Has the government announced that they will start tracking people’s location via their smartphones in order to keep the coronavirus in check? It depends on which country you’re talking about. A new live index of security measures by Top10VPN details the countries which have already brought in measures to track the phones of coronavirus patients. Canada and the United States are not on this list.
For example, in Singapore on March 20th, an app called TraceTogether was released by authorities in Singapore to help trace the spread of COVID-19. The app apparently is nearing one million users, and it was developed by the Government Technology Agency and the Ministry of Health. According to the Straits Times, the app can “identify people who have been in close proximity […] to coronavirus patients using wireless Bluetooth technology.”
Top10VPN lists 10 more countries that are starting to take similar measures, like India. Reuters reported that, “People suspected of having the coronavirus in India have received hand stamps and are being tracked using their mobile phones and personal data.”
Other countries on the list include Poland, The UK, Italy, Israel, Germany, Hong Kong, Austria, South Korea, Belgium, Iran, and Taiwan. The National Post is also reporting that Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin on Monday gave the authorities five days to develop a system to track people who have come into contact with anyone with coronavirus by using mobile phone geo-location data.
As the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, more governments are relying on mobile carrier data to track everything from patients who should be isolated to how well people are following limited-movement edicts. (The Verge)
The Rise Of Surveillance
Obviously, in such a crisis, it’s possible to conceive how such surveillance measures might be extremely beneficial when it comes to trying to slow the spread of COVID 19. That being said, we’ve seen backlash from the general population on a number of surveillance issues. For example, after 9/11 the United States government really ramped up surveillance and security protocols, and when people discovered that the ‘war on terror’ was being used as a false pretext for increased surveillance, many were upset and tried to awaken others. Today, it’s not uncommon to see accusations put upon the US government for creating the same terrorist groups that they claim to be at war with. The false pretext here is bringing democracy to other countries and it is often referred to as “false flag terrorism.”
The leaks of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has also revealed a lot of information regarding the measures various governments have taken to keep an ‘eye’ on their citizens, as well as citizens of other countries. Wikileaks’ Julian Assange is another hero in that regard.
Their leaks revealed that the entire citizenry is actually tracked, and although these mass surveillance systems are constantly pushed as justifiable by the national security state, they are a big infringement on our privacy rights. If the ‘war on terror’ is in a sense a fabrication by the same group of powers that use it to justify mass surveillance, what’s really going on here?
Is mass surveillance really a tool to protect the citizenry? Nowadays, it’s hard for many people to see how governments, or at least the powers that control them, are actually acting in the interests of citizens. Whistleblower William Binney, who was one of the highest-placed intelligence officials to ever speak out on insider NSA information, made headlines when he resigned in 2001 after 9/11 after having worked more than thirty years for the agency. He has disclosed that the US government is so into tracking and monitoring people that their goal is nothing short of “total population control.”
A Pandemic As Justification For Surveillance
But what about pandemics, like COVID 19? Can a pandemic be a ‘false flag’ and be weaponized for ulterior motives? Again, this is a thought that most would simply brush off as a mere conspiracy theory, but it’s not out of the question, at least in my opinion. These days, it’s almost as if you can’t even share an opinion on something without getting a ‘fake news’ strike. The war on information is indeed real. For example, according to Dr. Ron Paul received a ‘fake news’ strike for sharing this opinion in an article:
“People should ask themselves whether this coronavirus “pandemic” could be a big hoax, with the actual danger of the disease massively exaggerated by those who seek to profit – financially or politically – from the ensuing panic.” (source)
Dr. Francis Boyle, a law professor who drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act, recently shared his thoughts about the Coronavirus, stating that it could be a bioweapon that was either released or leaked out of a lab. You can read more about that here. Unfortunately the video in that article seems to have been removed off YouTube, I can’t find it, so you can watch another interview with him here if interested.
Questioning The Hype
This is not to say that the virus is not a threat, but John P.A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and professor of epidemiology and population health, as well as professor by courtesy of biomedical data science at Stanford University School of Medicine, makes some interesting points in an article he recently published titled “A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data.”
In it, he points to the fact that current fatality rate predictions are useless, ridiculous, and are simply scaring people, when it looks like this is not going to be as bad as all the hysteria makes it seem. In fact, he makes the point that coronaviruses already affect tens of millions per year, and could have fatality rates as high as 8% among the elderly population. A recent study published in Italy shows that 99% of people who have died so far from COVID 19 had pre-existing medical conditions that made them more susceptible to death. This may have changed as we are still in the early stages. You can read more about that and access that study here.
The point is, although it’s best to take precautions, we may be dealing with something that is no different from many viruses and diseases already out there with regards to the number of infected, and the death rate as well as the dangers that are posed the elderly and those who already have underlying health conditions. So why all of these lockdown measures now?
After the passing of this “fiasco,” you can rest assured that there will be those who will have profited off this event politically and financially, and perhaps we will see some new legislation come into fruition as a result.
On a final note, it’s quite a head-scratcher that nothing but drugs and vaccinesare being promoted as the only potential solutions when other substances have showed promise. This is why clinical trials for intravenous vitamin C have begun in China, for example. But in the West, that’s ‘fake news’ and there is no possibility that it can even work. If that’s the case, why would China start clinical trials and why would doctors take to youtube to express the fact that success is being seen?
These are all very important questions to ask, despite the fact that the answers may not be readily available. I’ll leave it up to you to speculate. In my opinion, it’s quite clear in this day in age that nothing is ever presented as it really is.
This article (Governments Are Tracking Peoples Location Using Their Smartphones Because Of The Coronavirus) was originally created for Collective Evolution and is published here under Creative Commons.
An Asteroid The Size Of A Football Stadium Is Flying Toward The Earth This Week: NASA
NASA is keeping watch on a humongous asteroid that is quickly approaching Earth every day.
(TMU) – NASA is keeping watch on a humongous asteroid that is quickly approaching Earth every day. The NASA website’s Asteroid Watch Widget shows the next five asteroids and comets that are expected to make relatively close approaches to earth in the next few days.
Among these is a large comet that is expected to be 1,100 feet wide (335 meters), approximately the size of a football stadium or the Wilshire Grand Center skyscraper in Los Angeles and larger than New York’s Empire State Building.
The asteroid, which is named 2002 NN4, is expected to come closest to our planet on Saturday, June 6th, according to NASA. The space rock is categorized as an Aten-class Asteroid, but is also classified by the space agency as a Near-Earth Asteroid (NEA) and Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA), reports Tech Times.
Scientists are making it clear that any possibility of a collision here on Earth is EXTREMELY remote – in fact, its closest approach will be a distant 3,160,000 miles (over 5 million km.) away from home base.
While the asteroid is considered somewhat small in relation to the much larger rocks shooting across our galaxy, the 2002 NN4 is also 90% larger than the four others listed. These include three others about the size of a plane and another size of a house that are approaching the Earth. The closest one is expected to come within 1,830,000 miles of Earth today.
Researchers say that the asteroid completes its orbit around the sun every 0.82 years, or 300 days.
Scientists predict numerous “close approaches” of the asteroid to the Earth in the future. While only 30 close approaches are forecast at the moment, 2002 NN4 will return to our neighbourhood in nine years, on June 29 – so if you want to wave at this distant traveller, Saturday will be your only chance for some time.
Space.com has also reported that small asteroids pass by our planet on a monthly basis. One such small asteroid, 2020 HS7, safely passes near Earth several times each month, NASA Planetary Defence Officer Lindley Johnson said in an April 28 statement.
“It poses no threat to our planet, and even if it were on a collision path with Earth it is small enough that it would be disintegrated by our Earth’s atmosphere,” the planetary defence official added.
Yet 2020 HS7 was still came startlingly close to the planet, coming a mere 26,550 miles (42,735 km) within the Earth’s center and only 750 miles (1,200 km) from the closest satellite in geostationary orbit, which is one of the more distant satellite rings surrounding Earth. The space rock passed well below the satellite, however, leaving it unscathed.
The flybys are a good display of our planetary defence apparatus in action. Space authorities like NASA and the European Space Agency identify the asteroids in our galactic “neighbourhood” beginning with the largest, while tracking their orbital trajectory. As scientists compile more and more data on these space rocks, they are able to plot their orbits more accurately and calculate the probability – or lack thereof – of any impact with our planet.
Swarm Of Earthquakes In Yellowstone Renews Fears Of Supervolcano Eruption
A swarm of earthquakes has caused renewed concern over the area’s underground supervolcano.
(TMU) – The US Geological Survey says it is monitoring the area near Yellowstone National Park where a swarm of earthquakes has caused renewed concern over the area’s underground supervolcano. Although statistically unlikely, a supervolcano eruption would release the equivalent of 1,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs and wreak unprecedented destruction.
The area, West Yellowstone in Montana, reported around eleven earthquakes on Friday and a total of 34 in the last month. Though considered low-magnitude quakes, the tremors extended three miles underground.
According to Yellowstone National Park’s website:
“Yellowstone is one of the most seismically active areas in the United States….Approximately 700 to 3,000 earthquakes occur each year in the Yellowstone area; most are not felt. They result from the extensive network of faults associated with the volcano and surrounding tectonic features.”
Situated in northwest Wyoming, Yellowstone National Park brings in millions of annual tourists, who marvel at the geysers, steam vents, and bubbling eddies of exothermally heated water.
Park officials say that earthquakes there are caused by volcanic fluids entering shallow rock fractures.
Yellowstone sits atop one of only two supervolcanos in the US. Contained within three overlapping calderas that represent past eruptions from hundreds of thousands and even millions of years ago, scientists say the Yellowstone volcano is roughly 34 by 45 miles wide and only three miles below the surface. Its last eruption was 640,000 years ago when it is estimated to have dumped over 2,000 times the amount of ash as the Mount St. Helens eruption.
Swarms of earthquakes are not unusual in the area. In 2018, the park recorded a swarm of 153 quakes. The US Geological Survey says the odds are only one in 730,000 that the Yellowstone supervolcano will erupt this year.
However, the supervolcano eruption threat has become a predictable meme in recent years, usually resurfacing during earthquakes swarms. The reason is that if the supervolcano did go off, it would definitely be a game-changer. A BBC feature on supervolcanos described the aftermath: “The sky will darken, black rain will fall, and the Earth will be plunged into the equivalent of a nuclear winter.”
Volcanists insist there is no imminent threat of a supervolcano eruption at the moment but larger earthquakes and hydrothermal blasts could present a real danger to tourists. Over the years, over 300 people have died at Yellowstone, in accidents ranging from driving off of 800-foot cliffs to unknowingly diving into 200-degree boiling water and succumbing to the fumes emitted by hydrothermal vents.
In 2016, a 23-year-old man fell off a boardwalk overlooking the Norris Geyser Basin and was incinerated in the high-temperature, acidic geyser below.
So while this summer’s tourists probably don’t have to worry about the earthquakes representing the eruption of the supervolcano, Yellowstone National Park visitors should bring a healthy respect for the powers of nature.
A Penumbral Lunar Eclipse Is Happening During The Full Moon This June
On June 5th and 6th, the Strawberry Full Moon will also pass through the faint outer shadow of the Earth, known as a penumbral lunar eclipse.
(TMU) – On June 5th and 6th, the Strawberry Full Moon will pass through the faint outer shadow of the Earth, known as a penumbral lunar eclipse, the second of four penumbral lunar eclipses this year. Weather permitting, those of you in Asia, Australia, Europe, Africa and the South Eastern areas of South America might notice the Moon turn slightly darker, or seem less bright, during the maximum phase of the eclipse. A penumbral lunar eclipse can be subtle and sometimes difficult to distinguish from a normal full moon.
While June’s Strawberry Full Moon eclipse may be visible from start to finish from some areas – a total of 3 hours 18 minutes – other areas will only experience the Moon rise or set during the eclipse. Check the time of the Full Moon eclipse in your city or town by clicking here, and set that time aside to watch the event. Unfortunately, for North America and most of South America, this event will be happening below their horizon.
A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth aligns between the Full Moon and the Sun, blocking the Sun’s rays from reaching the Full Moon.
A total eclipse occurs when Earths umbra – the central, dark part of its shadow – obscures all of the Moon’s surface. During a partial eclipse only a part of the Moon’s surface is obscured by Earth’s umbra. A penumbral lunar eclipse happens when Earth’s faint penumbral, outer shadow falls on the Moon, like the one we already experienced on January 10th and are what the remaining three lunar eclipses will be this year on June 5th, July 5th and November 31st.
The early Indigenous people of North America kept track of the seasons and lunar months by naming them according to events during that time. June’s Full Moon is either the last full moon of spring, or the first of the summer, and is called the “Strawberry Moon”. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the name originated with Algonquin tribes in eastern North America – and was used as a signal to gather the ripening wild strawberries. Colonial Americans adopted some of the indigenous moon names and applied them to their own calendar system – which is still used today.
Trump To Sign Social Media Executive Order After Threatening To Shut Down Platforms
US President Donald Trump might be one of Twitter’s most active users, but he has had harsh words for the social media platform this week.
(TMU) – US President Donald Trump might be one of Twitter’s most active users, but he has had harsh words for the social media platform this week, after the site fact-checked one of his claims about voting by mail.
Trump even went so far as to threaten to “strongly regulate” or even potentially shut down social media websites for attempting to interfere with political speech and election results.
This is the first time that Trump has been fact-checked on the site, as public figures are often given a pass in circumstances like this because their comments are a matter of public discourse, as offensive as they may be at times, but increased calls for the moderation of Trump’s tweets have led to increased scrutiny over his profile.
President Trump was so incensed by the actions against his profile that he is now promising to sign an executive order in regards to content moderation on social media sites.
“These platforms act like they are potted plants when [in reality] they are curators of user experiences, i.e. the man behind the curtain for everything we can see or hear,” an administration official familiar with the issue told Politico on Wednesday night.
While the content of the executive order is not entirely clear, some have speculated that it could be related to a 1996 statute that protects these companies from lawsuits. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act gives tech companies a limited legal liability for user-generated content, which is a great thing at face value, but it also protects these companies from any legal action for “taking good-faith efforts to curb illicit material.”
In the years since, frequent conflicts have arisen over content moderation, while “good faith efforts” and “illicit Material” are still poorly defined, allowing these companies to remove content based on arbitrary whims, which are often directed by personal politics, and the temperaments of advertisers.
Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey defended the site’s actions on Wednesday night, saying that he was not censoring Trump, but providing other sources so people could look deeper into the issue. He also said that the site will continue to fact check the information that they find to be incorrect or disputed, especially when it comes to elections.
“Our intention is to connect the dots of conflicting statements and show the information in dispute so people can judge for themselves,” he said.
He also says that he will be taking full responsibility for the company’s actions and will be willing to admit mistakes if any are made.
Last year, Twitter announced it would ban all political ads from its platform. At the time, Dorsey said that he believed online reach for political messages “should be earned, not bought.”
Mark Zuckerberg responded to the controversy this week also, saying that Twitter made the wrong call, and falsely claimed that Facebook takes a hands-off approach to moderating political content.
“I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn’t be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. Private companies probably shouldn’t be, especially these platform companies, shouldn’t be in the position of doing that,” Zuckerberg said.
While Twitter is traditionally less aggressive with content moderation than Facebook when it comes to issues like foreign policy, police brutality, or nudity, they have become very serious about policing hate speech and political misinformation.
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