Governments around the world are using surveillance technologies to monitor whether COVID-19 patients are complying with instructions to quarantine at home. These include GPS ankle shackles, phone apps that track location, and phone apps that require patients to periodically take quarantine selfies and send them to government monitors.
Last week, Palantir got the US government contract to run a new system for tracking the spread of COVID-19.
It’s not just the US that is boosting surveillance in the pandemic. In tiny Liechtenstein, the government has launched biometric tracker bracelets that automatically collect key medical information. The statelet plans for all citizens to wear them by autumn, while Germany, Turkey and France are also among the 23 countries that have looked at high-tech surveillance measures in response to the crisis.
It is unclear what exactly this data is, where it comes from, or how it’s being used. It’s also unclear if Palantir is the sole technology provider of the tool, or if other partners are involved.
Reports earlier this month first surfaced Palantir’s involvement with the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the UK’s National Health Service regarding coronavirus tracking software and other assistance in combating the global pandemic.
The tech giant’s counsel filed a response to NSO’s move for dismissal that included two IP addresses and a handful of websites it claims were used by NSO Group to attack WhatsApp users in spring 2019. One was hosted by Amazon Web Services in the U.S., the others by Californian company QuadraNet and a German provider.
According to WhatsApp’s filing, NSO gained “unauthorised access” to its servers by reverse-engineering the messaging app and then evading the company’s security features that prevent manipulation of the company’s call features. One WhatsApp engineer who investigated the hacks said in a sworn statement submitted to the court that in 720 instances, the IP address of a remote server was included in the malicious code used in the attacks. The remote server, the engineer said, was based in Los Angeles and owned by a company whose data centre was used by NSO.
Many senators wanted to forbid the government from secretly collecting information about your internet habits, but an amendment failed by just one vote.
Massachusetts has added more than 1,000 workers and sent some into communities with large numbers of cases. California last week began training the first recruits of a planned 20,000-person contact tracing team. And New York plans to add as many as 17,000 contact tracers through a partnership with former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Resolve to Save Lives, headed by former CDC Director Tom Frieden.
A senior government source told the Mail on Sunday last week that Mr Hancock was on “borrowed time” and had “fallen out with the most powerful figures in the Government”, including Mr Johnson.
But Mr Gove, who revealed that “just over 17,000 of the contact tracers” had now been recruited – told Sky News’ Niall Paterson: “Here I have to praise the work of the Health Secretary Matt Hancock.”
The outbreak has also brought new privacy issues, as companies beef up surveillance with tech like thermal cameras and facial recognition in preparation for when people return to their everyday lives.
Surveillance technology has slowly integrated into our daily lives, with facial recognition getting added as a „convenience“ feature for casinos and ordering food. The coronavirus has sped up that process, in the name of public health.
The measure needed 60 votes to pass. It got 59.
The outcome is especially frustrating since four senators didn’t vote on the amendment at all, and at least one would have voted yes. Lamar Alexander couldn’t vote because he’s quarantined. Two others — Ben Sasse and Bernie Sanders — didn’t respond to request for comment on where they were during the vote. An aide told Politico that Patty Murray would have voted yes had she been there, but the senator was not in Washington, DC, when the vote occurred.
The new resolution was proposed Tuesday during a teleconference held behind closed doors and organized by Estonia, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council. The resolution was submitted in the afternoon.
One of the diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said China declared in the meeting that it backed swift action in the council.
A hundred deaths out of 48,000-81,000 infections corresponds to an infection fatality rate of 0.12-0.2%. If antibodies take longer than 3 days to appear, if the average duration from case identification to death is less than 3 weeks, or if the epidemic wave haspeaked and growth in deaths is less than 6% daily, then the infection fatality rate would be lower.
Five key facts are being ignored by those calling for continuing the near-total lockdown.
Fact 1: The overwhelming majority of people do not have any significant risk of dying from COVID-19.
The recent Stanford University antibody study now estimates that the fatality rate if infected is likely 0.1 to 0.2 percent, a risk far lower than previous World Health Organization estimates that were 20 to 30 times higher and that motivated isolation policies.
NSO also claimed that it and Q Cyber are entitled to immunity because they operate in the service of foreign countries. Facebook claims that the Israeli companies are not entitled to such immunity under U.S. law.
This tracker monitors government responses to the pandemic that affect civic freedoms and human rights, focusing on emergency laws.
“About 80% to 90% of laptops are manufactured in China right now. But not all components are manufactured in China. For instance, some components are coming from Vietnam.”
Shipping components for laptop assembly from countries like Vietnam into China is a challenge, but getting laptops out of China to other countries like the U.S. is a bigger hurdle because of commercial flight restrictions, Ms. Kitagawa said.
Even in the midst of a crisis, the public must carefully evaluate such government demands, because surveillance invades privacy, deters free speech, and unfairly burdens vulnerable groups. It also metastasizes behind closed doors. And new surveillance powers tend to stick around. For example, nearly two decades after the 9/11 attacks, the NSA is still conducting dragnet Internet surveillance.
Thus, when governments demand new surveillance powers—especially now, in the midst of a crisis like the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak—EFF has three questions:
– First, has the government shown its surveillance would be effective at solving the problem?
– Second, if the government shows efficacy, we ask: Would the surveillance do too much harm to our freedoms?
– Third, if the government shows efficacy, and the harm to our freedoms is not excessive, we ask: Are there sufficient guardrails around the surveillance?
Crises are times when ruling authorities convince people to sacrifice personal freedoms for greater security — not realizing that both will be lost.
Ruling authorities take advantage of times like now by instituting draconian policies they’re unable to introduce during normal times without risking mass rebellion.
Up to 650 000 deaths annually are associated with respiratory diseases from seasonal influenza, according to new estimates by the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US-CDC), the World Health Organization and global health partners.
This marks an increase on the previous global estimate of 250 000 – 500 000, which dates from over ten years ago and covered all influenza-related deaths, including cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The new figures of 290 000 – 650 000 deaths are based on more recent data from a larger, more diverse group of countries, including lower middle income countries, and exclude deaths from non-respiratory diseases.
The number of cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. stands at 148,049 and at least 2,599 have died, according to data aggregated by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. At least 4,886 people have recovered.
The total number of COVID-19 globally stands at 755,591 with at least 36,211 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins data.
As COVID-19 worsens, though, expect to see a greater willingness to trade privacy for effective health surveillance, just as 9/11 led to a tightening of security around airports and other public spaces.
„A situation like the pandemic creates a fundamental shift in how people react to technology. This is the direction we are going to be moving in.“
— Labhesh Patel, chief technology officer at Jumio, an ID verification company
The bottom line: We’ve already given up so much in the fight against COVID-19. Some elements of personal privacy may be the next to go — and don’t expect the surveillance to end when the pandemic does.
We should listen to somebody who grew up in a society where there were no civil rights, Angela Merkel, talk about how the current situation justifies restricting our movements. And matters will not stop there: people might have been shocked when they saw China use apps and geolocation to control the movements of its population during the spread of the infection, but we now see Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan following suit: their success is being used to justify population control measures that would be completely unacceptable under normal circumstances.
When Declan Chan arrived in Hong Kong from Zurich on March 17 after six weeks overseas, city officials made him put on a plain-looking white wristband and download an app called StayHomeSafe before he exited the airport.
He was told to register on the app once he got home, which would start a 14-day countdown, and walk to all four corners of his apartment so it could capture the location and confines of his home.
This astonishing moment when the world hit pause on normal life will never be forgotten by those who lived through it. While some parts of the world are getting back online, the images that remain will populate the historical record, reminding citizens of the world how vulnerable we are and how important it is to take care not only of ourselves but of one another.
According to information provided by Dr. Jorge Hidalgo Bustillo, director of the Central Unit for Medical Collaboration (UCCM), all 28,268 members of Cuba’s medical brigades working in 61countries, around the world, remain free of the virus, to date.
Given the situation, the center is maintaining close contact with brigade leaders via video conferences, and provides a report on the health of doctors and technicians which is updated daily.
Diplomats from the British Foreign Office had urged US officials to allow the ship to dock on American soil but were met with obstacles. Cuban officials instead accepted the request, stating that there must be “a shared effort to confront and stop the spread of the pandemic”. After all, these are still humans suffering, regardless of the passport they hold.
Cuba itself has only had five confirmed cases of Covid-19, and the ship docking could threaten to increase that number exponentially.
Prosecutors were careful to avoid details about specific operations. During cross-examination, Ms. Shroff asked one C.I.A. witness: “Do you recall a time when the C.I.A. covertly tried to read Angela Merkel’s emails?” referring to the German chancellor.
The government objected, and the judge stopped the witness from answering.
In Iraq, a sign hung above the desks of the targeting analysts in the intelligence shop where Manning worked: “If you think for one second you can come in here and bug us with sissy shit you might want to rethink your pathetic life.”
Israel based Vaxil Bio Ltd. announced an update to the Company’s press release dated February 13, 2020, regarding the possible identification of a novel coronavirus vaccine candidate, Vaccine Candidate.
Vaxil said in a newly published press release on February 18, 2020, the Vaccine Candidate is based on unique and patent-protected signal peptide technology, utilizing Vaxil’s proprietary VaxHit™ bioinformatics platform.
Worries about income inequality, jobs disappearing due to automation and environmental sustainability are all feeding wide-scale distrust in capitalism as the world knows it, according to a new study released Sunday.
Edelman, a public-relations firm, conducted its 20th annual analysis of public trust in major institutions, surveying 34,000 people in 27 countries and Hong Kong. The data reveal both skepticism about those institutions—including government, business, the media and nongovernmental organizations …
Democracy has been shackled by capitalist power. If sovereignty were merely about numbers, then the workers and the peasants, the urban poor and the youth would be represented by people who put their interests first and would be able to command more of the fruit of their labour. Democracy promises that people would be able to control their destiny. Capitalism, on the other hand, is structured to allow the capitalists – the property owners – to have power over the economy and society. From the standpoint of capitalism, democracy’s full implications cannot be allowed. If democracy gets its way, then the means of producing wealth would be democratized; this would be an outrage against property, which is why democracy is narrowed.
Here’s how they got here
A technical analysis and interviews with computer security experts showed that the firm behind ToTok, Breej Holding, is most likely a front company affiliated with DarkMatter, an Abu Dhabi-based cyberintelligence and hacking firm where Emirati intelligence officials, former National Security Agency employees and former Israeli military intelligence operatives work. DarkMatter is under F.B.I. investigation, according to former employees and law enforcement officials, for possible cybercrimes. The American intelligence assessment and the technical analysis also linked ToTok to Pax AI, an Abu Dhabi-based data mining firm that appears to be tied to DarkMatter.
As they go about their daily lives, many Pasadena residents we spoke with, like the rest of us, frequent locations whose populations for one reason or another could be vulnerable — because they attend mosques or synagogues or work at secure facilities, like NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. We plucked one scientist at the lab out of the data, and when we tracked him down in real life and explained how we did it, he was alarmed. “Somebody who might want to get some information from [the lab] for instance, they might target me,” the scientist told us. “This will be a treasure trove for any spying agency, I would presume.” He asked that we preserve his anonymity in this story.
Hong Kong (CNN) At the start of this year, as Zimbabwe cut off internet access across the country following anti-government protests, the internet pressure group Keep It On warned that such „shutdowns must never be allowed to become the new normal.“
Twelve months later, however, that’s exactly where we are.
The largest such file known to have been examined by journalists, it reveals more than 50 billion location pings from the phones of more than 12 million Americans across several major cities.
By analyzing these pings, our journalists were able to track the movements of President Trump’s Secret Service guards and of senior Pentagon officials. They could follow protesters to their homes and stalk high-school students across Los Angeles. In most cases, it was child’s play for them to connect a supposedly anonymous data trail to a name and an address — to a real live human being.
“They have invited young men and some women in so that they can act out their greatest perversion. It’s not about an ideology. It’s not about the caliphate,” McRaven said at a national security conference in Austin, the Austin American-Statesman reported on Friday.
“I believe that they bring people in because they realize they can kill, they can rape with impunity, they can torture, they can do these barbaric things in the name of Islam.”
Then-candidate Trump said often that the Iraq War was a mistake, and that we were in too many places for too long. Fast-forward to 2019, and the president is now moving forward to stop the “endless wars.” I stand with him.
The idea that our president would make this decision from this perspective is refreshing and long-awaited. Virtually every president in my lifetime has ended up in a new conflict or extending and expanding the old ones.
In particular, in the past 18 years, from Iraq to Libya to Syria, past presidents went into one bad misadventure after another.
“The same people that got us into the Middle East Quicksand, 8 Trillion Dollars and many thousands of lives (and millions of lives when you count the other side), are now fighting to keep us there. Don’t listen to people that haven’t got a clue. They have proven to be inept!”
The tweet represents one of the most significant indictments that a US president has ever issued against the foreign policy that his own country has pursued in the Middle East for several decades.
Facebook today for the first time announced that in June, 2.5 billion people used at least one of its apps: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Messenger. That’s a helpful number, because it counts real people, rather than accounts, since people can have multiple accounts on a single app.
The very word possessed such talismanic power that you could even get away with attacking whole countries and killing all kinds of people just so the ones who survived could have democracy.
Then these gatekeepers of good manners lost a referendum (Brexit) and an election (Trump) and decided that democracy was totally passé. The volte-face they performed was rather breathtaking in its coordination, like a little shoal of well-disciplined fish avoiding troubled waters with mindless accuracy.
Russia’s far east may just be the beginning. ROSATOM has said that it’s in talks with potential customers for the floating power unit, and sees “significant market potential” in Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa.
The meeting was first reported by The Australian Financial Review after intelligence officials had publicly voiced concerns about Huawei and China’s „cyber espionage capabilities”.
Huawei has denied the accusations, and Western intelligence agencies have not released any evidence to back up the claims.
Anger at political elites, economic dissatisfaction and anxiety about rapid social changes have fueled political upheaval in regions around the world in recent years. Anti-establishment leaders, parties and movements have emerged on both the right and left of the political spectrum, in some cases challenging fundamental norms and institutions of liberal democracy. Organizations from Freedom House to the Economist Intelligence Unit to V-Dem have documented global declines in the health of democracy.
Like Franklin Roosevelt, who tried to starve Japan into submission by halting its imports of oil, Trump seems intent on trying to bludgeon Iran into submission by preventing it from exporting any crude. The problem is that the Iranians aren’t cracking. Instead, they are likely to double-down. Already they are threatening to shut down the Strait of Hormuz. Trump will be in dire straits if Iran does that. A fifth of the world’s crude oil flows through it. The US military has positioned two carrier strike groups near Iran.
“I am pleased to announce the establishment of the DHS Office for Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention. DHS remains committed to preventing all forms of terrorism, including both international and domestic, as well as preventing acts of targeted violence such as racially motivated violence. This new office supports the direction the President outlined in the National Strategy for Counterterrorism and will enable DHS to more effectively coordinate our resources and capabilities to better serve the needs of states and local communities. By expanding the aperture of terrorism prevention to include targeted violence, DHS can help communities better protect themselves against a broader range of current and emerging threats. …
A new agency within the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will broaden the War on Terror to all forms of targeted violence, regardless of the motivation, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan announced in a press release.
(14. September 2016)
The congresswoman was the only “no” vote on a sweeping 9/11 war authorization that’s still in use.
US President George Bush on September 11, 2001 being told the second World Trade Center tower had been hit and the five minutes that followed.
The Global War on Terror has become the Pentagon’s greatest tool in waging endless military campaigns.
Years after the state of Israel’s establishment and 52 years since the start of the occupation, Zionism has become a racist perversion of people like Bezalel Smotrich who told me in an interview that “Ben-Gurion fought the Arabs more than I do. He expelled them in ’48 –not me, not the right, not the religious people or the settlers.” It’s hard to see Meretz voters in the kibbutzim, Labor supporters or certainly those who disguise themselves as the bourgeois center, who are afraid to even get caught in a photo frame with Arabs, recognizing this genealogy.
Sensorvault, according to Google employees, includes detailed location records involving at least hundreds of millions of devices worldwide and dating back nearly a decade.
The new orders, sometimes called “geofence” warrants, specify an area and a time period, and Google gathers information from Sensorvault about the devices that were there.
The Rolling Stones have postponed their upcoming North American tour due to Mick Jagger’s need for medical treatment.
“Mick Jagger has been advised by doctors that he cannot go on tour at this time as he needs medical treatment,” the band’s publicist said in a press release. “The doctors have advised Mick that he is expected to make a complete recovery so that he can get back on stage as soon as possible.
Computer experts have claimed that the chips which power most of the computers in the world are hiding mysterious and ‘undocumented’ technology.
Analysts from Positive Technologies alleged that Intel chips and processors contain an enigmatic ‘logic signal analyser’ capable of reading ‘almost all data on a computer’.
The claims are likely to alarm conspiracy theorists …
Chinese government researchers contributed the data of 2,143 Uighurs to the Allele Frequency Database, an online search platform run by Dr. Kidd that was partly funded by the United States Department of Justice until last year. The database, known as Alfred, contains DNA data from more than 700 populations around the world.
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“Some say that because these countries are using Huawei equipment, it makes it harder for US agencies to obtain these countries’ data,” he added.
Mr Xu also revealed that Huawei would spend more than $2bn to restructure the code used in its telecoms services worldwide after a series of “confrontational” meetings with Britain’s cyber security agency over the issue.
(7.1.2019) William Xu, director of the board and chief strategy marketing officer of Huawei, noted that Huawei had worked extensively with Intel. But he said a diversity of applications and data is driving varied computing requirements. “Huawei has long partnered with Intel to make great achievements,” said Xu in a statement. “Together we have contributed to the development of the ICT industry. Huawei and Intel will continue our long-term strategic partnerships and continue to innovate together.”
During his testimony, FBI Director Chris Wray said the government was “deeply concerned about the risks of allowing any company or entity that is beholden to foreign governments that don’t share our values to gain positions of power inside our telecommunications networks.” He added that this would provide “the capacity to maliciously modify or steal information. And it provides the capacity to conduct undetected espionage.”
(1985) In February, 1985, we carried out an eavesdropping experiment in London, in cooperation with the British Broadcasting Corporation. Part of the results were shown in the programme „Tomorrow’s World.“ A small van was equipped with a 10 metre high pump mast to which a VHF band III antenna was clamped (10 dB gain). The received signal was fed through an antenna, amplified (18 dB) and displayed on a television screen inside the van.
For obvious reasons we cannot give information on the data picked up during the experiment. The results can be
summarized as follows:
• It is possible to eavesdrop on the video display units or terminals in buildings from a large distance, using a car fitted up for the purpose.
• Although the experiment was carried out in broad daylight and many people watched us, nobody asked what we were doing.
(April 2015) Q1: What information is leaked by the electromagnetic emanations from computers?
This depends on the specific computer hardware. We have tested numerous laptop computers, and found the following:
In almost all machines, it is possible to tell, with sub-millisecond precision, whether the computer is idle or performing operations.
On many machines, it is moreover possible to distinguish different patterns of CPU operations and different programs.
Using GnuPG as our study case, we can, on some machines:
distinguish between the spectral signatures of different RSA secret keys (signing or decryption), and fully extract decryption keys, by measuring the laptop’s electromagnetic emanations during decryption of a chosen ciphertext.
The high logical complexity of the out-of-order technique is the reason that it did not reach mainstream machines until the mid-1990s. Many low-end processors meant for cost-sensitive markets still do not use this paradigm due to the large silicon area required for its implementation. Low power usage is another design goal that is harder to achieve with an out-of-order execution (OoOE) design.
A vulnerability in some microprocessor manufacturers‘ implementations of the out-of-order execution mechanism was reported to the manufacturers on June 1, 2017, but which was not publicized until January 2018, …
(2.3.2018) The so-called SgxPectre side-channel attack affects programs with sensitive components protected by Intel’s SGX or Software Guard Extensions enclaves.
SGX is available in newer Intel Core chips and allows developers to selectively isolate sensitive application code and data to run in their own execution environment.
(8.2.2019) Modern CPU architectures offer strong isolation guarantees towards user applications in the form of enclaves. For instance, Intel’s threat model for SGX assumes fully trusted enclaves, yet there is an ongoing debate on whether this threat model is realistic. In particular, it is unclear to what extent enclave malware could harm a system. In this work, we practically demonstrate the first enclave malware which fully and stealthily impersonates its host application. Together with poorly-deployed application isolation on personal computers, such malware can not only steal or encrypt documents for extortion, but also act on the user’s behalf, e.g., sending phishing emails or mounting denial-of-service attacks.
„Webs can be independent, subsets or supersets of each other. They can be local, regional or worldwide. The documents available on a web may reside on any computer by that web.“
Below are the 15 countries that imported the highest dollar value worth of cars during 2017:
1. United States: US$179.6 billion (23.9% of total imported cars)
2. Germany: $58.5 billion (7.8%)
3. China: $49.9 billion (6.6%)
4. United Kingdom: $44.1 billion (5.9%)
5. Belgium: $36.4 billion (4.8%)
6. France: $34.7 billion (4.6%)
7. Italy: $31.2 billion (4.1%)
8. Canada: $28.7 billion (3.8%)
Below are the 15 countries that exported the highest dollar value worth of cars in 2017:
1. Germany: US$157.4 billion (21.3% of total car exports)
2. Japan: $93.4 billion (12.6%)
3. United States: $53.6 billion (7.2%)
4. Canada: $46.4 billion (6.3%)
5. United Kingdom: $41.9 billion (5.7%)
6. Mexico: $41.7 billion (5.6%)
7. South Korea: $38.8 billion (5.2%)