PETITION: No to mandatory contact tracing and government surveillance for the coronavirus in the UK

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UPDATED (5-13-20)

As government agencies prepare to "re-open" society, serious concerns have been raised about mooted government plans to track people - using smartphones and other technologies - who have been infected with the coronavirus.

As reported in the Telegraph, today: "The UK is planning to use trained teams to find people who have coronavirus symptoms, working with the Army to make thousands of calls a day to track the spread of Covid-19, all of which will be complemented by the contact-tracing app."

And, as of now, the government is in the process of testing its own contact tracing app on the Isle of Wight.

Therefore, we need to continue to raise our voices to ensure that these measures stay voluntary.

Please SIGN this urgent petition which urges Parliament, the PM, and government agencies to reject mandatory government contact tracing and surveillance, especially using smartphone technology.

In other countries, like the U.S., Congress is considering measures which would give the federal government $100 BILLION for "diagnostic testing for COVID–19, to trace and monitor the contacts of infected individuals, and to support the quarantine of such contacts..."

And, most chillingly, the bill would also provide for "services" related to the "quarantine [of people] at their residences."

Could this kind of measure be on its way to the U.K.?

Please sign this urgent petition which urges Parliament, as well as Prime Minister Johnson, and all government agencies to reject mandatory government contact tracing and surveillance for the coronavirus, especially using smartphone contact tracing.

We simply must resist imposing Big Brother on ourselves for "safety's sake."

The basic idea of using new technologies for surveillance is that a smartphone app will record each instance when an infected person comes into contact with an uninfected person, and, theoretically, notify the uninfected person of possible exposure to the coronavirus.

Basically, your phone could be equipped to spy on you for the government.

And, that's exactly what we could be facing if we don't demand that government prohibits mandatory contact tracing and surveillance.

There are massive concerns with privacy, security and efficacy.

Here is a list of the biggest threats to freedom:

  • Government Surveillance and Privacy - Such apps might not only allow the government to trace your movements (which it can already do), but know who your associates are. Is it really the government's business who you associate with?
  • Security - These apps are ripe for attacks by hackers. Do you really want some unknown people, company or govenment to know who your friends and family are?
  • The Data - Who will really have access to this data and how long will it be stored? Do you trust 'Big Tech' and the state to do "the right thing" with your data?

Please sign this petition which calls on Parliament, the PM, and government agencies to reject mandatory surveillance, especially using smartphone contact tracing and other new technologies.

The threat to personal freedom and to privacy is not to be minimized.

In South Korea, for example, where contact tracing is mandatory, people's private details, like credit card information, GPS location data, CCTV footage, travel documents, and medical records, have been used by the government to discourage free movement.

Using targeted cell phone texts, they have gone so far as to blast out particular personal information about individuals who have tested positive for a contagious disease.

Anyone can see that such a system could be open to abuse...

Today, authorities focus on health concerns, but who says that they won't focus on political considerations in the future?

And, there are other serious concerns about smartphone surveillance, chief among them being: will this technology work at all?

Experts, like Dr. Farzad Mostashari, the former national coordinator for health information technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, who was interviewed by The Verge, suggest that false positives will be a major problem.

So, for all of these reasons, we encourage you to sign and share this urgent and important petition, today.

It will be sent to Parliament and the PM, and urge them to soundly reject mandatory contact tracing and surveillance by government agencies, especially using smartphone and other new technologies.

Thank you!

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

'NHS contact tracing app...' - https://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/2020/05/13/download-nhs-contact-tracing-app-coronavirus-uk/

'Without Apple and Google, the UK’s contact-tracing app is in trouble - The UK wants to keep its data at the expense of the app’s functionality' - https://www.theverge.com/2020/5/5/21248288/uk-covid-19-contact-tracing-app-bluetooth-restrictions-apple-google

'U.S. Democrats propose ominous ‘6666’ bill for coronavirus tracing' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/house-dems-propose-ominous-6666-bill-for-coronavirus-tracing

'Huge long-term sacrifices of freedom predicted as coronavirus panic continues' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/huge-long-term-sacrifices-of-freedom-predicted-as-coronavirus-panic-continues

'Chinese govt uses smartphones to track citizens, deny service to those deemed threat to society' - https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/chinese-govt-uses-smartphones-to-track-citizens-deny-service-to-those-deemed-threat-to-society

'Contact tracing has a UX problem' - https://www.fastcompany.com/90496839/contact-tracing-has-a-ux-problem

'Why Bluetooth apps are bad at discovering new cases of COVID-19' - https://www.theverge.com/interface/2020/4/10/21215267/covid-19-contact-tracing-apps-bluetooth-coronavirus-flaws-public-health

**Photo Credit: Getty Images

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