Richard Ross / Getty Images The image above is a picture of someone with an ankle brace. (Richard Ross / Getty Images) As grim as America’s COVID-19 epidemic is, it remains an opportunity to put the United States apart from the world — to prove that we can work together and fight this virus while preserving the freedoms that make our nation so special.
That was the case for the most part.
The US authorities have not torn down apartment blocks welded, as they allegedly have done in China.
There were no mass roundups or public executions, however.
And several state officials ‘threats on our constitutionally protected freedom to bear arms were halted cold after President Donald Trump stepped in.
Though Americans are increasingly resisting tyranny in the wake of the epidemic, Kentucky people are now starting to see another effort to undermine government influence slide into their lives.
According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, two judges of the Kentucky Circuit Court have used their powers to identify and track contaminated individuals who have violated quarantine.
Of the three individuals who were fitted with ankle detectors and told to stay home, two tested positive for coronavirus.
The other person does not have a novel coronavirus, but is a family member of one of the contaminated Kentuckians.
Are the rights of these people being violated?
Individuals were ordered to wear the devices by judges after they were suspected to have left their homes instead of self-isolating, and in one instance checked out of the hospital following successful tests.
Today, these poor people are at risk of detention should they break quarantine again.
The step sets a surprising precedent, seemingly unheard of in the United States, but seems to obey a Kentucky statute that grants county health authorities the authority to impose separation in such situations.
The order is described as an acceptable remedy for drastic situations, but it is a surprisingly draconian reaction to this “crime.” Although the low-tech approach of the ankle bracelet might sound scary, the true horror show starts when the major tech rolls in.
Rather of asking individuals to wear a tracking system, businesses like Google should easily use data from mobile phones — devices already connected to most people’s hips.
According to Reuters, the tech giant gathered tracking data from billions of consumers ‘phones to help governments properly gage the impact of quarantines and lockdowns.
Although Google deliberately shielded the details, the ability of governments to compromise civil rights means that this could be a nightmare scenario if the tech giant were ever to change its decision.
Sensitive knowledge about someone’s travel patterns, as well as their existing positions and jobs, home and recreation sites, can be dangerous in the wrong hands.
Similarly, Facebook posts information on users that is meant to be exploited by policymakers during the ongoing pandemic.
If we are not vigilant, this phenomenon will only continue to increase in America.
And the more leverage the government takes, the harder it will be to get it back.