Mass Global Migration Begets Mass Surveillance
The Agricultural Alamo
Migrations are and will be an indelible feature of mankind’s history for a plethora of reasons. However, even after the establishment of the United Nations and powerful NGOs after WW II accompanied by a quantum leap in technological prowess in providing greater agricultural yields, the ability to mitigate forced migrations because of meteorological induced heat waves and droughts has failed.
For decades the humanitarian safety valves for the shipment of food and medicine to distressed regions were readily available from other regions or countries with bountiful surpluses and sent overseas to mitigate the crisis.
Under the dire present-day global circumstances of droughts and floods, there are little to no surplus agricultural foodstuffs. Even the usual resource-rich rescuers have themselves become victims of scarcity and have instituted export restrictions in order to feed their own citizens.
“Damned if you do. Damned if you don’t.”
The growing global food security crisis will inevitably trigger the largest migration in human history in the hundreds of millions – both internal and external – creating the associated exploitation and violence borne out of the desperate need for survival.
The mind-boggling number of refugees will easily overwhelm the available resources by host and destination countries to shelter, feed and provide medical care. For this reason we could see civilian casualties that rival those during WW II.
Because of the uncertainty where and how much food & water resources are available, these refuges face the ultimate double-bind dilemma with respect to risk. If they remain in their town/city, they die. If they remain in their country, they die. If they migrate elsewhere, they die.
The following is a pre-Russo-Ukrainian conflict snapshot of the global refugee population at the end of 2021 in a chart entitled Mapping the World’s Refugee Population provided by the UN Refugee Agency.
The disturbing trend has been growing for many years from 2012 to May 2022 as articulated in the following chart entitled Number of Forcibly Displaced People Reaches 100 Million provided by the UN Refugee Agency.
According to the report, two-thirds of refugees originated from only five countries through 2021. With the rapidly deteriorating global food situation, these figures will inevitably explode initially in sub-Sahara Africa and then progress to emerging and developed countries.
As with any desperate journey, the roads to salvation are perilous. The following chart entitled The Most Dangerous Migration Routes from 2014 to May 15, 2022, provided by the International Organization for Migration underscore these dangers.
During this period one can expect an explosion in human trafficking, exploitation, and terror given the sheer mass of humanity in motion, millions of transients with limited legal protection or enforcement of those laws. Mass Migration Begets Mass Surveillance Insidiously as part of the governmental “crowd control” risk assessment from internal and external threats, it would not be surprising that government security services will collaborate with their neighbors and encourage the eager cooperation of tech giants to track citizen movements within the country as well as refugees entering the country. Governments no longer need to refer to satellite images for the purposes of tracking these migrations, rather the now humble mobile that provides real-time locations. The mobile phone has become the new evolutionary human appendage in a world that makes its use ever more essential in conducting the most banal tasks. It can be used to create a behavioral profile and baseline for each user to the point of becoming eerily predictive. Surveillance | The Dark Past is Darker Today An article published in The Economist on April 21, 2012 entitled “What Makes Heroic Strife” discussed a software called Condor which reviews data from social media and then creates a “sentiment analysis” for the purposes of predicting not only the course of existing protests rather predictive before they begin. It added that Lockheed Martin’s Worldwide Integrated Crisis Early Warning System project serves as a “social radar” for long-term forecasts of potential civil unrest and suggest countermeasures. If these capabilities were in place over 10 years ago, imagine the technological surveillance advancement in place today with more tech firms involved in such operations. Through their electronic devices, specifically mobiles, participating governments will be able to track these migrants and enough data to predict their destination(s) like the weather. Furthermore, the technical profile of the mobile itself could provide enough information on the large swaths of refugees to create a profile of their racial/ethnic/religious backgrounds, languages and dialects spoken, phraseology, etc. It comes as close as a biometric analysis without using biometrics. Whether these methods are ethical, moral or legal is debatable. With respect to the “good” cop role, this data will enable the destination governments to prepare with enough food, water, shelter and security to better handle the flood of refugees. With respect to the “bad” cop role, the authorities will already have enough information to create a dossier of every adult migrant even more efficiently than the Nazis ever did upon arrival at the camps. The cost? Food, water, and shelter could be provided in exchange of the collection of biometric data from each recipient of aid which would expand their already comprehensive database. The difference will be that there will be far more highly educated refugees among the masses as their biometric data are obtained. CONCLUSION With this insidiously Orwellian biometric tag & release program under the guise of national security, passports will merely be a secondary hard-copy document for identification but still an official requirement to enter, reside and work in a country. Because international law is reactive the biometric data will have already been collected by the millions and established as the indelible identifier for hundreds of millions of law-abiding citizens worldwide whose only “crime” was to cross borders to survive.
[This article was originally published by the Cerulean Council on 16 July 2022].
© Copyright 2023 Indo-Brazilian Associates LLC Indo-Brazilian Associates LCC is a NYC-based think-tank that provides prescient, beyond-the-horizon, contrarian perspectives and risk assessments on geopolitical dynamics and global urban security.