The following article was written by David Sacks and was published in Substack last February 20, 2022. Sacks is a venture capitalist and is the founding Chief Operating Officer of PayPal. He is also a known angel investorAn angel investor is an individual who provides capital for a business or businesses start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Angel investors usually give support … Continue reading of several top tech companies including Facebook, Airbnb, ResearchGate, Slack, Uber, and many others.
In it, Sacks digs a bit deeper into the implications of Justin Trudeau’s use of the Emergencies Act, particularly the policy that enabled banks and other financial institutions to freeze the account of peaceful protestors.
Sacks raise some very important questions: “When these protestors or those that supported them end up in financial hardship because they lose their job, business, or bank account, what will happen to those who try to help them? Will Canadian financial institutions be forced to play Six Degrees of Deplorables? The fear of being ensnared in the dragnet will surely have a chilling effect on the commercial prospects of those suspected of ‘unacceptable views,’ creating a caste of untouchables whom no one will dare to transact with or help.”
He adds that this precedent will have a chilling effect for many years to come and will negatively impact political dissent. He says, “It’s a Western version of China’s social credit system that does not altogether prohibit political dissent but makes it so costly that it becomes impractical to the ordinary citizen.”
Towards the end of his article, Sacks goes on to discuss how we can prevent such occurrences to happen in the US. Here are a few of his suggestions:
- Policy makers need to build safeguards into our laws that protect citizens’ financial rights against some future emergency that would be used as the excuse to take them away.
- Stop the definition creep around “terrorism”.
He closes his article with the following words: “Those of us in the free world have been asked to suspend many of our freedoms for the sake of our collective health during this pandemic. But asking us to compromise our right to peaceful protest, or to have our finances seized without due process of law in the name of a fake emergency, can never be made normal. In the words of Justice Gorsuch, “Even if the Constitution has taken a holiday during this pandemic, it cannot become a sabbatical.”
Editor’s Note: While most people are outraged at Justin Trudeau’s invocation of the Emergencies Act, very few understand the massive impact of this precedent. And such a violation of the sacred right to protest can be made in Canada, it can very easily become policy in less developed nations such as the Philippines.
Now consider this: In recent statements from the Canadian Federal Government, they said that frozen bank accounts can only be restored if account owners can prove that they are no longer involved with the Freedom Convoy. When Greg Mclean, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre asked how people can prove their “non-involvement”, the Finance Committee had no answer for him.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=315Egw6-Xzk
This essentially means that no policies regarding this have been made yet and that the rules could change, in the same way, that goalposts for COVID have been changing for the past two years.
Moreover, just a day before Trudeau lifted the Emergencies Act, the Canadian Bankers’ Association (CBA) released a two-minute video detailing the Federated ID. Neil Parmenter, CEO of CBA defined this new innovation as “a revolutionary innovation that will transform the way Canadians authenticate themselves online and protect their identity”. Through the digital ID, Parmenter says, Canadians can now identify themselves electronically to “government, businesses, and each other electronically…without the need to present physical documents.”
The federated digital ID “would have the power and security to store every Canadian’s electronic identity and attributes,” which means that the government would know all the details you need to make a transaction offline.
Now think: can you really trust your government to protect your private data? How sure are you that your data will not be weaponized against you, the way they have weaponized the Emergencies Act against the constitutional right of citizens to protest?
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|↩1||An angel investor is an individual who provides capital for a business or businesses start-up, usually in exchange for convertible debt or ownership equity. Angel investors usually give support to start-ups at the initial moments (where risks of the start-ups failing are relatively high) and when most investors are not prepared to back them.|