Attorney who warns about Big Tech and Big Brother sees big problem

Friday, May 22, 2020
Chris Woodward, Billy Davis (

coronavirus outbreak mapPublic health officials in a majority of states are sharing information about coronavirus cases with first responders, a privacy issue that is raising concerns with a civil liberties attorney.

According to The Associated Press, which reviewed the policies in all 50 states, public health officials in 35 states are sharing the addresses of virus-stricken patients in an effort to protect “front-line” workers such as police officers and ambulance crews.

At least 10 states are also sharing the names of everyone who tests positive, the AP learned.

"Your health information should be private unless you make it public," responds civil liberties attorney John Whitehead.

Whitehead, John (Rutherford Institute)During the current pandemic, Whitehead says he is concerned about powerful Big Tech companies cooperating with the federal government, such as Google helping track your location and software company Palantir working on contract tracing.

The concern, he tells OneNewsNow, comes from watching the freedoms we enjoy become secondary during an obvious move toward what he calls a "survillence state."

A review of the AP’s 23-paragraph story shows the wire service expressed concern that minorities are at risk of being targeted by the new level of scrutiny. The story quotes the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugees Rights Coalition, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the Tennessee Black Caucus, and the ACLU.

Police in car mirror 1Meanwhile, Whitehead and The Rutherford Institute have represented a variety of clients, representing numerous backgrounds and political beliefs, when it appears that person’s constitutional rights are in jeopardy.

Whitehead, in particular, has publicy maintained suspicion toward government powers. He has warned for decades that handing over our constitutional rights to government in a time of crisis could mean surrendering rights that may never be returned by those in authority.

The website at Rutherford, therefore, offers legal advice about free speech rights in schools, religious rights for prisoners, homeschooling families, and the legal rights of churches, among many others.

Bill of RightsWhitehead tells OneNewsNow he sees two “big rights” being violated during the current pandemic. 

“One is the right to your First Amendment activity, such as drive-in church services,” he warns, “and the Fourth Amendment which says the government is not supposed to be doing surveillance on you unless they have evidence you're committing a crime or doing something illegal."

If the public does not push back and challenge the ongoing erosion of privacy rights, Whitehead warns, the day could come when there is no one left to fight for you.


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