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How 5G Could Launch a Dystopian Future


4 minute read

In current times where the internet and the use of online resources is extremely prevalent it is important to keep up with the ever-changing rules and speculation of the morality within the internet. While one might assume there’s more freedom of speech than ever, most websites and media outlets are monitored by larger corporations or government agencies, meaning there’s more censorship of opposing opinions.

Government bodies and second party donors are making examples of individuals such as Dr. Rashid Buttar, an American osteopathic physician and author best known for his views on Coronavirus and how it has been managed. Buttar posted a video on YouTube discussing COVID-19 and criticizing how nations have been handling the pandemic. At 9 Million views, the video was taken down for violating YouTube’s community guidelines.

This begs the question, is free speech still actually free? 

Community guidelines can be re-written and updated to reflect third party sponsors’ opinions and business plans, meaning there is no longer a free market of opinions. On websites such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook there is close monitoring of posts and comments for anything that violates the rules and regulations put in place, but there isn’t always a definitive line between right and wrong. Hate speech, bullying, and forms of discrimination are often left unchecked, causing many issues surrounding social media. Problems lie within posts that are considered opinion.

Political and economic views on accounts can lead to unsavory behaviour from other personal accounts who have opposing opinions, but people can’t face physical retaliation through a screen.

The introduction of 5G could change that.

5G (fifth generation technology) has become more developed, but the 5G cellular data network is still in its infancy stages in Canada. 5G is meant to be a quicker, more advanced way to harness the internet and stay connected, but there are many concerns with the idea. 5G allows larger amounts of data to travel more quickly than was possible with 3G and 4G. Being able to access information faster might sound like a good idea at face value, but researchers believe that 5G might be an easy target for hackers, or could even lead to governments using it to monitor their own people.

Companies such as Huawei have already begun launching phones with 5G technology, and there is speculation from the United States that the Chinese government is using their products to collect private and personal data from the public. A poll done by the Angus Reid Institute shows that 56 percent of Canadians want Huawei 5G products banned in Canada. 

Although the American government is primarily worried about the Chinese government using 5G technology to collect metadata, Rep. Jim Himes, Chairman of Strategic Technologies and Advanced Research says that it might become necessary to use this technology. “We would find ourselves at a disadvantage relative to our opponents around the globe if we didn’t adopt and adapt.”

If the government can monitor your private life, companies and employers can access this information and turn you away if your views don’t match up with establishments’ stance. 5G could be the start of a new dystopian world where government bodies use the network as a way to closely watch and keep civilians subdued.

5G and its connection to health issues could be a conspiracy not yet proven, but the privacy rules this affects are topics that must be heavily considered when allowing outsider companies access to Canadian servers.

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

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‘Boiling point’: Alberta doctors warn of health system collapse as COVID cases climb

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CALGARY — Alberta’s health-care system is on the verge of collapse, warns a group of physicians who are pleading with the government to strengthen public health measures to fend off a relentless fourth wave of COVID-19.

Dr. Shazma Mithani, an emergency room physician in Edmonton, said a staffing crisis, overwhelmed intensive care units and mixed messaging from the province has created a “dire” situation.

Her biggest fear, she said, is that doctors will need to triage patients should hospitalizations continue to mount.

“We don’t want to have to make these decisions where we’re choosing who gets to have (intensive) care or not. And we’re getting closer and closer to that every day,” Mithani said in an interview.

Alberta Health Services, the province’s health-care provider, said in a statement Wednesday there were 258 intensive care beds in the province, which includes 85 added spaces. It said intensive care unit capacity sat at 87 per cent — just slightly below a seven-day average of 91 per cent.

Mithani said the government needs to listen to frontline health-care workers and implement stronger public health restrictions to prevent the health system from crumbling.

“This is much, much worse than I think people understand,” she said. “We, as health-care workers, are telling you that things are very dire, that ICU beds are running out, that we are stretched very thin in terms of our hospital capacity.”

On Friday, the Government of Alberta reinstated an indoor mask mandate for public spaces and an alcohol sales curfew at 10 p.m. It also announced a $100 incentive for unvaccinated Albertans who get their shots in response to an intensifying crisis.

Dr. Ilan Schwartz, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Alberta, said those efforts are “all but meaningless.”

“They are worse than doing nothing at all because now it is going to delay the government from taking more definitive action,” Schwartz said during a panel discussion Wednesday with advocacy group Protect Our Province.

Dr. Darren Markland, an intensive care physician in Edmonton who was also on the panel, said the government should consider vaccine passports and a circuit-breaker lockdown, which is a tight set of restrictions for a limited amount of time to curb ongoing transmission of COVID-19.

Relying solely on vaccinations won’t reign in a growing fourth wave driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, added Mithani.

It takes at least six weeks for people to build full immunity against COVID-19 because vaccine shots need to be separated by a month and then allow another two weeks to develop protection.

In the meantime, there are no signs COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are slowing. There were 647 Albertans in hospital Wednesday due to COVID-19, with 147 of those patients in intensive care. Hospitalizations jumped by 7.5 per cent from Tuesday. Another 18 people died in a 24-hour period.

The doctors with Protect Our Province said there are risks related to government inaction. Those risks, they said, include reduced health-care access for Albertans and increased burnout among health-care professionals.

Alberta Health Services announced late Wednesday that all scheduled, elective surgeries and outpatient procedures in the Calgary Zone have been postponed for the rest of the week. It said on social media the move was necessary to deploy qualified staff to intensive and critical care units.

“The situation really has come to a boiling point,” said Schwartz.

“It’s going to be a while before the premier and the chief medical officer of health will be willing to step back and accept that these actions have failed to immediately curb transmission and by that point, we’re going to be in dire, dire trouble.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 9, 2021.

Alanna Smith, The Canadian Press

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Enbridge advances Gulf Coast strategy with US$3B Moda Midstream purchase

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CALGARY — Enbridge Inc. has signed a US$3-billion deal to purchase a U.S.-based terminal and logistics company.

The Canadian pipeline giant says it will buy Moda Midstream Operating LLC from private-equity firm EnCap Flatrock Midstream.

As part of the deal, Enbridge will acquire the Ingleside Energy Center located near Corpus Christi, Texas.

Ingleside is North America’s largest crude export terminal. It loaded 25 per cent of all U.S. Gulf Coast crude exports in 2020.

The deal also gives Enbridge access to other crude export assets in the Gulf Coast region, including the Cactus II Pipeline, the Viola Pipeline and the Taft terminal.

Enbridge says the purchase will advance its U.S. Gulf Coast export strategy. It says the deal is expected to close in the fourth quarter and will immediately add to the company’s earnings.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Sept. 7, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:ENB)

The Canadian Press

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