India’s focus on a deterministic and ideological usage of technology to manage the COVID-19 health crisis has not only mismanaged the pandemic, but has pushed the country to contend with Orwellian realities.
Digital authoritarianism in Bangladesh: Weaponising a draconian law to silence dissent in the pandemic era
The COVID-19 pandemic provided the government with pretext to censor free speech, harass critics, and effectively curb dissent – accelerating what has been an ongoing turn towards authoritarianism in Bangladesh.
In Indonesia, the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the government with the opportunity to further accelerate digital authoritarianism through online surveillance, censorship, and online manipulation.
Australia adopted a range of technology based responses to address the COVID-19 pandemic, but this approach resulted in “solutions” that ranged from the outright ineffective to the actively punitive.
Amid Indonesia’s rollout of the PeduliLindungi app, one immunocompromised individual balances prioritising their health with the government’s exclusionary requirements to access basic services.
COVID-19 drove the shift to digital services in India, but this has left informal workers struggling to access basic services and protect their personal data within a system they do not fully understand.
The Zalo Connect app in Vietnam connects users in need with private donors. But in doing so, it exemplifies a humanitarian trend that centres on extracting data from vulnerable communities as a precondition to receiving aid, protection, and justice.