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IMSI-Catchers from Canada

Gizmodo is reporting that Harris Corp. is no longer selling Stingray IMSI-catchers (and, presumably, its follow-on models Hailstorm and Crossbow) to local governments:

L3Harris Technologies, formerly known as the Harris Corporation, notified police agencies last year that it planned to discontinue sales of its surveillance boxes at the local level, according to government records. Additionally, the company would no longer offer access to software upgrades or replacement parts, effectively slapping an expiration date on boxes currently in use. Any advancements in cellular technology, such as the rollout of 5G networks in most major U.S. cities, would render them obsolete.

The article goes on to talk about replacement surveillance systems from the Canadian company Octasic.

Octasic’s Nyxcell V800 can target most modern phones while maintaining the ability to capture older GSM devices. Florida’s state police agency described the device, made for in-vehicle use, as capable of targeting eight frequency bands including GSM (2G), CDMA2000 (3G), and LTE (4G).

[…]

A 2018 patent assigned to Octasic claims that Nyxcell forces a connection with nearby mobile devices when its signal is stronger than the nearest legitimate cellular tower. Once connected, Nyxcell prompts devices to divulge information about its signal strength relative to nearby cell towers. These reported signal strengths (intra-frequency measurement reports) are then used to triangulate the position of a phone.

Octasic appears to lean heavily on the work of Indian engineers and scientists overseas. A self-published biography of the company notes that while the company is headquartered in Montreal, it has “R&D facilities in India,” as well as a “worldwide sales support network.” Nyxcell’s website, which is only a single page requesting contact information, does not mention Octasic by name. Gizmodo was, however, able to recover domain records identifying Octasic as the owner.

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Coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 delivery Donald Trump Dr. anthony fauci fedex H1N1 Headline News Intelwars Logistics Medical Tyranny Operation warp speed outbreak Richard Smith rollout tracking vaccines

FedEx Readies A Plan To Help Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines

FedEx has readied a plan that will assist the government in the distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine to consumers. The world’s largest shipping company has over 5,000 facilities, 80,000 vehicles, 670 aircraft, and half a million team members around the globe ready and some new technology in place to “help out.”

Richard Smith, the President of the Americas Region for FedEx Express and Executive VP of Global Support said that the company has been ready since the H1N1 outbreak nearly a decade ago. At that time, FedEx worked closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to distribute the vaccine for the H1N1 outbreak.  After H1N1 was made into such a big deal, the company redoubled efforts to invest more in cold-chain infrastructure and “unique monitoring and intervention capabilities,” Smith explained.

FedEx intends to track diligently where these vaccines end up.

Announced in September, FedEx has begun using SenseAware ID, which uses Bluetooth Low Energy to transmit a location every few seconds. The devices will provide more precise location tracking, which will allow FedEx to intervene should something go awry during the shipment process. It will also give recipients a new level of information about their delivery.

Further, the SenseAware ID will be used with predictive analytics, which will give the shipping giant even more ability to move the potential vaccine quickly. –Fox Business

Already, companies such as Pfizer, are estimating1.3 billion doses could be delivered by 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Pfizer Begins Mass Production of COVID-19 Vaccines Anticipating EUA Approval

This vaccine will be available shortly thanks to Donald Trump’s Operation Warp Speed, a plan to fast track a vaccine to make it available in record time to the public. Many have theorized that this vaccine is already ready and that the elitists and ruling class are waiting until the right time to force it on everyone.

Chief medical authoritarian, Dr. Anthony Fauci says that things would have to get “really, really bad” for him to advocate for a national lockdown. But this is the same guy who told the public not to wear masks, then changed his mind later.  At this point, if we have learned anything from this scamdemic, it’s that politicians and the government cannot be trusted to look out for our best interests.  We are on our own.

The post FedEx Readies A Plan To Help Distribute COVID-19 Vaccines first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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New York City Police Use Pandemic To Create COVID-19 Checkpoints

This article was originally published by Mass Private I at Activist Post. 

A recent article in The New York Post revealed how the NYPD used the pandemic to justify creating COVID-19 checkpoints.

New York officials have stopped 353 cars at entrances to the Big Apple to warn travelers of the mandatory two-week quarantine rule. The stops were made from Wednesday through Friday at bridges and tunnels, according to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office.

Police are using the pandemic as an excuse to circumvent the Fourth Amendment by asking a vehicle’s occupants to answer questions like have they spent more than 24 hours during the previous 14 days in any state on New York’s restricted list?

The city has the audacity to claim that these stops are “quick and educational.” There is nothing quick and educational about being stopped and questioned by government officials.

Is there anything educational about fining people $10,000 dollars?

Travelers who violate the quarantine rule could face up to $10,000 in fines. There are currently 35 states plus Puerto Rico on the list.

Earlier this year, The Orlando Sentinel called COVID-19 checkpoints security theater and worried about the cost to taxpayers. COVID-19 checkpoints have also been set up in Rhode IslandNorth CarolinaColoradoMississippiLouisiana, and Texas.

Penn Station COVID-19 checkpoint :

Credit: WKZO

A WKZO article shows U.S. military personnel conducting a COVID-19 checkpoint at Penn Station.

A few dozen travelers got off a train from Miami at New York City’s Penn Station on Thursday and were greeted by a team of public health workers and mayoral office staff who handed them informational fliers about the state’s new COVID-19 quarantine rules.

Government officials use COVID-19 as an excuse to question and interrogate visitors.

The team, comprised of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s public engagement unit and the city’s COVID-19 Test & Trace Corps, were running a checkpoint starting at Penn Station on Thursday to ensure that visitors from any of the 35 states on New York’s travel advisory were aware of the 14-day quarantine mandate.

Imagine getting off a train or bus in New York City and being forced to go through a government checkpoint. This is America, you say? I can refuse to answer their questions, right?

People who refuse to answer their questions could be fined anywhere from $2,000-$10,000.

A spokeswoman for City Hall said refusing to fill out the quarantine form could subject travelers from designated states to a $2000 fine, and violations of the quarantine orders could result in a $10,000 fine.

Three years ago, I revealed that police have created thirty-three different types of checkpoints. But this latest ploy; using a pandemic as an excuse to create another police checkpoint, is inexcusable.

COVID-19 checkpoints make a mockery of police reform and trample our Bill of Rights. It is only a matter of time before COVID-19 checkpoints spread across the country.

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The NSA on the Risks of Exposing Location Data

The NSA has issued an advisory on the risks of location data.

Mitigations reduce, but do not eliminate, location tracking risks in mobile devices. Most users rely on features disabled by such mitigations, making such safeguards impractical. Users should be aware of these risks and take action based on their specific situation and risk tolerance. When location exposure could be detrimental to a mission, users should prioritize mission risk and apply location tracking mitigations to the greatest extent possible. While the guidance in this document may be useful to a wide range of users, it is intended primarily for NSS/DoD system users.

The document provides a list of mitigation strategies, including turning things off:

If it is critical that location is not revealed for a particular mission, consider the following recommendations:

  • Determine a non-sensitive location where devices with wireless capabilities can be secured prior to the start of any activities. Ensure that the mission site cannot be predicted from this location.
  • Leave all devices with any wireless capabilities (including personal devices) at this non-sensitive location. Turning off the device may not be sufficient if a device has been compromised.
  • For mission transportation, use vehicles without built-in wireless communication capabilities, or turn off the capabilities, if possible.

Of course, turning off your wireless devices is itself a signal that something is going on. It’s hard to be clandestine in our always connected world.

News articles.

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Untested Man Informed by State Health Department That He’s COVID-19 Positive

This article was originally published by B.N. Frank at Activist Post. 

No matter what your opinion is on any aspect of the current Coronavirus pandemic, it’s not a bad idea to pay attention to what’s happening where you live. For example, a Kentucky couple was recently put on house arrest – complete with electronic ankle monitors – because the wife didn’t want to sign self-quarantine orders.

From WAVE3:

After testing positive but without showing any symptoms, Linscott said the health department contacted her and requested she sign documents that will limit her traveling anywhere unless she calls the health department first. She said she chose to not sign the documents.

“My part was if I have to go to the ER, if I have to go to the hospital, I’m not going to wait to get the approval to go,” she said.

But Linscott said she would take necessary precautions if she needed to go to the hospital, like letting workers know she has recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Now a Tennessee man is reporting erroneous as well as troubling actions being taken by another state health department.

From WSMV:

Mt. Juliet man says even with no test, he’s informed he is COVID-19 positive by state

MOUNT JULIET, TN (WSMV) – Brock Ballou expected the first call.

After all, his co-worker had tested positive for COVID-19, so he expected a call from a contact tracer.

He didn’t anticipate, however, what the tracer would tell him.

“She specifically said – I’m looking at it right here – you tested positive – this is a follow up call to see how your symptoms are,” Ballou said.

There was just one major problem – because he hadn’t experienced any symptoms, Ballou hadn’t been tested yet.

Read full article

As luck would have it, contact tracing has been made easier by the widespread installation of 5G technology. Many American elected officials are using the pandemic as an excuse to use 5G as well as speed up additional installation in order to enforce the monitoring and tracking of citizens. 5G has been used for that purpose in China since before the pandemic including for what has been described as “automated racism” with Chinese Muslims (see 12).

Opposition to 5G is WORLDWIDE for a variety of valid reasons. Cities, AS WELL AS entire countries, have taken action to ban, delay, halt, and limit 5G installation as well as issue moratoriums (see 1234567891011, 121314). The majority of scientists are opposed to 5G until studies show that it’s safe.

Activist Post reports regularly about unsafe technology. For more information visit their archives.

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beast system change is coming claudio grass community control structures Critical Thinking crushing decentralized systems Food Riots freedom Gold Government great awakening Headline News ignore him Intelwars LIES military boots nationalization of the economy New World Order opt out of the system perception resilient ruling class s amines Second wave Self-ownership Silver SLAVERY social distancing think tracing tracking wake up War X22 Spotlight

Claudio Grass: Change is Coming, The Great Awakening is Happening

In a recent interview with Claudio Grass on the X22 spotlight YouTube channel, Grass says change is coming whether we like it or not.  Not only is the Great Awakening here, but the financial reset to usher in the New World Order is also here.

Grass breaks down the current event of the plandemic and how this event was used to control the people, remove their rights, and to push a new world order using military might. However, Grass also believes a great awakening is happening now and people are starting to see what is really happening, and change is coming.  Whether we like it or not, the United States as we knew it in January is dead.  But that’s a good thing because people are beginning to see the two choices before them: freedom or slavery, and enough are waking up that slavery looks like it could be a thing of the past.

Change is coming. It’s up to us which way this ends.

Governments all over the world are losing control of the narrative. That means they will all eventually fall under their own weight as more and more humans wake up from the slumber they’ve been put in. “The micromanagement done by those central planners is just ridiculous,” Grass says. But it’s having the opposite effect. More people than ever are turning away from government in favor of liberty, justice, and freedom.  “All these restrictions, social distancing and tracing apps…it could be possible that we are going to see a next wave of infections, you know…when they can abuse the flu based on…huge sociological experiment on a global scale. At the end of the day, what we are witnessing is a full nationalization of the economy.”

Based on the data, the coronavirus panic was a joke. People still don’t realize this was a huge hoax regardless of the data and evidence that shows it as such. After the second wave, or possibly at the same time, Grass believes the famines will begin. This will be another attempt by the government to get people under control. Because of the centralization of industries, its ability to cause crisis after crisis in within the government’s hands. “We are in the quiet before the storm,” he says.

“You have to destroy the old system to create a new one,” says Grass. But this change is permanent. The old system is gone.  How we handle the next few months or year will dictate whether we have a free society or a New World Order.  Grass has faith that the Great Awakening is happening and that we will all be free. “People have to lose faith in the old systems, that’s when the system goes down.” We just need to make sure that once this system goes down, we don’t put another one in its place by consenting to be controlled, ruled, and governed once again.

“Decentralization is always more resilient for everything,” says Grass. “I have always been a fan of decentralization…certain companies can only become as big as they are because they received support from government. Decentralized structures prove this is a huge problem….we will see a reset. We are seeing a centralized system, centralized even further.”

This is why Grass suggests breaking free of the system, not using their money (gold, silver, bitcoin), and educating yourself on how to localize and work together free from the chains of the ruling class. “I think a lot of people are waking up…there is really an awakening ongoing…I truly think people should think about how to opt-out of the system…the people who remain in the system are going to be even more enslaved.”

At the end of the day, opting out means you go away from all of the control structures, including government. You need to stop allowing other people to rule you and control your life. “We don’t have to decapitate the king. We can simply ignore him…I’m not a government servant, I’m not a government slave,” Grass added. 

After Brainwashing People For Decades, MSM and Governments Are Losing Control of People

The main problem in our society today is that people want to rule over others. But people are waking up to the fact that that’s not going to work. They are tired of being slaves. Sadly, many will not wake up until it directly impacts them. As a KGB defector said, “Americans will not understand until the military boot crushes them.”

Grass is “positive” that we will come out on top and be able to topple the New World Order and the control structures that have been in place for centuries. There will be a big crash, he says. Not just the crash of the central banking system, but the crash of all governments. At that point, it will be up to us to decide if we want no system anymore, one of complete freedom, or the New World Order and enslavement.  There won’t be a middle point.  This is an opportunity. We all need to figure out if we want in the new system or to not participate at all.

“People are capable to think, at the end of the day.”

Click here to read or see more videos with Grass. 

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The Government Has A New Secret Watchlist & Can Track Americans Without A Warrant

The government now has a new secret watchlist that allows his administration to track Americans without a warrant.  In case you haven’t noticed, your rights are being suspended and removed in quick succession.

This is an expansive list that includes Americans with no connections to terrorism. According to a report by Newsweek, the new watchlist, authorized through a classified Attorney General order and launched in 2017, is expected to grow to well over one million names. It also allows the government to track and monitor Americans without a warrant, even when there is no evidence they’re breaking the law.

While two separate laws require the government to announce new systems of data collection of Americans, there has been no acknowledgment of the expanded watchlist. If you’ve been paying attention, especially lately, you should know that laws don’t protect us.  They protect the ruling class from us.

The criteria to be placed on the new watchlist demands that an individual be associated with “transnational” criminal organizations, including front organizations that are actually foreign government entities. Transnational criminal organizations include not just drug cartels, crime syndicates, and gangs, but also political groups such as nationalist parties and information activists. Individuals can be watchlisted when they are suspected of corruption, money laundering, computer hacking, stock market manipulation, health care fraud, even wildlife trafficking. –Newsweek

The new Transnational Organized Crime (TOC) watchlist is modeled after the Terrorist Screening Database, which was created in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks as a single repository of terrorist suspects. Over the years, that watchlist has grown to include 1.2 million people, among whom are roughly 6,000 Americans that the FBI associates with domestic terrorism. In other words, domestic terrorists are Americans who question the government and disagree with the official narrative.

The new TOC watchlist authorizes agencies to collect information even when there is no evidence of a crime or intent to commit a crime. This authority circumvents criminal justice requirements for due process, equal protection under the law, and freedom of association under the Constitution.

“When we put Americans on that list, there damn well better be a good reason investigatively that they committed a criminal act. Otherwise, I think that’s unconstitutional,” says Frank Taylor, a retired Air Force Brig. General and career law enforcement professional. Taylor held senior leadership positions under both the Bush and Obama administrations, most recently as head of intelligence for the Department of Homeland Security. –Newsweek

All of our freedoms and basic human rights have been eliminated.  The only thing we have left is our own free will.

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20,000 ‘disease detectives’ to track, isolate, and perhaps quarantine California residents exposed to COVID-19, Gov. Newsom says

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom said a plan is in place to deploy 20,000 “disease detectives” across the state to track, isolate, and perhaps quarantine residents exposed to COVID-19, KPIX-TV reported.

What are the details?

Newsom said at a Tuesday press briefing that UCLA and UC San Francisco are providing a “virtual academy” to recruit and train individuals to build on the nearly 3,000 “disease detectives” already tracking and tracing people who’ve come in contact with residents who are COVID-19 positive, the station said.

The governor said 23 counties are presently tracking and tracing and keeping records on possible COVID-19 exposures and determining who should be isolated and/or quarantined, KPIX reported.

“This tracing that’s happening includes a workforce of about 3,000 people today — 2,845 individuals to be exact — primarily conducted at the local level,” Newsom said, according to the station, and that the online training academy is aiming to equip “upwards to 3,000 people a week to go through two phases … 10,000 being our first-phase goal, 20,000 our second-phase goal. So on the high end getting about 20,000 people into this workforce … building off the existing base of 3,000.”

‘Ultimately, it’s customer service’

In northern California recruits are redeployed civil servants and volunteers who will serve six- to 12-month-long stints that require skills ranging from “data entry and psychology to project management and crisis intervention,” the Mercury News reported.

“Ultimately, it’s customer service,” Contra Costa County Public Health Director Daniel Peddycord told the paper. “We need people with critical thinking skills and empathy.”

Bay Area health officers told the Mercury News that “disease detectives” are already catching silent infections.

“It’s incredibly moving to hear all of the people in our community step forward and ask how they can help support these efforts,” Dr. Nicholas Moss, acting director of Alameda County’s Public Health Department, told the paper.

More from the Mercury News:

On laptops and phones, these experts seek to find everyone who has spent at least 10 minutes within six feet of a person who has tested positive for the virus — up to two days before that person felt sick.

Then they inform them of their risk, refer them to testing and urge them to stay isolated at home for 14 days.
Maybe it’s someone who helped unpack boxes in a grocery aisle or shared a coffee break during a shift at the local hardware store. Perhaps they were part of a team that laid irrigation pipes or hung drywall. They may have cooked church dinner or bathed an elder.

A county’s contact tracing squad — officially known as Case Investigators — gets a name and phone number for every person who has tested positive, either from their doctor or drive-through public site. During the call, the investigators ask where they have been and who they have been with in the days leading up to their illness.
The sleuthing then turns to potential contacts, narrowing down names and phone numbers.

The phone conversation, typically read from a script, starts formally: “You have been identified as a close contact to a person with a confirmed novel coronavirus infection,” they say. “We would like to ask you some questions since we think you may have been exposed to the virus.”

But it ends warmly, with offers of help — for food, housing, medicine, childcare, elder care or any other needs. The county also is available to provide symptom “checkups,” via text, chat, email or phone.

“The responses range from tears to ‘I’m glad I know,'” Peddycord told the paper. “Most people are grateful and reassured.”

He added to the Mercury News that “it is a bit of ‘hunt and peck’ to get ahold of folks and who they’ve been around. That is the ugly nuts and bolts of this.”

Peddycord told the paper his team will call three to five times, then deliver a letter — but people are under no legal requirement to disclose where they’ve been or who they’ve been with and that tracers won’t disclose names. They also won’t ask for immigration statuses, health coverages, social security numbers, or bank account information.

“First and foremost we want to protect privacy,” Moss told the Mercury News. “The most important thing is to be able to build trust.”

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Global Surveillance in the Wake of COVID-19

OneZero is tracking thirty countries around the world who are implementing surveillance programs in the wake of COVID-19:

The most common form of surveillance implemented to battle the pandemic is the use of smartphone location data, which can track population-level movement down to enforcing individual quarantines. Some governments are making apps that offer coronavirus health information, while also sharing location information with authorities for a period of time. For instance, in early March, the Iranian government released an app that it pitched as a self-diagnostic tool. While the tool’s efficacy was likely low, given reports of asymptomatic carriers of the virus, the app saved location data of millions of Iranians, according to a Vice report.

One of the most alarming measures being implemented is in Argentina, where those who are caught breaking quarantine are being forced to download an app that tracks their location. In Hong Kong, those arriving in the airport are given electronic tracking bracelets that must be synced to their home location through their smartphone’s GPS signal.

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Contact Tracing COVID-19 Infections via Smartphone Apps

Google and Apple have announced a joint project to create a privacy-preserving COVID-19 contact tracing app. (Details, such as we have them, are here.) It’s similar to the app being developed at MIT, and similar to others being described and developed elsewhere.

I was going to write a long essay about the privacy and other concerns, but Ross Anderson beat me to it. (Note that some of his comments are UK-specific.)

First, it isn’t anonymous. Covid-19 is a notifiable disease so a doctor who diagnoses you must inform the public health authorities, and if they have the bandwidth they call you and ask who you’ve been in contact with. They then call your contacts in turn. It’s not about consent or anonymity, so much as being persuasive and having a good bedside manner.

I’m relaxed about doing all this under emergency public-health powers, since this will make it harder for intrusive systems to persist after the pandemic than if they have some privacy theater that can be used to argue that the whizzy new medi-panopticon is legal enough to be kept running.

Second, contact tracers have access to all sorts of other data such as public transport ticketing and credit-card records. This is how a contact tracer in Singapore is able to phone you and tell you that the taxi driver who took you yesterday from Orchard Road to Raffles has reported sick, so please put on a mask right now and go straight home. This must be controlled; Taiwan lets public-health staff access such material in emergencies only.

Third, you can’t wait for diagnoses. In the UK, you only get a test if you’re a VIP or if you get admitted to hospital. Even so the results take 1-3 days to come back. While the VIPs share their status on twitter or facebook, the other diagnosed patients are often too sick to operate their phones.

Fourth, the public health authorities need geographical data for purposes other than contact tracing – such as to tell the army where to build more field hospitals, and to plan shipments of scarce personal protective equipment. There are already apps that do symptom tracking but more would be better. So the UK app will ask for the first three characters of your postcode, which is about enough to locate which hospital you’d end up in.

Fifth, although the cryptographers – and now Google and Apple – are discussing more anonymous variants of the Singapore app, that’s not the problem. Anyone who’s worked on abuse will instantly realise that a voluntary app operated by anonymous actors is wide open to trolling. The performance art people will tie a phone to a dog and let it run around the park; the Russians will use the app to run service-denial attacks and spread panic; and little Johnny will self-report symptoms to get the whole school sent home.

I recommend reading his essay in full. Also worth reading are this EFF essay, and this ACLU white paper.

To me, the real problems aren’t around privacy and security. The efficacy of any app-based contact tracing is still unproven. A “contact” from the point of view of an app isn’t the same as an epidemiological contact. And the ratio of infections to contacts is high. We would have to deal with the false positives (being close to someone else, but separated by a partition or other barrier) and the false negatives (not being close to someone else, but contracting the disease through a mutually touched object). And without cheap, fast, and accurate testing, the information from any of these apps isn’t very useful. So I agree with Ross that this is primarily an exercise in that false syllogism: Something must be done. This is something. Therefore, we must do it.

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You Are Being Tracked: More Than You Were Before

The United States government has rolled out incredibly totalitarian measures that amount to human rights violations in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.  Unfortunately, long after this pandemic is a distance memory, the authoritarian controls will still be in place.

Local governments and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received the anonymized data about people in areas of “geographic interest,” with the aim being to create a portal of geolocation information for 500 cities across the country. The development follows reports of other countries using cellphone data to monitor citizens and see if they are complying with curbs on movement, and elimination of income in order to defeat the viral outbreak.

Last Minute Quarantine Preps You Can Buy From Home

Prep Your Immune System To Fight Off Viruses

Simple Prepper Hacks To AVOID Getting The Flu

European mobile carriers have reportedly been sharing data with health authorities in Italy, Germany, and Austria, while at the same time respecting Europe’s privacy laws. Earlier this month, Israel passed emergency measures that allow security agencies to track the smartphone data of people with suspected COVID-19 and find others they may have come into contact with.

Even if you end up making it through this pandemic without getting sick, the economic ramifications are going to be immense and it’s expected that the government will use the implemented mass surveillance and tracked to squash riots.  It’s likely that this pandemic will affect you for much longer than the virus will. The mainstream media is calling those who care about people’s livelihoods “greedy,” but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  If people cannot feed their families, the social unrest and riots that could result from this lockdown may be overwhelming and could result in a massive amount of suicides and homicides.  The mainstream media can continue to ignore that fact all they’d like, but people will get violent if they get hungry.

Pandemic-related unemployment and shutdowns are a recipe for social unrest, reported Reason.  That’s a huge concern as forecasters expect the U.S. unemployment rate in the months to come to surpass that seen during the depths of the Great Depression.  If that happens, the fallout from the shutdown will be worse than the deaths during this pandemic. Expect these totalitarian measures being put in place now to be used to control the public when they can’t make a living anymore.

 

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Privacy vs. Surveillance in the Age of COVID-19

The trade-offs are changing:

As countries around the world race to contain the pandemic, many are deploying digital surveillance tools as a means to exert social control, even turning security agency technologies on their own civilians. Health and law enforcement authorities are understandably eager to employ every tool at their disposal to try to hinder the virus ­ even as the surveillance efforts threaten to alter the precarious balance between public safety and personal privacy on a global scale.

Yet ratcheting up surveillance to combat the pandemic now could permanently open the doors to more invasive forms of snooping later.

I think the effects of COVID-19 will be more drastic than the effects of the terrorist attacks of 9/11: not only with respect to surveillance, but across many aspects of our society. And while many things that would never be acceptable during normal time are reasonable things to do right now, we need to makes sure we can ratchet them back once the current pandemic is over.

Cindy Cohn at EFF wrote:

We know that this virus requires us to take steps that would be unthinkable in normal times. Staying inside, limiting public gatherings, and cooperating with medically needed attempts to track the virus are, when approached properly, reasonable and responsible things to do. But we must be as vigilant as we are thoughtful. We must be sure that measures taken in the name of responding to COVID-19 are, in the language of international human rights law, “necessary and proportionate” to the needs of society in fighting the virus. Above all, we must make sure that these measures end and that the data collected for these purposes is not re-purposed for either governmental or commercial ends.

I worry that in our haste and fear, we will fail to do any of that.

More from EFF.

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COVID-19 Outbreak Is The Trojan Horse To Increase Smartphone Surveillance

This article was originally published by Aaron Kesel at Activist Post. 

The coronavirus outbreak is proving to be the Trojan horse that justifies increased digital surveillance via our smartphones.

All over the world, starting with China – the suspected origin of the COVID-19 outbreak – governments are increasing surveillance of citizens using their smartphones. The trend is taking off like wildfire; in China citizens now require a smartphone application’s permission to travel around the country and internationally.

Edward Snowden’s Warning: Surveillance Measures Will Outlast The Pandemic

The application is AliPay by Ant Financial, the finance affiliate controlled by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. co-founder Jack Ma, and Tencent Holdings Ltd.’s WeChat. Citizens now require a green health code to travel, Yahoo News reported.

China isn’t the only country looking towards smartphones to monitor their citizens; Israel and Poland have also implemented their own spying to monitor those suspected or confirmed to be infected with the COVID-19 virus. Israel has gone the more extreme route and has now given itself the authority to surveil any citizen without a court warrant. Poland, on the other hand, is requiring those diagnosed with COVID-19 ordered to self-isolate to send authorities a selfie using an app. Which, if Poles don’t respond back in 20 minutes with a smiling face, they risk a visit from the police, Dailymail reported.

Singapore has asked citizens to download an app that uses Bluetooth to track whether they’ve been near anyone diagnosed with the virus; and Taiwan, although not using a smartphone, has introduced “electronic fences” which alert police if suspected patients leave their homes.

Meanwhile, here in the U.S. as reported by the Washington Post, smartphones are being used by a variety of companies to “anonymously” collect user data and track if social distancing orders are being adhered to. Beyond that, the mobile phone industry is discussing how to monitor the spread of COVID-19. If that’s not enough, as this author reported for The Mind Unleashed, the government wants to work with big social tech giants like Google, Facebook, and others, to track the spread of COVID-19.

new live index shows the increase of the police state by Top10VPN, a Digital Rights group. Top10VPN lists a total of 15 countries which have already started measures to track the phones of coronavirus patients, ranging from anonymized aggregated data to monitor the movement of people more generally, to the tracking of individual suspected patients and their contacts, known as “contact tracing.”

That’s not the only live index, a company called Unacast that collects and analyzes phone GPS location data also launched one. Except this is a “Social Distancing Scoreboard” that grades, county by county, monitoring who is following social distancing rules.

As Activist Post previously wrote while discussing the increase of a police surveillance state, these measures being put into place now will likely remain long after the pandemic has stopped and the virus has run its course. That’s the everlasting effect that COVID-19 will have on our society.  The coronavirus is now classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and it may very well be a legitimate health concern for all of us around the world. But it’s the government’s response that should worry us all more in the long run.

At the time of this report, the COVID-19 virus has infected 458,927, killed 20,807, while 113,687 have recovered according to the Johns Hopkins map.

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Apple Intelwars Leaks privacy Surveillance tracking vulnerabilities

Apple’s Tracking-Prevention Feature in Safari has a Privacy Bug

Last month, engineers at Google published a very curious privacy bug in Apple’s Safari web browser. Apple’s Intelligent Tracking Prevention, a feature designed to reduce user tracking, has vulnerabilities that themselves allow user tracking. Some details:

ITP detects and blocks tracking on the web. When you visit a few websites that happen to load the same third-party resource, ITP detects the domain hosting the resource as a potential tracker and from then on sanitizes web requests to that domain to limit tracking. Tracker domains are added to Safari’s internal, on-device ITP list. When future third-party requests are made to a domain on the ITP list, Safari will modify them to remove some information it believes may allow tracking the user (such as cookies).

[…]

The details should come as a surprise to everyone because it turns out that ITP could effectively be used for:

  • information leaks: detecting websites visited by the user (web browsing history hijacking, stealing a list of visited sites)
  • tracking the user with ITP, making the mechanism function like a cookie
  • fingerprinting the user: in ways similar to the HSTS fingerprint, but perhaps a bit better

I am sure we all agree that we would not expect a privacy feature meant to protect from tracking to effectively enable tracking, and also accidentally allowing any website out there to steal its visitors’ web browsing history. But web architecture is complex, and the consequence is that this is exactly the case.

Apple fixed this vulnerability in December, a month before Google published.

If there’s any lesson here, it’s that privacy is hard — and that privacy engineering is even harder. It’s not that we shouldn’t try, but we should recognize that it’s easy to get it wrong.

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