In today’s world, the coronavirus is giving ideas that were once relegated to dystopian fiction an increasingly better chance at becoming reality.
Breitbart reports that communist China now wants everyone to be barcoded so that their travel can be monitored and, if necessary, restricted.
The idea was suggested by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit over the weekend. Xi called for a “global mechanism” based on “nucleic acid testing results in the form of internationally accepted QR codes.”
“We need to further harmonize policies and standards and establish ‘fast tracks’ to facilitate the orderly flow of people,” he said. “[We] hope more countries would participate.”
Let’s hope not
We have some idea about how the system might work because Xi has already imposed it upon the Chinese people. In China, it has been in place since February.
There, everyone is given a QR code, which is basically a barcode that can be read by a cell phone. Then, based on both information provided by the individual and information obtained from big data, each individual is tracked and given a traffic light-type status.
If the individual is assigned a green light, then he or she can travel as desired. But, if given an orange or red code, then the individual’s travel is restricted and he or she may be forced to quarantine for up to two weeks.
The dangers of such an approach are obvious but have been spelled out by Kenneth Roth, the executive director of Human Rights Watch.
“Beware of the Chinese government’s proposal for a global QR code system,” Roth said. “An initial focus on health could easily become a Trojan Horse for broader political monitoring and exclusion, akin to the dangers associated with China’s social-credit system.”
Could it happen? In America?
Thus far, such an idea hasn’t really gained any traction here in America. But, some of the measures being taken, supposedly in the name of the coronavirus, by Democrats in power makes one wonder whether such a tracking system could be a possibility.
With this being Thanksgiving Week, several Democrat state governors are using their executive powers to impose harsh coronavirus restrictions, including on things people can do within their own home. In Oregon, for example, Gov. Kate Brown (D) has put a six-person limit on gatherings, and she is urging residents to report violators, or, in other words, to snitch on each other.
Such things are right out of the communist playbook. The saving grace so far is that local law enforcement in many of these states where such orders have been implemented have publicly stated that they will not enforce them. Still, though, it feels as though we are a short step away from China’s tracking system, and worse.