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(LifeSiteNews) — German telecommunications company T-Systems this week announced it’s teaming up with the World Health Organization (WHO) to create global digital COVID-19 vaccine passports, a concept once derided as a conspiracy theory.

Deutsche Telekom (whose international mobile communications subsidiaries go by the brand name T-Mobile) announced the partnership in a February 23 press release.

According to the corporation, the WHO is “setting up a gateway” enabling all 194 WHO member states, including the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, to create “electronic vaccination certificates” with QR codes that can “be checked across national borders.”

The announcement made clear the digital certificates are not meant to dissolve after urgency surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic wanes. Instead, the systems will “serve as a standard procedure for other vaccinations such as polio or yellow fever after COVID-19.”

Garrett Mehl, Unit Head of the WHO’s Department of Digital Health and Innovation, stated that a move toward global digital vaccine passports is necessary since “COVID-19 affects everyone.”

“Countries will therefore only emerge from the pandemic together,” Mehl argued. “WHO is therefore supporting member states in building national and regional trust networks and verification technology.” 

T-Systems CEO Adel Al-Saleh said in the Wednesday press release that COVID-19 “has a grip on the world,” but “[d]igitization keeps the world running.”

The new contract with the WHO is not new territory for T-Systems, which previously developed the EU gateway for vaccination certificates (DCC, Digital Covid Certificate) already in use by over 60 countries.

The corporation has also established the European Federation Gateway Service (EFGS) which “ensures that member states’ corona tracing apps work across borders,” as well as the German government’s Corona warning app which includes “many additional functions, such as event check-ins or universal certificate storage.”

The emergence of global digital technology to log and verify COVID-19 vaccination status has raised the specter of a centralized identification mechanism which could lead to a Chinese-style social credit system throughout the world. 

China expert Reggie Littlejohn, co-founder of StopVaxPassports.org, has pointed out that “the digital platform used by Vaccine Passports can provide the same totalitarian functionality as used by the Chinese ‘Social Credit System.”

“While it may begin with only carrying digital information regarding whether an individual is vaccinated, the rest of the functionality of the Chinese Social Credit System can be integrated into the ‘Vaccine Passport’ system in a matter of minutes or hours,” she said.

Editorial Director of Telecoms.com Scott Bicheno issued a similar warning Wednesday, noting that “[a] system like this could easily be adapted to attach other conditions to international travel, thus facilitating a global social credit system.”

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