in an email.

Lyon warned that PHAC “uses the same kinds of ‘reassuring’ language as national security agencies use, for instance not mentioning possibilities for re-identifying data that has been ‘de-identified.’”

“In principle, of course, cell data can be used for tracking.”

The federal government also shared the data with provinces, meaning that many ‘conservative’ governments were complicit in this mass surveillance program without pushing back, without speaking out, and without being honest with the Canadian People.

This points to the fact that much of our political system – across the political spectrum – has been transformed into one indistinguishable mass of authoritarian statists who seem to view countries like China as a model to follow, rather than the antithesis of what a free nation should be all about.

Voluntary measures replaced by coercion and force

A key aspect of the past two years has been that governments have sought to force people to do the bidding of the state, rather than respect individual decision making or choice.

For example, instead of public health officials and politicians encouraging Canadians to avoid large gatherings, they have imposed restrictions and threatened punishment if those restrictions are violated.

With businesses, rather than offering advice and encouraging businesses to bring in measures, governments have imposed measures.

Personally, I have no issue with governments offering advice, so long as it is voluntary. After all, government officials sharing their opinions is part of free speech.

The problem become when governments move beyond offering advice, and seek to force people to take a specific action.

You didn’t use the app, so they tracked you anyway

This attack on a voluntary approach can be seen in the use of mass surveillance.

The government originally brought in an app that they asked Canadians to install on their phones.

It was a voluntary measure, and many Canadians chose not to install a government app on their phones.

Canadians in large numbers made the choice not to be tracked by the federal government.

So, since Canadians didn’t make the choice the government wanted, they removed your ability to choose and brought in mass surveillance tracking.

It’s the same with all the other measures governments have brought in.

Rather than give Canadians a choice and let each individual make their own decisions in respect to their personal level of risk, the government imposed their decisions on everyone.

Authoritarian drift

The use of mass surveillance measures demonstrates the continued authoritarian drift in Canada, as our country increasingly resembles a communist state in terms of the relationship between the government and citizens, and the denial of individual rights.

It’s not that Canada becomes an authoritarian state all at once, but that bit-by-bit we move in that direction.

It’s the trend that matters, and the trend is towards a Canada where freedom and individual rights are a distant memory.

Strip politicians of their power

If there is anything we’ve learned over the past two years it’s that partisan labels don’t matter nearly as much as many thought.

Governments of all political stripes imposed authoritarian measures, and ‘conservative’ governments in particular were obsessive in their efforts to purge their parties of anyone who would dare to criticize statist measures. Meanwhile, the federal conservative party often seems indecisive and half-hearted in their criticism of Canada’s drift towards authoritarianism, and has failed to mount any clear ideological challenge to the power governments wield.

The problem isn’t just what government may be in power either federally or provincially, but in the idea of government power itself.

Canada’s political class and establishment media are dominated by statists, by those who want to see the government gain more and more power over Canadians.

Pushing back against the statist ideology itself is a necessity for all of us who value freedom and individual rights.

Rather than tepid criticisms of how governments use their power, there should be a concerted effort to strip governments of power.

Governments shouldn’t have the power to impose lockdowns and vaccine mandates. They shouldn’t have the power to conduct mass surveillance on Canadians.

Canadians should be outraged, and we should turn our outrage towards advocating for a completely different relationship between the government and Canadians.

Our governments – at all levels – are far too big, far too bloated, and far too drunk with power. We must shrink the size of government and strip the state of its excessive power.

Spencer Fernando

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