A short step from contact-tracing to mass surveillance

The NHS’s promised contact-tracing app could easily pose a threat to our freedoms

Whenever the dust settles on the corona era, and historians look back at what made it significant, there will be plenty to chew over. They will discuss the scientific models, government policies, the individual heroes, the economic fallout and the shift in the relationship between China and the West.

But, however seismic these phenomena are, historians have written about these types of things before. They have explored the Wall Street Crash of 1929, the Spanish Flu, the Cold War and the ‘Blitz spirit’.

What is potentially novel and unique about the happenings of the corona era is that Western states began to relate to their citizens through an app. This represents a social and administrative revolution between people and their governors, fuelled by the ostensibly admirable motivation to save lives and protect public health.

Yet where that revolution could lead can be glimpsed in China’s social-credit system, which ranks citizens according to such behavioural criteria as their trustworthiness.

Continue reading ‘A short step from contact-tracing to mass surveillance’ by Ryan Christopher at Sp!ked.

The Scottish Parliament’s new Hate Crime Bill isn’t really revoking the blasphemy ban. It’s reviving it.

Recently the Scottish government published a Bill that heralded an end to national laws against blasphemy. 

In the same fell swoop, the centuries-old prohibition on criticizing religion will be replaced with a ban on any speech that “stirs up hatred” against categories of people, based on age, disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

At first glance, the intention of the law sounds reasonable. It is founded on the basic principle that “hating” somebody is wrong, and that certainly, nobody should be subjected to violence based on such hate. Part I of the Bill consolidates largely pre-existing legislation that deals with aggravation based on prejudice.

Part II, however, becomes more problematic by focusing on introducing new measures to outlaw the “stirring up of hatred”. 

Continue reading ‘The Scottish Parliament’s new Hate Crime Bill isn’t really revoking the blasphemy ban. It’s reviving it.’ by Lois McLatchie at Premier Christian News.