Watching 👁️ : Mass surveillance status updated due to Corona Virus
We’ll keep an eye on the surveillance for you.
Today, we are focusing on the various announcements passed under the radar in France and almost not relayed by the media, which are nevertheless of major importance. However, similar directives are already operational in Italy, Israel, South Korea, China, the United States and Belgium.
Corona Virus, used as a Trojan to inject surveillance.
The context of Corona Virus makes it possible to bypass laws and discreetly restrict individual freedoms. This in-depth article from La Quadrature du Net allows us to go into more detail on the current legislative aspect: AGAINST COVID-19, THE GEOLOCATION ALREADY AUTHORIZED.
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“Security of citizens within the territory”
With the use of terms and arguments such as “Security of citizens within the territory” or “Cases of extreme necessity” and “State of emergency”, in the past few days and weeks we have been observingvarious updates that are very important for the protection of our private lives.
“There is no individual tracing (…) We do not transmit your photos, your contacts… Only your geolocation. - Stéphane Richard, Orange’s CEO, on Europe 1.
The main European telecom operators now share the location data of their subscribers collected through their smartphones. In France, Orange as the market leader with just under 35 million mobile subscribers is one of those transmitting this data.
From a health point of view, it is obvious that we are facing an exceptional situation and everyone might want us to use technology in this type of emergency. Certainly, we believe that we must use the code and all the tools necessary to counter this virus. But be careful, it is very important to analyse the importance of this type of directive and to go into the details of this type of update.
Indeed, the most important issue is the following: What data is used? Which is really necessary for scientific research and/or analysis of epidemiological situations? Is this data anonymous and only based on behavior?
Let’s keep our eyes open 👁️
What we must absolutely keep in mind is that we never “go down” from a level of safety that has been raised for a specific context. Have you ever heard a Head of State say, “It’s all right, we’re going down from the Red Vigipirate level to the Green Vigipirate level”? No, I have not. In reality, not only is surveillance a game that, once you have tasted it, as a private company or as a government, you find it difficult to do without, but it is also very complicated in this context to assess the impact of this type of advance that goes against individual freedoms.
Let us take an extreme case:
By implementing this type of surveillance, the government opens the door to massive automated surveillance through a private third party. Not only can this third party be unreliable, but citizens can also see the third party itself as a source of vulnerabilities.
If, in an extreme case, a third party - an enemy country, a team of hackers, or even a government with malicious intentions - were to decide that this tool could also monitor opponents, then the technical and legal infrastructure would already be in place. Citizens would then either not be informed about it or simply not be consulted for its implementation.
In every emergency context, whether it is an attack or a pandemic, new tools are needed, and we are aware of this. It is simply essential to be very careful about putting in place tools that could prove to be liberticidal, contrary to the principles of democracy, and that could gtadually lead to a state of widespread surveillance, under the guise of wanting to offer greater security.
Let’s take care each other, and monitor the surveillance status by & for the community.
Sources 📰 👁️
➡ How the Chinese government is using the coronavirus to step up surveillance .
➡ By tracking the coronavirus using surveillance tools, states risk violating privacy.
➡ Coronavirus: data from smartphones monitored by governments Coronavirus: Israel approves mass electronic surveillance methods
➡ Big data against big virus: applications track people in quarantine
➡ Your telecom data put to work against the coronavirus
➡ Coronavirus: Eight European operators, including Orange, will provide their customers' location data
Photo Credit: undraw