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International Proposals for Warrantless Location Surveillance To Fight COVID-19

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/05/22/international-proposals-warrantless-location-surveillance-fight-covid-19

COVID-19, which frankly was predicted many times, shouldnt be allowed to be used as a wedge to steal democracy which if it was still functioning as it did before we signed our futures away in a multitude of trade and investment agreements, would have prevented the ascendancy of the dysfunctional kind of governments that are resulting in some of the worst deaths.

Something very similar (in terms of its coerciveness and spirit) happened at the WTO Fourth Minesterial Conference in Doha, Qatar in November 2001 where strongarm tactics exploited still strong sympathy for the US due to the 2001 WTC disaster - leading to a suspension of intelligent restraint - There the WTC disaster was leveraged in the most cynical way at the WTO (which has nothing to do with the WTC whatsoever) leading to a host of bad decisions in the GATS negotiations and the establishment of a very antidemocratic pattern in what was supposed to be the forum for economic issues, the so called rules based trading system. It became a back room forum of the worst policy trades, rejected ideas that could be conducted out of sight between ologarchs.

Also we lost key freedoms of the press all around the world, because after then what appears to be a media blockade of all discussions about the WTO’s super important GATS (which controls services, everything you cannot drop on your foot) seemed to descend in the US, UK and perhaps other countries.

GATS has a very wide scope, and it supersedes our own policy in practical terms, unless we pay sanctions.

Making the entire political situation in dozens of key areas (all the things progressives gather around) likely impossibly resistant to the peoples wishes - as they are taken off the table for voters, and out of the power of domestic regulation to a large extent. All totally under the radar- and also made it impossible for the media to ever to discuss why, leading to large scale voter frustration thats cant be fixed until we leave this horrible thing, something that gets more needed and potentially more expensive all the time, it contains a trap could easily kill Social Security and Medicare, (read the beginning of its Annex on Financial Services)

In Doha, (November 2001) sympathy for the US was squandered away on the worst possible goals, used to further force what amounted to a global “reprivatization agreement” on the world, changes which roll back many of the social and economic gains of the 20th century. This is all still going on. Cancun in 2003 was a similar large scale disaster for democracy and the public interest. (Notice, these events are always held in repressive places, except possibly Seattle in 1999, which turned out to be pretty repressive too).

As anybody familiar with the issues involved, knows, it was only a matter of time before a third SARS-causing coronavirus came along. Democracy is precious and along with it came a nation, and eventually a Democratic Party that got lots of good things done, which wasnt hamstrung from doing anything that helped people. We wont get that back without dumping GATS. And the repression will lead to losses of freedoms - under any pretext they can find.

Because it sets up a global corporate superstate.

COVID-19 is just another epidemic. They happen. We need a country thats strong enough to weather these things, one thats united and which keeps us all afloat and headed in productive directions, and is based on facts and justice. And education and healthcare for all, everywhere, And fairness. Not a corporate state.

By whom? You do not mean the crackpots like Alex Jones. Link please.

No, I mean that ever since SARS-CoV (1) in 2003, we’ve been aware of the huge number of coronaviruses, (especially bat) coronaviruses in nature and the likelihood that they would continuously mutate into new forms and also make the jump into humans from time to time.

Which happened with MERS just a few years ago and now again with SARS-CoV-2 i.e. COVID-19.

They dont let me include links yet, but go to PubMed dot gov
and search on the term “betacoronavirus” or just “coronavirus” and you’ll find lots of stuff warning about exactly what has happened. Going back to 2003…

It’s a lot like the Bush Administration ignoring warnings about the 9/11 terrorists, who were led by a brother of a former business partner of GWB, BTW. You’ll find that information in an old article in Mother Jones or Utne Reader, about GWBs failed business dealings. yes, its a matter of public record, GWB used to be busness partners with a Bin Laden. In an airline.

Anyway, our tax money has better things to do than snooping on people, especially when a common stilbenoid may treat COVID-19

Thank you sooo much! What a wonderful, cogent and comprehensive, excellent reply! I know links can be difficult, but you just gave me a lot of information to check out…and I will save your post. Sorry about the initial pejorative and it was not meant that way but there is so much disingenuous information on the net, it is hard not to be skeptical…thanks again.

I would assume that, post Snowden, everyone already knows that the government surveils and keeps permanent records of everything you’ve ever done electronically, e.g. on-line, e-mails, etc.

If you watch today’s (May 25, 2020) edition of Democracy Now, Noam Chomsky, who was interviewed, discusses this extensively. Its reallly a mistake deserving of impeachment for him to have done that. Because it is not incompetence, its something we cannot ever let a President do.

Please dont interpret my saying this as an endorsement of Biden, I am just saying that Trump should be impeached for his deliberate — ugh, I cant even say it.

Please watch the segment with Chomsky, he talks about this a lot. It just ended a few minutes ago, so give them a bit of time to upload and link it. Not long. democracynow dot org

I did…thanks. Democracy Now! Professor Noam Chomsky has never been interviewed as far as I can tell, on MSM. Noam reminds me of Winston in Orwell’s perspicacious and prescient 1984…HE KNOWS TOO MUCH!

Athough he does know about the WTO there are big important things he clearly does not know unfortunately. For example, he seems to have forgotten about the very worst thing, as far as a progressive agenda… the services agreement that is part of it. That agreement basically takes everything we need to do off the table, making it dangerous for progressives to try to get the things we need without leaving iit first. If we dont do that, guess what happens if we try to expand medicare to cover everybody or create a basic income so that people arent left sratving liyerally do death after a certain trade deal trades their jobs away? Just guess…

You can read it yourself in a document callled the Annex on Financail Services, its right at the top. If we ignore this, millions of Americans are going to curse the day that the Democratic Party was created. But in order to do what we need to do we need to do what even Bernie Sanders even would not do and admit that this PUBLIC, NON SECRET deal exists. Want proof?

Here is a short course from the UN on it and its dispute settlement system with test questions so you can test yourself. ht tp colon slash slash unctad dot org/en/docs/edmmisc232add31_en dot pdf That will explain several important concepts. Basically, we traded market access… away…

theese deals prtend its all a big level playing field, where poor countries firms get the right to pay their workers almost nothing, even the ones with advanced degrees, because thats their principal advantage and they should have the right to use it. If our companies can somehow beat their bids, be cheaper then we win.

Should the US minimum wage apply to foreign companies, who often pay their workers working inthe Us overseas?

Good question. The answer depends on who has jurisdiction - which hinges around whether a person from elsehwere is an immigrant (US has jurisdiction) or non-immgration guest worker… (WTO will likely end up in charge)

So if somebody comes here to live here permanently, intending to become a citizen, then the minium wage will ikely apply, they might be here on an H-!B visas, which although they pay less than a US worker makes stil pay some reasonable fraction of it and that sum is still way above US minimum wage… However, the visas under trade deals like L-1B are different. Currently thay are supposed to pay a legal US wage, as of April 2017. But are countries that are signatory to trade and investment agreements allowed to step into the foreign companies relationship with their workers? ??? Also, are we even allowed to set quotas when non-immigration, rather than immigration is involved? QUite possibly not which would mean large scale replacement of todays allegedly overpaid workers, with others, until some medium somewhere beteen the wages here and the wages in low wage labor supplying countries, for example, the average dailty wage in much of the world is justa few dollars, if that. Of course college educated people make more but its still a tiny fraction of wages in developed countries for their own citizens. But thse jobs require being an insider to get. And maybe paying somebody off.

Why clearly, people coming here just to work for five years or so and make money is not somebody intending to move here with their family forever… the theory goes-

Where did this obligation to give away jobs come from? GA-
TS. the services agreement, that made jobs tradable comodities and made giving people services a theft from corporations.

You see its the repayment of a debt that magically appeared out of nowhere that nullifies our rights!

Nobody knows that so nobody is bringing it up, but we should be… When did that debt appear? Good question I know that the beginning of the deal formally was in 1986 in Uruguay, September 15-20 But other folks, some Indian trade activists who were there insist it started in 1982. They are probably right, but that was just the first standstill. its hard to see how a single letter could bind the entire future of a nation… So it certainly did between 1992 and 2000 - that is pretty certain. Maybe earlier but we could have gotten out easily until then.

See the problem, during all this time while we’ve been distracted by endless theater, the family jewels are being stolen, all the things that make it possible for a middle class to exist here are being traded away like money, like IOUS. Our future is being converted into money others are lining their pockets with, and they intend to stick us with the tab.

Stolen. How can this happen, dont we have a vote?

When has this ever come up for a vioe? Its off the table as far as voting.

Look at it this wy, countries get the political world, and corporations get the economic world and get to buy and sell and trade the markets, people…

Countries rule over political things like gay marriage and late term abortion we do. But in critical economics areas the new global economic governance organizations are in charge in order to give businesses certainty, protection from the fickle voters. Where have (“you”) been all this time, that you dont know about the last 20 years of history?

Uh, maybe its been censored - I guess thats why they want more surveillance… Well, that is probably to allow some jobs still to pay a decent living, the ones with security clearances. We’ll need to justify those expenses too… somehow… the more dangers there are, the easier it is to justify the spending.

But but…


I agree with you because I was in Seattle when thousands protested and were successful in shutting down the WTO in what was called: “THE BATTLE IN SEATTLE” and I never heard Noam’s opinion.

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Strangely, the GATS was not really on the radar of the trade activist community (nor my own) at that point in time, except among a very few people.

Ellen Gould gave this very good talk which was recorded for posterity. She definitely saw what was to come. Almost all of this has already come true.

htt ps colon slash slash youtube dot com/watch?v=LHIfSfb-RvM

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It did before Snowden too, it goes back decades, especially international communications. Google “echelon”