Global leaders are rushing to emulate the type of surveillance states we see in countries like China and North Korea. The goal is 24/7 digital tracking of every citizen. This authoritarian agenda has accelerated during the manufactured COVID-19 ‘crisis’. Is it still possible to opt-out, or is going off grid not an option any longer?

Surveillance has become ubiquitous in modern life, taking a number of forms. The surveillance state exists alongside all governments. The national security law passed by China in June 2020 codified and expanded the Chinese government’s ability to spy on citizens in order to halt political subversion. Within the United States corporations, industry, and organizations (including the Chamber of Commerce) have urged the federal government to expand its use of facial recognition technology as a tool for policing, among other things. The Israeli government’s response to COVID-19 includes a provision granting the Mossad (Israel's CIA/MI6 equivalent) power to monitor and collect cell phone location data of citizens. On a global scale, responses to COVID-19 are accelerating the expansion of the surveillance state as a tool for authoritarian regimes.

Currently, domestic surveillance law is under the purview of individual nations. However, national borders cannot neatly confine the modern surveillance state as a domestic issue. Cross-border surveillance is increasingly prevalent; laws regarding this matter do not match reality. Many countries simply have no restrictions on conducting electronic surveillance outside their borders. In contrast, the United States has specific legal frameworks for cross-border surveillance. In the most extreme instances, multiple nations collaborate to conduct cross-border surveillance as the intelligence agencies of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand did with Project Echelon. There is a strong desire for “A global system for the interception of private and commercial communications” among constituents of the New World Order.

Unfettered international surveillance creates an array of issues. Examples include invading intellectual privacy, distorting power relationships between state and citizen, as well as promoting social division, discrimination, and human rights abuse. The surveillance state increasingly transnational, so the realm of international law presents an opportunity to build a theoretical framework for protecting the human rights and privacy of non-citizens from foreign surveillance. Considering and implementing this framework is a necessary first step in the path to a universal reduction of surveillance for all people of all nations. If there is to be a New World Order, it should be founded upon the ideals of all peoples of all nations, for all humans share in common two goals: We do not wish to suffer; we are in pursuit of happiness.