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Surveillance: Germany To Work With Apple And Google On ‘Contact Tracing’

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coronavirus social distancing CDC guidelines

After tensions escalated last week between Germany and Silicon Valley over the type of technology used to trace coronavirus infections, the European nation changed its decision Sunday, choosing to go with “an approach supported by Apple and Google along with a growing number of other European countries,” according to a Reuters report.

Germany is just one of the European Union (E.U.) nations attempting to develop apps to “contact trace” coronavirus patients in an effort to combat the spread of the virus.

Chancellery Minister Helge Braun and Health Minister Jens Spahn issued a joint statement Sunday indicating that they would adopt a “decentralized” approach to digital contact tracing, which would no longer allow health authorities to take control over tracing the data that is collected.

“This app should be voluntary, meet data protection standards and guarantee a high level of IT security,” they stated. “The main epidemiological goal is to recognize and break chains of infection as soon as possible.”

Bluetooth-based smartphone contact tracing allows for the determination of the proximity and length of contact between people. Then, if a person tests positive for COVID-19, their recent contacts would be told to call a doctor, get tested, and/or self-isolate.

According to the Reuters report, “Apple and Alphabet’s Google, whose operating systems run 99% of smartphones, have promised tweaks in May that would accommodate the decentralized approach. A trial version is due out next week.”

Meanwhile, an open letter signed by hundreds of scientists that was published last Monday warned that if contact tracing data were to be centralized, it would allow “unprecedented surveillance of society at large.”

Germany is the most populous nation in the E.U. with more than 83 million residents. There are currently 158,758 people infected with the novel coronavirus in Germany and 6,126 people have died.

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International

VIDEO: Russia Moving Missiles Towards Finland Border

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Screen Shot 2022 05 16 at 11.47.56 AM

Putin has said in recent years that Finland is considered friendly so long as they do not join NATO. Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö confirmed Sunday he has applied for NATO membership.

MetroUK tweeted chilling video and reported the following:

Russia has started moving nuclear-capable missiles towards its border with Finland hours after Moscow vowed not to tolerate Helsinki’s plans to join Nato.

The Kremlin issued a chilling warning that plans for both Finland and Sweden to sign up to the Atlantic alliance were a ‘grave mistake with far reaching consequences’.

Russian deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, said: ‘They should have no illusions that we will simply put up with it,’ and insisted ‘the general level of military tension will rise’.

The video was reportedly taken on a road leading to Vyborg, around 24 miles from the Finnish border, showing the deployment of mobile Iskander missiles.

“Seven launchers are thought to be en route according to commentary on a dash cam video broadcast by Russian media.”

A person on the video can be heard saying: ‘As soon as the president of Finland said they were joining Nato, a whole division of Iskanders, seven of them is moving towards Vyborg.

‘Looks like a new military unit is about to be formed in Vyborg or the region.’

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