Like almost every country in the world, the virus crisis has been a cover to usher in a massive surveillance state.
The latest example of this dystopic future coming to realty much quicker than anyone has anticipated is in Tunisia, reported AFP.
Tunisia's interior ministry has deployed a four-wheeled robot that harasses people if they're violating the strict public health orders to shelter-at-home.
The robot is known as PGuard, uses infrared and thermal imaging cameras to hunt for people who are violating the public health order. If someone is spotted, the robot will chase them down and ask:
"What are you doing? Show me your ID. You don't know there's a lockdown?"
Last week, one unsuspecting man was busted by a PGuard robot. Here's the video of how it all went down:
Meanwhile Tunis 📍 pic.twitter.com/KUzWjB4rtp— تـ و نـ س ☪︎ Tunisia (@tunpost) March 28, 2020
As of Saturday morning, Tunisia has confirmed 495 COVID-19 cases and 18 virus-related deaths. The North African country has been under night-time curfew since March 17, and stricter lockdowns were implemented on March 22, with expected lockdowns that could extend through April.
Enova Robotics, the PGuard manufacturer, headquartered in Sousse, Tunisia, told AFP the robot is capable of security patrols via a remote operator or autonomously through artificial intelligence.
Tunisia's interior ministry is expected to deploy a fleet of PGuard robots in the near term. Some robots will patrol around hospitals, while others will monitor streets for those who violate curfew.
Social media users have referred to PGuard as 'robocop' as it patrols streets in the country's capital.
‘#Robocop’ patrols #Tunisia to enforce #coronavirus lockdown: Anyone seen outside must show ID to machine’s camera— Hans Solo (@thandojo) April 4, 2020
PGuard the #robot is equipped with infrared and thermal imaging cameras pic.twitter.com/GbIxhyTMBd
We've noted how ground-based robots and unmanned aircraft have been used across the world to combat the fast-spreading virus. We showed readers last week how "pandemic drones," used to detect if people have a fever or are sneezing and coughing, are soon going to be deploying in cities to detect virus carriers.
The outbreak is proving to be the Trojan horse that justifies the ushering in of the surveillance state. Governments and corporations are quickly deploying big data and spy tools to monitor people during the pandemic.
The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on illegal immigration, and now the war on COVID-19: All start as legitimate responses but then are used by politicians to increase the surveillance state and erode any freedoms citizens have left.