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As Invasive Covid-19 Tracing Technologies Loom, ACLU Unveils Guidelines to Guard Against Overreach

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/05/18/invasive-covid-19-tracing-technologies-loom-aclu-unveils-guidelines-guard-against

A couple of ACLU writers have a good treatment of this, on the views side:


The most promising technology I’ve heard mentioned is various trainers trying to teach dogs to recognize the smell of COVID-19. It seems a difficult challenge, as some say dogs can catch it, so how can you go about preparing the scent-sample safely? If possible, it’s promising because dogs can smell absolutely anything the slightest bit smellable. One of the reasons humans and dogs have had a partnership spanning tens of thousands of years.

Meanwhile, talk of supercharged surveillance is enough to spook anyone. No way am I going to get one of those “Real-ID” cards, at this point. Not unless I’m brutally forced. Fuck the surveillance state.

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These kind of things ALWAYS get abused and weaponized at some point
This will too

They don’t do it that way here. They just make it impossible to fly, in time to get on a train or bus, to rent a car. Then it becomes a requirement to go to school, to go to college, to get employment. You get the idea.

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Yes! Perhaps my crazy border collie/aussie mix can be put to work! She needs “a job” as she is driving me crazy! (lol)

I second that too. When I moved to Wisconsin recently I was utterly stunned with what was required at the good ole DMV to get a new driver’s license. When I questioned them (balked) they said we are moving toward “real-id cards” with the bizarre chip.

I refused to get the “real ID” ----still had a choice then but they said I will not have a choice in 2020----- that I would not be allowed to fly (I don’t fly) without one.

In any case. It’s a f----ing mess, all of it.

Any thoughts on this? We can’t even agree to wear masks in the u.s. I can’t imagine how covid will ever be reduced here.


My humble opinion is that we (along with the people of UK, Sweden, and Netherlands) have been deliberately subjected to a disastrous demographic experiment in laissez-faire public-health policies: “Take it on the chin,” is how Boris put it, just before he nearly bought the farm. These four countries approach the state of an outbreak where you might as well assume everyone is infected – you’re practically guaranteed anyone symptomatic, confined, or essential has been exposed at some point, anyway.

The thirteen sailors reinfected aboard the Teddy Roosevelt are very significant, imho. Personally, I trust the US Navy in this instance to follow correct procedures with quarantines, tests, etc. Rule out almost deliberately violating the protocols, and you’re left with two possibilities:

  1. The virus test in use is so unreliable as to approach uselessness.
  2. This bug has a strategy for nearly immediate reinfection.

Whether or not they did a good job cleaning up the boat: These sailors had it, recovered, then caught it again. We first heard of reinfection in Japan, then South Korea. The second possibility seems more likely, as many countries have succeeded (so far) in fending off the monster with sufficient testing.

I look at the ratio of tests to cases (rather than population) for a gauge of how testing stands in relation to how much testing is needed. Top ten international COVID-19 testing successes:

>      STATE                    MORTALITY     CASES   DEATHS  PER-CASE    TESTS
>                              PER 100,000                    FATALITY  PER-CASE
>   1. Hong Kong                    0.05      1,056        4    0.38%    159.37 
>   2. New Zealand                  0.43      1,499       21    1.40%    144.62 
>   3. Lithuania                    2.17      1,547       59    3.81%    134.62 
>   4. Australia                    0.39      7,060       99    1.40%    132.87 
>   5. Uzbekistan                   0.04      2,791       13    0.47%    116.45 
>   6. Thailand                     0.08      3,031       56    1.85%     94.36 
>   7. Slovakia                     0.51      1,495       28    1.87%     88.23 
>   8. Latvia                       1.01      1,009       19    1.88%     82.53 
>   9. Kazakhstan                   0.19      6,440       35    0.54%     71.39 
>  10. South Korea                  0.51     11,065      263    2.38%     65.68 

Hong Kong is just splendid, with 0.05 demographic mortality. How many of those protesters who formerly set fire to bystanders over there, for attention, are now wishing they lived in NY, do you suppose? “There’s too much social disintegration here in Hong Kong. I wanna move to Wisconsin!” Right.

USA ranks 74th (among countries with > 1,000 cases) in tests-per-case, at around 7.0, between Chile and (our demographic experimental colleague) Netherlands. I doubt it’s possible to ever catch up once we’re so far behind (one 20th of New Zealand’s level of necessary testing). The only remaining alternatives are “the vaccine” (read “the salesjive pipedream”) or “herd immunity” – and that latter is where the Teddy Roosevelt comes in. Nobody can possibly foresee how much this human herd might be thinned, in the context of nearly immediate reinfection.

Every time humanity meets a new microbe, it charts a totally unpredictable path through history.

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