From Covid to Global Control: Bait and Switch
“One new reality is global interconnectivity and the fact that all challenges must be addressed on the basis of ‘togetherness.’ Thus the most crucial factor in accepting the new reality and confronting its opportunities and risks is our willingness to develop shared norms on all levels.” (Klaus Schwab, founder of the World Economic Forum)
The above quote is a glimpse of the switch in the bait and switch.
First, in early 2020, there was a narrative, a story about a virus, and the selling of that story, and the selling of all the (ruinous) restrictions which would have to be put in place, in order to “curb the spread.”
Then came what you could call “transitional language”:
In order to be prepared for the next pandemic, we need early warning, on a global scale; and THIS means a much greater level of cooperation among nations.
You know, that sort of talk.
It included: We have to be able to identify human carriers of a virus before they develop symptoms, because they’re silently spreading a killer.
It included: These pandemics are never going to stop. With massive international travel, the transport of goods across national borders, with deadly viruses escaping from rain forests…we have to create a PERMANENT global society, with proper controls, which can withstand and survive the onslaught of these devastating germs.
From the bait (a story about a virus), the con moves to the switch (a permanent global control grid).
Is there some sort of picture of what the control grid will look like? Just a sketch?
Why yes, there is.
We need to look to the nation which has garnered the most praise for its handling of the “pandemic crisis.” Praise from elite global players like the World Health Organization and the UN and Bill Gates.
Of course, I mean China.
China is the elite model. It locked down 50 million citizens overnight, at the beginning of 2020. And it’s doing it again.
But there’s more.
I call your attention to a stunning article in The Atlantic. “The Panopticon Is Already Here” (September, 2020), by Ross Andersen.
Here are significant excerpts:
“Artificial intelligence has applications in nearly every human domain, from the instant translation of spoken language to early viral-outbreak detection. But Xi [Xi Jinping, president of China] also wants to use AI’s awesome analytical powers to push China to the cutting edge of surveillance. He wants to build an all-seeing digital system of social control, patrolled by precog algorithms that identify potential dissenters in real time.”
“China already has hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras in place. Xi’s government hopes to soon achieve full video coverage of key public areas. Much of the footage collected by China’s cameras is parsed by algorithms for security threats of one kind or another. In the near future, every person who enters a public space could be identified, instantly, by AI matching them to an ocean of personal data, including their every text communication, and their body’s one-of-a-kind protein-construction schema. In time, algorithms will be able to string together data points from a broad range of sources—travel records, friends and associates, reading habits, purchases—to predict political resistance before it happens. China’s government could soon achieve an unprecedented political stranglehold on more than 1 billion people.”
“China is already developing powerful new surveillance tools, and exporting them to dozens of the world’s actual and would-be autocracies. Over the next few years, those technologies will be refined and integrated into all-encompassing surveillance systems that dictators can plug and play.”
“China’s government could harvest footage from equivalent Chinese products. They could tap the cameras attached to ride-share cars, or the self-driving vehicles that may soon replace them: Automated vehicles will be covered in a whole host of sensors, including some that will take in information much richer than 2-D video. Data from a massive fleet of them could be stitched together, and supplemented by other [Alibaba] City Brain streams, to produce a 3-D model of the city that’s updated second by second. Each refresh could log every human’s location within the model. Such a system would make unidentified faces a priority, perhaps by sending drone swarms to secure a positive ID.”
“An authoritarian state with enough processing power could force the makers of such software to feed every blip of a citizen’s neural activity into a government database. China has recently been pushing citizens to download and use a propaganda app. The government could use emotion-tracking software to monitor reactions to a political stimulus within an app. A silent, suppressed response to a meme or a clip from a Xi speech would be a meaningful data point to a precog algorithm.”
“All of these time-synced feeds of on-the-ground data could be supplemented by footage from drones, whose gigapixel cameras can record whole cityscapes in the kind of crystalline detail that allows for license-plate reading and gait recognition. ‘Spy bird’ drones already swoop and circle above Chinese cities, disguised as doves. City Brain’s feeds could be synthesized with data from systems in other urban areas, to form a multidimensional, real-time account of nearly all human activity within China. Server farms across China will soon be able to hold multiple angles of high-definition footage of every moment of every Chinese person’s life.”
“The government might soon have a rich, auto-populating data profile for all of its 1 billion–plus citizens. Each profile would comprise millions of data points, including the person’s every appearance in surveilled space, as well as all of her communications and purchases. Her threat risk to the party’s power could constantly be updated in real time, with a more granular score than those used in China’s pilot ‘social credit’ schemes, which already aim to give every citizen a public social-reputation score based on things like social-media connections and buying habits. Algorithms could monitor her digital data score, along with everyone else’s, continuously, without ever feeling the fatigue that hit Stasi officers working the late shift. False positives—deeming someone a threat for innocuous behavior—would be encouraged, in order to boost the system’s built-in chilling effects, so that she’d turn her sharp eyes on her own behavior, to avoid the slightest appearance of dissent.”
“If her risk factor fluctuated upward—whether due to some suspicious pattern in her movements, her social associations, her insufficient attention to a propaganda-consumption app, or some correlation known only to the AI—a purely automated system could limit her movement. It could prevent her from purchasing plane or train tickets. It could disallow passage through checkpoints. It could remotely commandeer ‘smart locks’ in public or private spaces, to confine her until security forces arrived.”
“Each time a person’s face is recognized, or her voice recorded, or her text messages intercepted, this information could be attached, instantly, to her government-ID number, police records, tax returns, property filings, and employment history. It could be cross-referenced with her medical records and DNA, of which the Chinese police boast they have the world’s largest collection.”
Is China exporting this control-grid technology?
“The country [China] is now the world’s leading seller of AI-powered surveillance equipment. In Malaysia, the government is working with Yitu, a Chinese AI start-up, to bring facial-recognition technology to Kuala Lumpur’s police as a complement to Alibaba’s City Brain platform. Chinese companies also bid to outfit every one of Singapore’s 110,000 lampposts with facial-recognition cameras.”
“In South Asia, the Chinese government has supplied surveillance equipment to Sri Lanka. On the old Silk Road, the Chinese company Dahua is lining the streets of Mongolia’s capital with AI-assisted surveillance cameras. Farther west, in Serbia, Huawei is helping set up a ‘safe-city system,’ complete with facial-recognition cameras and joint patrols conducted by Serbian and Chinese police aimed at helping Chinese tourists to feel safe.”
“In the early aughts, the Chinese telecom titan ZTE sold Ethiopia a wireless network with built-in backdoor access for the government. In a later crackdown, dissidents were rounded up for brutal interrogations, during which they were played audio from recent phone calls they’d made. Today, Kenya, Uganda, and Mauritius are outfitting major cities with Chinese-made surveillance networks.”
“In Egypt, Chinese developers are looking to finance the construction of a new capital. It’s slated to run on a ‘smart city’ platform similar to City Brain, although a vendor has not yet been named. In southern Africa, Zambia has agreed to buy more than $1 billion in telecom equipment from China, including internet-monitoring technology. China’s Hikvision, the world’s largest manufacturer of AI-enabled surveillance cameras, has an office in Johannesburg.”
“In 2018, CloudWalk Technology, a Guangzhou-based start-up spun out of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, inked a deal with the Zimbabwean government to set up a surveillance network. Its terms require Harare to send images of its inhabitants—a rich data set, given that Zimbabwe has absorbed migration flows from all across sub-Saharan Africa—back to CloudWalk’s Chinese offices, allowing the company to fine-tune its software’s ability to recognize dark-skinned faces, which have previously proved tricky for its algorithms.”
“Having set up beachheads in Asia, Europe, and Africa, China’s AI companies are now pushing into Latin America, a region the Chinese government describes as a ‘core economic interest.’ China financed Ecuador’s $240 million purchase of a surveillance-camera system. Bolivia, too, has bought surveillance equipment with help from a loan from Beijing. Venezuela recently debuted a new national ID-card system that logs citizens’ political affiliations in a database built by ZTE…”
You could call all this Lockdown, Phase 2. But of course it’s much more. It’s designed to be permanent.
It’s a control grid, the switch in the bait and switch.
Ultimately, long term, we’re dealing with the switch, not the bait.
I’ll add a few more features to the “China plan.” Under the rubric of climate change, and “limiting CO2,” worldwide of production of energy would be significantly lowered. At the individual level, this would result in energy-use quotas. Strictly enforced.
“Mr. Jones, this is your phone helper. You’re nearing the limit of your energy use for the month. I don’t want to see you incur penalties. For example, your Guaranteed Universal Income allotment could be reduced. So for the next 10 days, I’ll be turning off some of your devices. Use your computer only between the hours of 2 and 4AM. Don’t drive. Don’t cook. The heat in your apartment will be shut down between midnight and 6AM. Remember, this is being done to curb the effect of climate change. We all have to do our part…”
Then there is 5G technology, which enables the Internet of Things (IoT). All sorts of products, from diapers to chocolate bars, will contain tags so these items can talk to each other and regulate your consumption and buying habits.
But the real kicker is more-control-grid. For instance, the top-down regulation of driverless cars on roads and highways; the moment to moment choice of routes and patterns of traffic for a whole city. The ability to stop all cars in a city, or clear them off roads in a “problem area.”
Because you’d be wearing a number of items tagged with their own tiny computers, law-enforcement could calculate and decide, at any given moment, that there are too many people in a park. The people “might constitute a threat.” So an order goes out to empty the park.
And in this article, I’m not getting into the far reaches of genetic modification of humans, or brain-computer interfaces, or the medical control of the body through inserted nano-sensors.
Let me give you that Klaus Schwab quote again. You read it at the top of this piece. Read it one more time and render it into its true meaning:
“One new reality is global interconnectivity and the fact that all challenges must be addressed on the basis of ‘togetherness.’ Thus the most crucial factor in accepting the new reality and confronting its opportunities and risks is our willingness to develop shared norms on all levels.”
This is a ten thousand year war called Freedom Versus Slavery.
Like it or not, we’re up to our necks in it.
cover image credit: Sammy-Sander / pixabay