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Cops Arrest Couple For Breaking Quarantine As Hawaii Embraces Mass Surveillance

Courtesy of ZeroHedge View original post here.

The exhausting effort required to contain an outbreak of the novel coronavirus – contact tracing, quarantine enforcement etc. – are giving regimes from the US to China to a handful of European nations an unprecedented opportunity to test technologies designed to infringe on human liberty by dramatically increasing law enforcement’s capacity to actively monitor whole communities.

Once a population is policed by drones in the sky and hazmat-wearing cops armed with automatic weapons patrolling the ground looking for lockdown violators, and encouraging neighbors to snitch on each other,  can it really be free?

Maybe ask mainland Chinese how they feel. While they’ve adjusted to living in a world where facial recognition cameras might catch them violating rules and dock their ‘social credit’ score, Americans are only just getting their first glimpse at the dystopian totalitarian future that awaits, except instead of President Xi monitoring them, it’ll be Mark Zuckerberg.

While Americans debate the ethics of snitching on quarantine violators, Hawaiians now have their very own quarantine-themed civil liberties fiasco now that the first couple in the state has been arrested for break its 14-day mandatory quarantine.

Quarantines have been declared in different states at different lengths and with varying levels of enforcement. A few states still haven’t imposed a legally binding lockdown.

But a couple who apparently arrived on the Hawaiian island of Kaua’i recently after traveling from the island of O’ahu was arrested by local police after they were twice informed of their obligation to self-quarantine for 14 days, but decided to stop for food at a supermarket on the way to their hotel anyway, the Star Advertiser reports.

The pair were reportedly arrested by Hawaii police just minutes after walking out of the supermarket.

Both posted bail, but they have an upcoming court date, where they face charges that could lead to a fine of up to $5k and/or up to 1 year in prison.

While it’s tempting to look at this couple with contempt for traveling during this period and also violating a quarantine, most people have probably violated the orders or guidelines at one point or another. Furthermore, most people don’t expect to be monitored that closely by the police. Perhaps they thought the stop at the grocery store was okay, since they’re an “essential” business that are still open. Who knows? But it definitely seems a bit harsh to arrest them – write them an expensive ticket, maybe.

But many libertarian or civil liberty defenders probably find this behavior disturbing. And if you’re among them, then keep in mind, this isn’t all that the state of Hawaii is doing to ratchet up the mass surveillance of its citizens. MauiNow reports that a “community-driven” presumably quasi-public “project” has been launched by the state encouraging all Hawaiians to share a massive trove of personal data with the app, so it can use it to help carry out contact tracing. The method reportedly worked well in South Korea. But building a massive database that can trace the movements and interactions of nearly every single individual in the state seems like something that – if it must be done – should be done so with the most extreme oversight possible, with a widely understood agreement to destroy the data after all this is over.


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