Jesus would have wept for those suffering from the coronavirus

Pope Francis offered the Mass celebrated at Casa Santa Marta this Fifth Sunday of Lent, March 29 for “so many people crying” over the coronavirus epidemic COVID 19 and assured that Jesus would also have cried with all those who are suffering.

“I think of so many people who cry: isolated people, people in quarantine, the elderly alone, people hospitalized and people in therapy, parents who see that, since they do not get paid, they will not feed their children. So many people crying. We too, in our hearts, accompany you. And it will not hurt us to cry a little with the Lord’s tears for all his people, “said the Pontiff.

The Holy Father invited, “before a world that suffers so much, before so many people who suffer the consequences of this pandemic,” to ask: Am I capable of crying as, surely, Jesus would have done and does Jesus himself?

He insisted that “many cry today. And we, from this altar, from this sacrifice of Jesus, of Jesus who is not ashamed to cry, ask for the grace to cry. May today be for all of us like the Sunday of tears ”.

In his homily, Pope Francis reflected on the evangelical fragment in which the resurrection of Lazarus is narrated.

He recalled that “Jesus had friends. He loved them all, but he had friends with whom he had a special relationship, as with friends, of greater love, of greater confidence. And many, many times he stayed at these friends’ houses: Lázaro, Marta, María… And Jesus felt pain for the illness and death of his friend ”Lázaro.

Jesus “arrived at the tomb and was deeply shocked and, very disturbed, asked: ‘Where have you put it?’ And Jesus broke down in tears. Jesus, God, but man, he cries ”.

He explained that also “on another occasion in the Gospel it is said that Jesus wept: when he thinks of Jerusalem. And how tenderly Jesus cries! He cries from the heart, he cries with love, he cries with his own who cry. The cry of Jesus. Perhaps he has cried other times in life, we do not know; surely in the Garden of Olives. But Jesus cries of love, always ”.

“He is deeply shocked and, very disturbed, he cries. How many times have we heard this commotion of Jesus in the Gospel, with that phrase that is repeated: “Seeing him, he had compassion.” Jesus cannot look at people and not feel compassion. His eyes are with the heart; Jesus sees with his eyes, but he looks with his heart and is capable of crying. ”

Pope Francis ended the homily by asking himself: “Does my heart resemble that of Jesus? And if it is too hard, if I am able to speak, to do good, to help, but it does not enter the heart. I am not able to cry, ask the Lord for that grace: Lord, I will cry with you, cry with your people who, at this moment, suffer. ”

Gospel commented by Pope Francis:

John 11: 1-45
1 There was a certain sick man, Lazarus, from Bethany, town of Mary and his sister Martha.
2 Mary was the one who anointed the Lord with perfumes and dried his feet with her hair; his brother Lazaro was the sick man.
3 The sisters sent Jesus to say: “Lord, he whom you love is sick.”
4 When Jesus heard it, he said: “This disease is not of death, it is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified by it.”
5 Jesus loved Martha, her sister, and Lazarus.
6 When he found out that he was sick, he stayed two more days in the place where he was.
7 At the end of them, he says to his disciples: “Let’s go back to Judea.”
8 The disciples say to him, “Rabbi, with whom the Jews recently wanted to stone you, and are you going back there?”
9 Jesus answered: «Are not the hours of the day twelve? If one walks during the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world;
10 But if one walks at night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him. “
11 He said this and added: «Our friend Lazarus sleeps; but I’m going to wake him up.
12 His disciples said to him, “Lord, if he sleeps, he will be cured.”
13 Jesus had said this about his death, but they believed he was talking about the rest of the dream.
14 Then Jesus openly said to them, “Lazarus is dead,
15 and I am glad for you of not having been there, so that you believe. But let’s go to him.
16 Then Thomas, called the Twin, said to the other disciples: “Let us also go and die with him.”
17 When Jesus arrived, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.
18 Bethany was near Jerusalem about fifteen stadia,
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary’s house to comfort them for their brother.
20 When Martha knew that Jesus had come, she met him while Mary remained at home.
21 Martha said to Jesus: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.
22 But even now I know that whatever you ask of God, God will grant it to you. ”
23 Jesus said to him, “Your brother will rise again.”
24 Martha replied, “I know that he will rise in the resurrection on the last day.”
25 Jesus answered him, “I am the resurrection. He who believes in me, even if he dies, will live;
26 and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?
27 She says to him: “Yes, Lord, I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who was to come into the world.”
28 Having said this, he went to call his sister Maria and said in his ear: “The Master is there and calls you.”
29 As soon as she heard it, she got up quickly and went to him.
30 Jesus had not yet reached the town; but he was still in the place where Marta had found him.
31 The Jews who were with Mary at home consoling her, when they saw her get up quickly and go out, followed her thinking that she was going to the tomb to cry there.
32 When Mary came to where Jesus was, when she saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him: “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
33 When Jesus saw her cry and the Jews who were accompanying her also cried, she was deeply moved, disturbed.
34 and said, “Where have you put it?” They answer him, “Lord, come and you will see it.”
35 Jesus began to cry.
36 The Jews then said, “Look how I loved him.”
37 But some of them said, “This man, who opened the blind man’s eyes, could he not have caused him not to die?”
38 Then Jesus was moved inside him again and went to the tomb. It was a cave, and it had a stone on it.
39 Jesus says: “Take away the stone.” Marta, the dead man’s sister, replies: «Sir, it already smells; it’s the fourth day.
40 Jesus said to him, “Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?”
41 So they removed the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said: «Father, I thank you for listening to me.
42 I already knew that you always listen to me; but I have said it for these that surround me, so that they believe that you have sent me. »
43 Having said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”
44 And the dead man came out, bound hand and foot with bandages, and wrapped his face in a shroud. Jesus says to them, “Loose him and let him walk.”
45 Many of the Jews who had come to Mary’s house, seeing what he had done, believed in him.
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Pope Francis laments “Sunday of tears”

Pope Francis has called for an immediate worldwide ceasefire in the face of the corona pandemic. The head of the church explicitly supported a corresponding call by UN Secretary-General António Guterres on Sunday. He argued for the creation of humanitarian corridors. The head of the church demanded that diplomacy should help people in need.
            Guterres had called for an end to all fighting on Monday. “End the evil called war and fight the disease that is ravaging our world,” said the UN Secretary General in New York, Kathpress recalled on Sunday. “That is what our human family needs, now more than ever.”

Guterres offered UN aid to negotiate fire breaks. These are necessary for humanitarian aid and for new diplomatic initiatives.
For the fourth time since the outbreak of the Coronavirus epidemic in Italy, Francis did not speak the Angelus prayer directly in front of the faithful at the window of his Apostolic Palace. Rather, he turned to the believers standing in the library of his Apostolic Palace. The traditional prayer was broadcast live from the Papal Palace. St. Peter’s Square has been closed since March 10th.
The joint effort against the coronavirus pandemic should contribute to “strengthening fraternal relationships”. “We are all members of one family,” said the Holy Father, who called for an end to the rivalries. “Conflicts are not resolved with war, but with dialogue and a constructive search for peace,” said Francis.

The pontiff said he was close to the weaker and to those who have to live in groups at this time of the pandemic, as happens in barracks, retirement homes, or prisons. The Pope called on the authorities to take action against overpopulation in prisons. It is important to avoid “tragedies” in the prisons.
By avoiding the Angelus prayer in St. Peter’s Square, the risk of spreading the virus should be avoided. The Vatican is thus following the guidelines of the Italian government, which has prohibited assemblies at which the participants cannot maintain the specified minimum distance of one meter.
Francis had previously expressed his grief over the pandemic at a morning mass in the Santa Marta guest house. He said he felt connected to all those who were lonely, especially those who were currently sealed off in the intensive care unit because of the virus, the Pope said in the streamed early mass.
“I think of the many crying, isolated people, those in quarantine, lonely old people, patients in hospital and people in therapy, parents who see that they will not be able to feed their children because there is none There are wages. Many people cry. May we accompany them with our hearts, and it will not hurt us to cry a little as the Lord cried for all his people, “said the Holy Father.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Pope will also celebrate Easter without believers. The same applies to the liturgies for Holy Week, said the Vatican. Among other things, the big procession in front of the Colosseum on Good Friday, in which thousands of believers from all over the world take part annually.
                    
                                            
                                Source: APA
                                    

        

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the laptop that does more, for less

At the start of 2020, Apple is offering a new iteration of its most popular laptop: the MacBook Air. In the absence of a change in design, the brand has reworked a few essential points of its machine, starting with its keyboard, which is too prone to encounter breakdowns.

It takes the opportunity to give the user a little extra power, and additional storage. Above all, the price is significantly lowered: the cheapest version, equipped with a 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor, is delivered from 1199 euros.

            

    
        

                     
                                    BFMTV.COM
                                                    – Apple MacBook Air (2020)
                            
            

                The strengths of the MacBook Air (2020)

                
A sharp drop in price

Two years ago, Apple sold its MacBook Air from 1,349 euros. The new model drops to 1199 euros, a fall of more than 10%. As with the iPhone and iPad, the brand continues its efforts by significantly lowering the price of its products. This is all the more appreciable for a portable computer, which will be used for several years.

                
A new successful keyboard

You have to go back a few months – if not years – to understand the importance of changing the keyboard on this new MacBook Air. In 2015, Apple unveiled a new type of keyboard, called “butterfly”, whose internal architecture is completely different from that of “scissor” keyboard. Despite a more dynamic typing, these keyboards have been criticized by customers for serial outages affecting “a small number” of users according to Apple. Despite successive improvements, Apple has decided to abandon this keyboard with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, released in late 2019, probably due to its fragility.

            

    
        

                     
                                    BFMTV.COM
                                                    – Apple MacBook Air (2020)
                            
            

                The MacBook Air inherits this keyboard (called “Magic Keyboard”), which reverts to classic operation, while modernizing it. In addition to the probable gain in reliability – which will have to be demonstrated over time, this development brings typing comfort even higher than that of the “butterfly” keyboard. It is certainly more flexible, but manages to remain extremely dynamic. A perfect balance, which adds to another major advantage: this new keyboard is much quieter.

                
Storage capacity revised upwards

While the previous version of the MacBook Air offered a storage capacity of 128 GB by default for the cheapest version, the new model ships at least 256 GB. Despite the existence of many online storage services at very low prices, we can only appreciate this additional digital space, which could in particular prove to be very useful for keeping some films and series “hard” on his machine.

                
An excellent screen

In 2018, Apple finally integrated its Retina screen into the MacBook Air, offering a significantly higher screen definition (2,560 x 1,600 pixels, or 227 pixels per inch). Nothing changes with the 2020 version: the 13.3-inch panel ensures excellent reading and display comfort, with a very satisfactory level of brightness.

            

    
        

                     
                                    BFMTV.COM
                                                    – Apple MacBook Air (2020)
                            
            

                
A beautiful design

If Apple does not change the design of its laptop, it is probably that there is not much to blame it. The gigantic trackpad is very comfortable, while the product remains compact and light, with a weight of 1.3 kg and a thickness of 1.61 cm. The three colors offered are elegant, with a “gold” model which has the good taste of not falling into the bling bling.

                Weaknesses of the MacBook Air (2020)

                
Limited performance

In its most affordable version, the MacBook Air 2020 is equipped with a dual-core Intel Core i3 processor (10th generation), largely sufficient for most uses (navigation, video, and possibly photo editing). But the machine will not go much further. To get more, you will have to turn to the version sold for 1499 euros, or to the 13-inch MacBook Pro – which should however be updated in the coming months.

            

    
        

                     
                                    BFMTV.COM
                                                    – Apple MacBook Air (2020)
                            
            

                
No Wi-Fi 6

In its desire to sell a portable computer, Apple would have been well advised to make the MacBook Air compatible with the Wi-Fi 6 standard, the most advanced of the moment, already available on certain boxes. Officially launched in September 2019, Wi-Fi 6 provides higher speeds, lower latency, and better distribution of bandwidth between several devices.

                Conclusion

With this new MacBook Air, at least in its cheapest version, Apple manages to deliver a computer “for all” almost flawless, which offers more than its predecessor while enjoying a more affordable price. The two main qualities of this 2020 version are its storage capacity doubled and its new keyboard, even more pleasant, and, we hope, more reliable than the previous one. For everyday use, this new machine will be an obvious choice. If you want more power and agree to add an additional 300 euros, the MacBook Pro will be a good alternative, just like the Dell XPS 13 in the Windows universe.

    

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Coronavirus, Speranza: «It takes time. Lowering the guard would nullify all the efforts made “

«Time and graduality». Italy needs this to get out of the emergency and start living again. But reopening everything right now, with the pandemic continuing to wreak havoc, would be a “sensational mistake”. Roberto Speranza is keeping away from controversy and has no desire, nor time, to respond to Matteo Renzi, who has spurred the government on “Avvenire” to “allow life to resume”. A counter-current position, opposed by the majority of scientists, by Palazzo Chigi and by the head of Health. Hope, indeed. “We are still in the midst of the epidemic – it is the warning that the minister repeats in these hours, to curb the impatience of those who would like to open wide the doors of the houses and the gates of the factories -. Let’s not lose our mind. It would be a serious mistake to drop your guard right now. It would end up nullifying all the efforts we have made to date to contain the spread of the epidemic “(here is the map of contagion in Italy).

From the earliest days of the coronavirus emergency, the leader of Leu has chosen the “hard line”. He fought to convince Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and the entire government to stop flights from China. He insisted on suspending the activity of schools and universities and to slow the country’s engines as much as possible. Until the gradual lockdown. “The sacrifices that our fellow citizens are making are a very serious effort,” acknowledges the minister, who has always claimed to rely on experts from the Higher Institute of Health, the Higher Council of Health and the government’s technical-scientific committee. Even yesterday, in the midst of the debate on opening or closing, Speranza invited to trust those who can read the data: “Epidemiologists say that the first effects of containment are beginning to be seen”. But it would be too great a risk to reverse the course right now, with Lombardy saying goodbye to hundreds of people every day: “We are still in the midst of the crisis”. And if Renzi suggests opening businesses before Easter and schools on May 4th, Speranza warns: «We are not yet at the stage change. It will take time and gradualness ».

Ever since the timid descent of the contagions began, the minister has been begging his government colleagues, the presidents of the Regions and the representatives of the opposition to not read the numbers of the sad daily bulletin at every video conference. And if he also recognizes that “the infections are increasing with less intensity than in the past”, he calls for caution, waiting for the epidemic to peak: “These are the first signs, but let’s wait. We must keep our attention high and not be satisfied, because these are the crucial days. ” During the last meeting in Palazzo Chigi between Conte and the leaders of the center-right, Matteo Salvini, Giorgia Meloni, Antonio Tajani and Maurizio Lupi present, Speranza said that “the situation remains very serious” and Italy, especially in the North, is “still in the storm ». Six days have passed and for him the picture has not changed much. To those who want to find out if Italy will import the “Korea model” and try to do the swabs to as many people as possible, the minister replies that the only strategy that can offer certainties is “staying at home, separating people, distance themselves from all the others ». With patience and courage. Because the vaccine is far away and the drugs are all worth experimenting with. “I know we are asking for huge sacrifices – is the minister’s lay prayer – But respecting the rules is the best way that each of us has to do our part”. Taken as it is from an emergency which for him, born in 1979, is equivalent to the drama that was for his grandparents the Second World War, Speranza drops criticisms and attacks: “I have to work on hospitals in difficulty”. And that video of 2 February by Fabio Fazio, in which the virologist Roberto Burioni speaks of “zero risk for Italy” and the minister invites us not to be afraid, because our health service is one of the best in the world? “I think we know – is the comment of Speranza with the collaborators – everything I have done since January to today”.

March 29, 2020 (change March 29, 2020 | 09:23)
© RESERVED REPRODUCTION
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Corona: infections flattened, death toll rises – sports betting crown

Corona: infections flattened, death toll rises Sports betting Krone9,377 Coronavirus sufferers on Monday afternoon in Austria VIENNA.ATCorona virus: More than 9,600 infected people in Austria Sports betting KroneAlready more than 100 corona deaths in Austria Sports betting Krone “See more” in Google News

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WhatsApp group invitations: Soon users can decide for themselves

Updated: 29.03.20 09:05 byMarcus Giebel CloseGroup chats on WhatsApp can be extremely annoying for various reasons. The news service is now taking this into account with an update. For the time being, however, only a few users can enjoy it.Munich – Countless WhatsApp users may have longed for this development for years. As the blog “WABetaInfo”, which provides information about the news service, reports, it should be possible in the future to decide independently in which group chats one would like to be invited. So far, each user could add everyone else to the corresponding groups – without having to wait for their approval. As a result, WhatsApp users often ended up in chats, which they wanted to escape as quickly as possible due to the abundance of messages, unloved members or simply an inappropriate topic. WhatsApp change initially only in the beta version At least the upcoming beta version for the iPhone should contain an update, according to which you can set who is invited to group chats. The new WhatsApp version grants three setting options. The user can decide that anyone in the WhatsApp universe can continue to include him in such chats. It can also be set that this is only possible for users from your own contact list. Or just for no one. Also read: Be careful on WhatsApp – If you do this, your account may be blocked.Video: No more annoying groups at WhatsAppRead also: These ingenious tricks every WhatsApp user should know WhatsApp: Within 72 hours you have to respond to the invitation Every invitation to a group chat by a person who has not been activated for this is deposited, the user then has 72 hours to decide whether or not to enter. Otherwise the chance to become part of the group is lost. Of course, it is also possible to become part of the group independently using the corresponding invitation link. The decision about the circle of the respective admins of a group can be set via the path “Settings – Account – Privacy – Groups”. In January 2020 WhatsApp also announced that it would deactivate the export of chats function in Germany, but it is still open as of when this surely longed-for feature will also be available in the regular versions for Android or iOS. For developmental reasons, it can only be used in the beta version for the time being; users should have been waiting for a long time: WhatsApp with important change in group chats. © dpa / Silas SteinMore on the topic: The Lower Saxony police are warning of a new rip-off on WhatsApp the brazen fraudsters lure into the subscription trap to get credit card data, as reported by nordbuzz.de *. Teachers in Lower Saxony have banned WhatsApp, as reported by nordbuzz.de *. The messenger use for school matters is therefore not allowed. Is Apple Samsung following this spectacular function? Hype about a possible new mobile phone design or why you should never take photos with the WhatsApp camera or Keynote 2019 in the live ticker: Is Apple introducing a new streaming service? In October 2019 there are some innovations. For example, customers of the ADAC club, car buyers and eBay sellers are affected. 2020 will be a turbulent year for the messenger service WhatsApp: drastic changes are just around the corner. WhatsApp has come up with something new and delights its users with a new practical feature. But behind it could be an advertising strategy. A chain letter makes the rounds on WhatsApp. It warns of a contact and his call, which is said to result in serious damage. “This is how people in Canada are informed” – This is the way chain letters on the coronavirus begin, which consumer advocates are now urgently warning of.mg * Merkur.de and nordbuzz .de are part of the nationwide editorial network of the Ippen-Digital central editorial office

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Sixteenth Season Gray’s Anatomy Stops Earlier Due To Coronavirus | NOW

The sixteenth season of the hospital series Gray’s Anatomy stops because of the situation surrounding the coronavirus after 21 instead of 25 episodes. There will be a seventeenth season, one of the screenwriters of the series, Krista Vernoff, promises via Twitter.
            The final episode of the sixteenth season, entitled Put on a Happy Face, is set to air in the United States on April 9. It is not known if, and if so, how the four episodes expired in the sixteenth season will be seen as the series continues next season.Station 19, the spin-off of Gray’s Anatomy that follows the lives of firefighters, makes it season as planned because all episodes of that series have already been recorded. The same goes for How To Get Away With Murder, a drama series that also comes from the sleeve of Gray’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes.

Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, better known as the coronavirus, many productions of films and series have come to a halt. The entertainment union International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE) announced in mid-March that this has left 120,000 of the 150,000 members unemployed.

Follow the latest developments around the virus in our live blog.

    
    
            The coronavirus in short
            
                    The coronavirus mainly spreads from person to person via sneezing and cough drops. The chance of becoming infected through surfaces such as door handles is small. This chance decreases if you wash your hands often.
                    You can considerably reduce the chance of spreading by keeping at least 1.5 meters away from others.
                    An infected person infects two to three others on average. Precautions are necessary to contain this.
                    The vast majority of patients have mild (flu-like) complaints.
                    Almost all deaths involve the elderly or other vulnerable persons, such as heart, lung or diabetes patients. If everyone complies with the measures, this reduces their risks.
                    Read here what precautions you should take.

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Coronavirus: privacy the next victim of the pandemic

Coronavirus: privacy the next victim of the pandemic
sunday, 29.03.2020

The debate focuses mainly on geolocation via smartphones. (Keystone)
Monitoring citizens via their smartphones can help contain the coronavirus pandemic, but also cost dearly in terms of civil liberties and respect for privacy.
In Europe and the United States, technology firms have started sharing “anonymized” data to better monitor the spread of the virus. These practices question human rights NGOs.
>>> Also read our Coronavirus file
“Governments are demanding extraordinary new supervisory powers to contain Covid-19,” said one, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a statement.
These powers could “invade our privacy, reduce freedom of expression and weigh heavily on vulnerable groups,” she said. “The authorities must prove that such measures are effective, scientific, necessary and proportionate.”
Hong Kong requires people arriving from abroad to wear tracking bracelets, and Singapore has a team of digital detectives to monitor those in quarantine.
In Israel, the internal security service (Shin Bet) has started using sophisticated technologies and telecom data to track civilians.
China goes so far as to assign color codes to smartphones (green, yellow, red), which determine where a citizen can go or not.
Standardization of surveillance
According to the NGO Freedom House, Beijing is also taking advantage of this to strengthen censorship, by blocking certain websites or internet access.
“We are observing worrying things, showing that authoritarian regimes are using Covid-19 as a pretext (…) to restrict fundamental freedoms, going further than public health needs require,” said Michael Abramowitz , the president of this organization.
Some activists make the connection with the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States, which had opened the door to reinforced surveillance in the name of national security.
“There is a risk that the use of these tools will normalize and continue even when the pandemic slows down,” said Darrell West, who heads the Center for Technological Innovation at the Brookings Institution.
“The problem with monitoring in an emergency is that people will get used to it,” said Ryan Calo, a researcher at the University of Washington and affiliated with the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford.
He admits, however, the need to find a difficult compromise between health imperatives and the feeling of being constantly hunted.
Law of large numbers
The debate focuses mainly on geolocation via smartphones. Since the start of the pandemic, several applications have been developed to monitor the spread of the virus.
The one designed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) determines, for example, whether the user has “crossed paths” with an infected person. A concept that will obviously only work if this application is very widely used.
Cornell University engineers offer to share its geographic location and status (infected or not) to receive alerts on nearby contamination cases.
But beware of the false feeling of being safe, warns Ryan Calo. According to him, the data collected on a voluntary basis will undoubtedly be “riddled with errors”.
Another application, called Covid-Watch, allows you to share data on your location and health, using Bluetooth, without compromising your privacy.
“We designed it so that someone who catches the Covid-19 can send an alert to nearby people without being able to identify it,” said Tina White, a Stanford graduate and co-founder of Covid. -Watch.
The application is under development. With her team of researchers, Tina White wants to offer an alternative to the “authoritarian” measures adopted in certain countries.
As the application will only be used if it is widespread, it specifies that the technology would be provided free of charge. And suggests that the two main operating systems of smartphones, Android and Apple, “add it as an option during an update” to ensure its adoption by the greatest number. (awp)

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Categories Uncategorized

Coronavirus: privacy the next victim of the pandemic

Coronavirus: privacy the next victim of the pandemic
sunday, 29.03.2020

The debate focuses mainly on geolocation via smartphones. (Keystone)
Monitoring citizens via their smartphones can help contain the coronavirus pandemic, but also cost dearly in terms of civil liberties and respect for privacy.
In Europe and the United States, technology firms have started sharing “anonymized” data to better monitor the spread of the virus. These practices question human rights NGOs.
>>> Also read our Coronavirus file
“Governments are demanding extraordinary new supervisory powers to contain Covid-19,” said one, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, in a statement.
These powers could “invade our privacy, reduce freedom of expression and weigh heavily on vulnerable groups,” she said. “The authorities must prove that such measures are effective, scientific, necessary and proportionate.”
Hong Kong requires people arriving from abroad to wear tracking bracelets, and Singapore has a team of digital detectives to monitor those in quarantine.
In Israel, the internal security service (Shin Bet) has started using sophisticated technologies and telecom data to track civilians.
China goes so far as to assign color codes to smartphones (green, yellow, red), which determine where a citizen can go or not.
Standardization of surveillance
According to the NGO Freedom House, Beijing is also taking advantage of this to strengthen censorship, by blocking certain websites or internet access.
“We are observing worrying things, showing that authoritarian regimes are using Covid-19 as a pretext (…) to restrict fundamental freedoms, going further than public health needs require,” said Michael Abramowitz , the president of this organization.
Some activists make the connection with the attacks of September 11, 2001 in the United States, which had opened the door to reinforced surveillance in the name of national security.
“There is a risk that the use of these tools will normalize and continue even when the pandemic slows down,” said Darrell West, who heads the Center for Technological Innovation at the Brookings Institution.
“The problem with monitoring in an emergency is that people will get used to it,” said Ryan Calo, a researcher at the University of Washington and affiliated with the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford.
He admits, however, the need to find a difficult compromise between health imperatives and the feeling of being constantly hunted.
Law of large numbers
The debate focuses mainly on geolocation via smartphones. Since the start of the pandemic, several applications have been developed to monitor the spread of the virus.
The one designed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) determines, for example, whether the user has “crossed paths” with an infected person. A concept that will obviously only work if this application is very widely used.
Cornell University engineers offer to share its geographic location and status (infected or not) to receive alerts on nearby contamination cases.
But beware of the false feeling of being safe, warns Ryan Calo. According to him, the data collected on a voluntary basis will undoubtedly be “riddled with errors”.
Another application, called Covid-Watch, allows you to share data on your location and health, using Bluetooth, without compromising your privacy.
“We designed it so that someone who catches the Covid-19 can send an alert to nearby people without being able to identify it,” said Tina White, a Stanford graduate and co-founder of Covid. -Watch.
The application is under development. With her team of researchers, Tina White wants to offer an alternative to the “authoritarian” measures adopted in certain countries.
As the application will only be used if it is widespread, it specifies that the technology would be provided free of charge. And suggests that the two main operating systems of smartphones, Android and Apple, “add it as an option during an update” to ensure its adoption by the greatest number. (awp)

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