Ukraine Buys Huge Amounts of Russian Fue... Fri Jan 20, 2023 08:34 | Antonia Kotseva
Turkey Has Sent Ukraine Cluster Munition... Thu Jan 12, 2023 00:26 | Jack Detsch
New Israeli Government Promises to Talk ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 21:13 | Al Majadeen
Russia Training Iranian Pilots Ahead of ... Tue Jan 10, 2023 15:19 | The Times of Israel
Lukashenko Abolishes Copyright Protectio... Tue Jan 10, 2023 15:05 | Nikki Main
A Blog About Human Rights
UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights
5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights
Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights
Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights
Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights
Human Rights in Ireland >>
Bill Maher Takes Aim at the Woke Revolution Sat Feb 04, 2023 14:17 | Nick Dixon
American talk show host Bill Maher has taken aim at the wokies, comparing their efforts to cleanse society of moral impurity to Mao?s cultural revolution.
The post Bill Maher Takes Aim at the Woke Revolution appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Delilah Is the Latest Victim of the Woke Brigade Sat Feb 04, 2023 11:00 | Nick Dixon
The song ?Delilah? becomes the latest victim of the woke central planners. Aside from the sheer stupidity, and the deliberate ignoring of context, banning such songs is an attack on our harmless communal rituals.
The post Delilah Is the Latest Victim of the Woke Brigade appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
80,000 Students Take Their Universities to Court For Refunds on Degrees Disrupted by Lockdown Sat Feb 04, 2023 09:00 | Will Jones
Almost 80,000 students are taking legal action and demanding refunds over the costly courses disrupted by Covid that left many without the skills they need for the fields they wish to work in.
The post 80,000 Students Take Their Universities to Court For Refunds on Degrees Disrupted by Lockdown appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
The Fightback Against the Woke Capture of Scottish Schools Begins Sat Feb 04, 2023 07:00 | Stuart Waiton
Stuart Waiton writes for the Daily Sceptic about his new group, the Scottish Union for Education, which aims to push back against the political indoctrination of Scottish schoolchildren.
The post The Fightback Against the Woke Capture of Scottish Schools Begins appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
News Round-Up Sat Feb 04, 2023 00:34 | Will Jones
A summary of the most interesting stories in the past 24 hours that challenge the prevailing orthodoxy about the virus and the vaccines, the ?climate emergency? and the supposed moral defects of Western civilisation.
The post News Round-Up appeared first on The Daily Sceptic.
Lockdown Skeptics >>
Voltaire, international edition
Voltaire International Newsletter N°26 Sat Feb 04, 2023 05:43 | en
EU mulls ways to censor Russian views Thu Feb 02, 2023 04:34 | en
Zelensky's sponsor and Hunter Biden fall from grace Wed Feb 01, 2023 03:30 | en
Two perceptions of the war in Ukraine, by Thierry Meyssan Tue Jan 31, 2023 07:03 | en
Pfizer modified Covid virus ahead of pandemic Mon Jan 30, 2023 13:28 | en
Voltaire Network >>
Civil liberties, the cashless society sets off alarm bells
politics / elections |
Thursday March 08, 2018 11:12 by Emma Robinson
Despite political institutions keeping the subject on the low, whistleblowers and civil rights activists are raising flags regarding what they regard as a threat to fundamental freedom for States. A trend leading to the disappearance of physical currency, they fear, will inconspicuously and irreversibly invite totalitarianism into our lives.
As the virtual layer of the world continuously expands, more and more things from our daily lives lose their material feel, to enter the computerized and intangible world. Fewer and fewer people know the feel of mail paper on fingertips, or pilots no longer use the expression “flying by the seat of their pants”, as computers have been entasked with more and more of our operations. Amongst the things disappearing from our lives, are coins and paper. Adam Forrest writes (1) for the Guardian: “As more shops and transport networks adapt to contactless card and touch-and-go mobile technology, many major cities around the world are in the process of relegating cash to second-class status. Some London shops and cafes are now, like the capital’s buses, simply refusing to handle notes or coins.” The website LetsTalkPayments.com confirms (2) with hard data: “UK’s popular mobile payment system Paym. has crossed 26 million pounds in transaction volume. Two thirds (66%) of the UK population is aware of mobile payments, with more than half (52%) of those with knowledge of mobile payments aware of Paym.” Would this new era replace hassle with danger?
The right to privacy has been a rising concern for many citizens in the developed world, as they become gradually aware of the extent to which anyone and everyone can keep an eye on them. Large-scale government surveillance (3) was perhaps the primer to the subject, as citizens realized their every move and action was under discreet scrutiny. The rise of uncontrolled data originating from social networking sites (SNS) added a new layer of worrying complexity to the matter, as was revealed by an in-depth study (4) by CyberPsychology :”The booming popularity of SNSs has brought an additional dimension to the complexity of privacy risks. According to Zittrain (2008), early threats to people’s online information privacy came mostly from data stored in government or corporate databases, which he calls Privacy 1.0; yet, with the rise of SNSs, we have transitioned into an era of Privacy 2.0, where the data is generated and shared by individuals, and the “generativity” of SNSs breeds a new generation of privacy problems”. But how does this data jeopardize our liberty?
Traceability is the key word in this cashless society we are slowly drifting towards, where financial information is linked to locations, people and things, through the aggregation of banking and SNS data. When virtual purchases are carried out by a citizen, they leave information within server logs, known as a “paper trail”, even though they are dematerialized. Nathan Heller, from the New Yorker, wrote (5):”With a pocket of cash, you could be anyone: a Russian spy, a birthday celebrant, an avvocato out for a night on the town. With a cashless trail, you were fated always to be what you had always been; you couldn’t flee far from your name, your purchases, even your network of friends. You were always, by your cards or cell phone, outed as yourself”, designating the constant accountability for non-cash-payments. Part of this information is transmitted to the citizen himself, in his bank statement. But banks also keep a record of these transactions. Who can then access these records, is anyone’s guess. Of course, State agencies are on the usual suspects’ list. This is one of the reasons why governments are keen to accelerate the demonetization of societies. In addition to representing a hefty expense for them, in the design, production and management of bills and coins, currency creates a lack of control for the legal and economic policies which they wouldn’t mind seeing gone.
Now, to some extent, many citizens don’t object to having a government keep an eye on such matters, because they perceive immediate benefits and no immediate downsides. In a way, these citizens are right. With transaction data, banks can provide us with instant information, and companies can target their advertising towards things we would actually be liable to purchase, rather than random and annoying guesses. As for the government’s capacity to monitor an increasingly cashless society, it increases their capacity to prevent terrorism, and to fight crime, whilst leaving the honest citizen in relative peace. But civil rights activists are not concerned about today, they are alarmed about tomorrow. Elaine Ou, writing for Bloomberg, describes (6) the cashless perspective as falsely convenient and safe, and also “creepy” : “A cashless economy violates the basic laws under which currency has operated since before the Industrial Revolution. The justification for giving up a fundamental freedom is that it would clear the way for an experimental policy designed to place a tax on currency. Money may be a shared illusion, but cash abolitionists are in a hallucination all their own.” Their fear is based not on what governments do, but on what they can do, our could do with that information in a near future. With a comprehensive list of all a citizen’s purchases and belongings, a government is liable to use public force to pressure its citizens by stripping them of all of their belongings.
It is in the nature of crises that they become visible when it is already too late to respond, or else they would never come to be. Civil rights activists are trying to bring the matter to public attention before populations have locked themselves into a situation where no longer have any escape. If modern societies continue to drift towards the cashless era, they will have failed to keep powers, between States and their peoples, on an even keel.