Digital Green Certificates

Why Vaccine Passports and Digital IDs Will Mean the End of Privacy and Personal Freedom

The following is an extract from Nick Corbishley’s new book Scanned: Why Vaccine Passports and Digital IDs Will Mean the End of Privacy and Personal Freedom and is reprinted with permission from the publisher.

When the European Union launched its Green Pass initiative in June 2021, it was supposedly intended to reopen the bloc’s borders and make international tourism possible once again. But within months it was being used by many Member States to exclude unvaccinated people from accessing many public spaces and basic services. Italy’s government has used its iteration of the Green Pass to effectively ban almost four million people from being able to earn a living. In Austria the government locked down around two million people for not being vaccinated, before relenting five days later and locking down everyone else.

This has happened despite the fact that the EU’s own Green Pass legislation stipulates that “[t]he issuance of [Covid] certificates… should not lead to discrimination on the basis of the possession of a specific category of certificate.” The Council of Europe, Europe’s preeminent human rights organisation, went even further, arguing not only that no one should be “discriminated against for not having been vaccinated” but also that the vaccination should not be mandatory.

To complement its Green Pass, the EU has already launched a digital wallet that will be used to store peoples’ surnames, first names, dates and place of birth, gender or nationality, as well as enable Europeans to identify themselves online. This is part and parcel of the digital identity revolution being spearheaded by organisations like the World Economic Forum, Gavi, and ID2020.

Update on EU’s Vaccine Passport Scheme

We have an update today on yesterday’s vote in the European Parliament, which essentially waved through the Commission’s plans to roll out a vaccine passport scheme across the EU, which we covered yesterday. This is a guest post from a source within the EU.

In Brussels yesterday the European Parliament adopted a negotiating position on the Commission’s Digital Green Certificate proposal. 575 MEPs voted for a compromise text, with 80 against and 40 abstentions.

Voting took place remotely after three hours of speeches to a mostly empty chamber.

The Commission’s desire to create a universal system of health check points within the EU was apparent before the Plenary Session. During the debate it became increasingly clear that these checks will be taking place beyond Member State borders.

MEPs were resigned to passing the Regulation in order to “return to normal” even if it “puts Schengen at stake”.

Voter concerns that European society would be divided were occasionally relayed, usually as a prefix to a bald statement that the DGC would neither discriminate nor function as a pass for entry into Member States.

A handful of MEPs asked to examine the Proposal more critically.

With Parliament’s approval – and the three EU Institutions already in alignment – negotiations between Commission, Council and Parliament on the final text will be a mere formality.

We can expect the rubberstamp by June, ushering in a sophisticated and probably enduring system of health checks across Europe, enhanced by the draconian Passenger Locator Form, also on its way to becoming law.

The EU’s Vaccine Passport Scheme Could Destroy Peace in Northern Ireland

Today, the European Parliament will vote on the introduction of vaccine passports within the EU, known as Digital Green Certificates. Ciarán McCollum, a barrister and linguist from Northern Ireland who advises on matters of European law, has written a piece for Lockdown Sceptics expressing his concern that this scheme will destroy the fragile peace in Northern Ireland. Here’s an extract:

The proposed regulation will cost Europe dearly. There are the financial implications of a universal border control regime which involves the constant handling of that most sensitive of data types: medical records. There is the loss of ideals intrinsic to European democracy. But more pertinently for me, there is the situation in Northern Ireland.

The Explanatory Memorandum calls freedom of movement one of the EU’s “most cherished achievements” and a “driver of its economy”. It is also a driver of peace in my home. The Northern Irish remain citizens of Europe without the Union, and will not accept being checked upon entry into what about a million of them consider their home: the neighbouring Member State of Ireland. The prospect of violence is terrible.

Despite these risks and contrary to the recently introduced Better Regulation Rules, the DGC controls are being rushed through with nary a cost-benefit analysis, impact assessment or public consultation and with limited parliamentary debate. Why? Well, in the words of the Head of the Commision’s Covid Taskforce, Thierry Breton, when speaking to RTL in March, so that Europeans can once again “enter a public place” and “live without being a risk to each other”. Could Mr Breton really mean to suggest that there ever was, or ever can be, life without risk? Has the Parisian gentleman, when crossing his home city by car for example, ever encountered the 4-lane 12-exit roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe?

Worth reading in full.