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Snowden warns that government surveillance under COVID-19 could be long-term



  Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden says he fears that increased government surveillance could go beyond the COVID-19 outbreak.


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Edward Snowden warns that high-tech surveillance efforts by governments to combat the outbreak of COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly identified coronavirus, could have long-term effects, according to an interview with the Copenhagen International Documentary on Monday Festival.

Former National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower said governments could expand access to people's personal information during a crisis and use it to monitor their actions. For example, during this pandemic, governments could say they are concerned about human health and order any fitness tracker to check for measures such as heart rate and heart rate and then request access to this type of activity, he said.

After the virus has disappeared and data is still available, governments can use new causes, such as terrorist threats, to justify continuing the practice of collecting and analyzing data from people, he said.

"You already know what you see on the Internet," said Snowden during the interview. "You already know where your phone is going. Now you know what your heart rate is, your heart rate. What happens if you mix this and apply artificial intelligence to it?"

The US government is reportedly in talks with technology companies such as Facebook and Google to discuss the potential use of anonymized location data from phones to track the spread of COVID-19. While some say the measure could be a useful tool for health authorities to track down the virus, others have expressed concerns that their information will be shared with the government.

In 2013, Snowden revealed to journalists details of NSA surveillance programs, which raised concerns about privacy in the digital age. He is charged with espionage and theft of state property in the United States and has lived in Russia since 2013.


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