India makes government tracing app mandatory for all workers

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India has mandated that all public and private sector employees use a government-backed Bluetooth tracing app and maintain social distancing in offices as New Delhi begins easing some of its lockdown measures in lower-risk areas.

FILE PHOTO: Employees wearing protective masks work inside a call centre run by Uttar Pradesh state police during an extended lockdown to slow the spreading of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Lucknow, India, April 21, 2020. REUTERS/ Pawan Kumar

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government on Friday said India – the country with the largest number of people in lockdown – would extends its nationwide control measures for another two weeks from Monday to battle the spread of the coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 illness, but allow “considerable relaxations” in lower-risk districts.

As part of its efforts to fight the deadly virus, India last month launched the app Aarogya Setu – meaning Health

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French lawmakers cry foul as government redraws coronavirus app debate

PARIS (Reuters) – Lawmakers from France’s ruling party accused their own government on Monday of withdrawing a vote on a planned coronavirus tracing app, saying they had been robbed of a chance to raise privacy concerns.

FILE PHOTO: A man wearing a protective face mask rides a metro as a lockdown is imposed to slow the rate of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Paris, France, April 26, 2020. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo

The government last week bowed to pressure from MPs and promised a parliamentary debate and vote on the “StopCovid” smartphone software, which is designed to warn users if they come into contact with infected people.

But over the weekend, prime minister Edouard Philippe wrote to the lower house speaker, saying he wanted to broaden the debate scheduled for April 28-29 to cover the government’s entire strategy on ending coronavirus lockdowns.

A government source defended the decision on Monday, telling

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Israel’s top court says government must legislate COVID-19 phone-tracking

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Citing grave dangers to privacy, Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Sunday that the government must bring its use of mobile phone tracking deployed in the battle against the new coronavirus under legislation.

FILE PHOTO: People walk on the platform at Israel’s new high-speed rail line station at Ben Gurion International Airport, in Lod, near Tel Aviv September 25, 2018. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

Circumventing parliament in March, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet approved emergency regulations that enabled the Shin Bet internal security service to tap into cellular data to retrace the movements of people infected by the virus.

The technology, customarily used for anti-terrorism, has since yielded data used by the Health Ministry to locate and alert those who have been in their vicinity. The practice has been subjected to some parliamentary oversight following a subsequent court ruling.

Accepting petitions from Israeli rights groups, the Supreme Court said the

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Vietnam-linked hackers targeted Chinese government over coronavirus response: researchers

LONDON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Hackers working in support of the Vietnamese government have attempted to break into Chinese state organisations at the centre of Beijing’s effort to contain the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. cybersecurity firm FireEye said on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: A walks by Beijing’s Central Business District during morning rush hour as the spread of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues in China, April 17, 2020, REUTERS/Thomas Peter

FireEye said a hacking group known as APT32 had tried to compromise the personal and professional email accounts of staff at China’s Ministry of Emergency Management and the government of Wuhan, the Chinese city at the centre of the global coronavirus pandemic.

Investigators at FireEye and other cybersecurity firms have said they believe APT32 operates on behalf of the Vietnamese government. The group’s recent activity mirrors attempts by a host of state-backed hackers to compromise governments, businesses and health agencies in search of

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