Violation of the right to privacy of communications is a sore point for the American state, which has been repeatedly caught illegally tapping its citizens in the framework of the fight against terrorism. Now the ruling party in the United States is ready to sacrifice this fundamental right altogether to defeat another “internal enemy” – anti-vaccination.
In the first phase of vaccination in the United States, the rate was remarkable, to the envy of the rest of the world, minus Israel, Malta and the UAE. This was facilitated by a good, quickly deployed infrastructure (the merit of governments – partly Donald Trump, partly Joe Biden) and the presence of a clear motive among the population: the earlier we get vaccinated, the sooner we will cancel lockdowns and return to normal life.
However, over time, the rate of vaccination fell sharply – the bar of 50% of the population has not yet been broken, although it was planned that in early July there will be 70%, that is, the amount required to achieve the so-called herd immunity.
The authorities began to look for the guilty, “internal enemies” – and they quickly found them. They turned out to be conservatives voting for the Republican Party. It should be admitted that there are grounds for this.
One of the most common anti-vaccine motives in the United States is religious prejudice. And the least willingly vaccinated are residents of those ten states where Donald Trump won the elections (most often, by a large margin).
Finally, it is the Republicans who control local legislatures who are trying to block a project called Door-to-Door. Its essence is that volunteers and party (often) activists will go home and talk about the need for vaccination. Conservatives saw it as an invasion of privacy and a campaigning for Democrats.
The democrats themselves responded to these “sticks in the wheels” by whipping up hysteria in the media and a new initiative that in fact eliminates one of the basic human rights recognized as such at the international level. Namely: the secret of communication.
In the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted at the UN in 1948, it is spelled out in the twelfth article.
The essence of the newest initiative is to oblige cellular operators to mark as false or even harmful information about vaccinations, if it is transmitted via SMS and instant messengers, says Politico.
For example, your mother will write that there is no place to get vaccinated in her city, she will be corrected immediately, indicating the address of the nearest vaccine distribution point.
Another example, described in the American media: if any preacher suddenly begins to dissuade his parishioners from vaccination, his messages will be refuted as contradicting the conclusions of scientists and the recommendations of the US Department of Health (US Department of Health and Human Services).
This proposal may very soon become state policy, at least Joe Biden’s apparatus will have to make a lot of efforts to ignore this internal party initiative, which has a significant number of supporters.
Apparently, the idea was spied on social networks, primarily on Facebook and Twitter, where, at the beginning of the pandemic, they began to label inaccurate information about COVID-19. This quickly turned into targeted trolling by Donald Trump: almost every second message from the president was marked as unreliable, until his accounts were frozen altogether – forever.
However, a blog is something exactly the opposite of what is guarded by the secret of communication, which was formulated in the Middle Ages as a secret of correspondence (with punishment for violating it, up to cutting off the language). In those days, this right did not apply to all, but only to the privileged classes, but over time it received total recognition in the Western world – only war or court could abolish it.
In the legislation of Russia and the United States, the right to privacy of communications is formulated in almost the same way. In the Constitution of the Russian Federation, for example, like this (article 23, part 2):
“Everyone has the right to privacy of correspondence, telephone conversations, postal, telegraph and other messages. Limitation of this right is allowed only on the basis of a court decision. “
The Democratic Party believes that in the face of a pandemic and “destructive actions of internal extremists” (that is, anti-vaccination), this previously natural and inalienable right can be sacrificed.
It is difficult to argue that an epidemic is an extraordinary situation. It is often compared to war – just in order to draw analogies with the laws of wartime, when not only the right to privacy of correspondence, but also a number of others, do not fully operate. In a covid year, the Western world witnessed even worse restrictions, including the textbook “don’t get together more than three”, and for family holidays.
But there is a suspicion that if freedoms will inevitably return after the victory over the epidemic (for that, in fact, and vaccination), then with others they can do quite differently, expanding the “space of exceptions” to issues of politics or even ideology.
The history of the development of social networks clearly shows the list of restrictions that will sooner or later be considered “natural” and “absolutely necessary.” These are homophobic and transphobic statements, manifestations of racism and sexism, denial of the need to fight global warming, the desire to vote for an “unacceptable” candidate, and so on.
And so – right down to the classic dystopian scene, where SMS reminds you that Oceania has always been at war with Eastasia.
A system capable of correcting what has been said is also capable of identifying the speaker – with the punishment for him, which is provided by the era.
It does not matter how she does it – with the help of artificial intelligence that analyzes words and phrases, or specially hired people – the proletariat of modern times (the global censorship corporation is a promising direction for those who will be left unemployed by robots in other spheres).
It is important that it is, in principle, capable of doing this, being used once for an obviously good cause – the promotion of vaccination in the context of a global pandemic.
The proposal of the Democratic Party is another test for the model of law in its usual form for the West. Either it will hold out – and then initiatives of this kind will remain a “trial balloon” that has not rolled anywhere. Or the right to secrecy of communication will be scrapped along with the right to freedom of speech, the rejection of which has already become a kind of shahadah for the bearers of “progressive values,” the dangerously numerous and influential wing of the ruling party in the United States.