Not a whirlwind and we’re done: there is no single technology that will stop the corona

A study published today by the Israel Democracy Institute calls on the state to avoid relying on GSS resources that are in violation of the general public’s privacy and have not been shown to be successful, and to promote local and unique measures that will enable workplaces, colleges, malls and small businesses to become crown routines.

Monday, November 23, 2020, 11:27 GMT

Today (Monday) at 11:30 a.m., the Secret Services Panel will convene again to address the location of the GSS, and it is likely that the Secret Intelligence Agency will again expand its monitoring to Israeli civilians as part of its attempts to restrict the dissemination of corona.

A representative of the Ministry of Health comes up and discusses distinct and strange details on the progress of the use of the GSS tool, members of ministries and other bodies speak about the tool, MKs argue among themselves and some experts are invited to express their opinions at the end of the discussion. Mention, in the context of the Magen 2 application, the civic alternative and condemn the marginal attempts made by the Ministry of Health to introduce it and its low rates of use.

image source: Shatterstock

After 22 separate scholars, frequent participants in these debates, voted to boycott it and its regular broadcast, in which their words are not taken seriously and are not implemented during decision-making, this ritual is supposed to be disrupted in today’s debate.

CostaRicto is used actively by a diverse range of forces, including major corporations and governments, according to BlackBerry experts. Objectively, the use of contractors makes it impossible to determine the real origins and interests of cyber espionage. Moreover in order to execute assaults of their own, the perpetrators themselves do not always have the requisite level of preparation and supplies.

“The attribution of cyber attacks is a very problematic issue in itself and victims can only guess who would benefit from the attack on them when it comes to the activities of mercenaries,” remarks Alexey Vodyasov, CTO of SEC Consult Services. – It is reasonable to expect that only in the future can the number of such gangs, well educated, using their own malware and operating in the interests of those who pay more, rise. Moreover, the use of such mercenaries rather than their own virtual force is more profitable for national-state intelligence services. “

This is an unusual position, which goes above the line followed thus far by many experts, including the publishing companies themselves, and has preceded the conversations from their earliest moments regarding GSS placements. In quite a few articles and commentaries which appeared in “Calcalist” and in this section, this line was mirrored. “All over the world, except China and Singapore, the app is being used,” Schwartz Altshuler said in May in an article entitled “Too Easy Solution: There’s an Alternative to GSS Surveillance.” States tried to create a solution for a month. Purchase notebooks. Build them yourself. In the world, there are businesses that export such inventions to other countries. They made the Magen app and did not invest in the execution of anything. “

Two weeks later, though opposing the decision of the government to promote a bill that would limit the long-term tenure of the GSS, Adv. “One of Israel’s leading privacy lawyers, Haim Rabia of the law firm of Pearl Cohen Tzedek Letzer Beretz, said The Health Ministry is spending time to create a protective app as though there is no emergency era. Instead of following the direction of other advanced democratic outlines and focusing on proximity detection apps that are willingly installed by the customer and more reliable than cellulite.

They were precise and purposeful when there were critiques of the software, of how it was built or applied, not about the intention of using it. After the launch of Magen 2 in July, Prof. Karin Nahon of the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya said The fact that the GSS is also working in the background and asking the public to download an application will make it difficult for Magen 2 to be widely used,” We also recommended in the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that they make the use of Magen 2 without the use of the GSS. “People will say to themselves, ‘Why do I need two sources to feed me, and then maybe there is more risk I will send for isolation?'”

Along the way, various problems were identified in the app, both specific and basic , and the Israelis did not exactly flock to install it, but Magen 2 was still considered a key tool in the country’s toolbox for limiting the spread of the plague, along with other solutions such as extensive epidemiological investigations and reasonable information. The report by Aridor Hershkovitz and Schwartz Altshuler now seeks to change the paradigm, offering a completely new approach to contact detection applications.

Initially, the report reviews the use of contact detection applications such as “The Shield” in various countries around the world, and raises an interesting finding: not only Israel has solid problems. “About ten months after the outbreak of the plague, the adoption and implementation data of the widgets in various countries around the world stand at an average of about 20%,” it was written. “That is, they cannot be seen, in the current configuration, as a tool whose contribution to tackling the epidemic is significant. In most countries the low assimilation rates are due to a lack of public trust in government and technology companies regarding the use of personal information about the widget and fear of a ‘surveillance state’.”

In France, for example, the implementation rate of the contact-finding app developed by the government is estimated at 3%, in Switzerland, the rate of users is estimated at 15%, in Germany the app has been downloaded 18 million times, but the number of users is estimated at 15 million (17% of the population). In Italy, the implementation rate in the various provinces ranges from 5.4% to 15.1%, and in Japan the app has been downloaded by about 6% of the population and is not used as an important tool in dealing with the epidemic.

Another issue has to do with the difficulty of evaluating the effectiveness of applications such as the “shield”. A study by researchers from Oxford and Google states that “the assimilation rate of 15% of the population may lead to a decrease of between 6% -8% in the number of infections and the mortality rate,” the report said, but states that “this will only happen if the state contact system is based on Integration of professional human epidemiological investigation teams and in appropriate quantities with the widget. “Israel is far from this assimilation rate, not to mention the integration of the” shield “with an array of epidemiological investigations.

However, the report adds that even with broad implementation, contact detection technology is not efficient enough: “Even when the use of the technology is mandatory and applies to all citizens, its efficiency is not high. This is in fact the lesson we learned from the use made of GSS targets – its high error rates along with the higher accuracy rates of human investigations, indicate its low efficiency. From the State Comptroller’s report A clear picture emerges that the effectiveness of the use of the GSS tool is very low and leads to continuous paralysis of the economy. The number of people required to enter isolation and the number of people who turned out to be blue stands at 3.5% in the first operating round and has risen slightly in the current operating round to 4.6%. This means that many people, who were not in close contact with a verified patient at all, were required to go into isolation and many of them were denied the opportunity to earn a living during this period unnecessarily. “

At the root of the various problems in contact locating applications, the report companies point to several difficulties, such as lack of trust and information or technological difficulty, the most significant of which is a lack of understanding about the importance of using the application and a lack of identification with the need to install it. “Therefore, the preferred way to overcome the gap is by changing the paradigm – instead of working ‘top down’, that is, to produce state-run widgets, to encourage ‘bottom-up’ initiatives, that is, local initiatives that come from jobs, places of trade, schools, Hospitals, small communities and more. “

This is a concept that has been recognized by various researchers, who believe that contact-finding applications should be adopted first and foremost in groups and small populations, as an initial stage for national implementation. And in many places, this is already happening in the field: “Technological contact detection solutions have emerged in recent months as mushrooms after the rain and most are based on existing solutions for finding the connection between smartphone users and physical spaces (eg scanning QR codes; using radio waves; using Bluetooth via smart devices) Installed in the same widget and more).

“These solutions are supposed to address confined spaces such as railways (divided into carriages); schools; malls; large workplaces and hospitals. They should be accurate (ie based on a combination of technologies, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, or Bluetooth and code scanning) and especially those that will be very widely implemented. Broad implementation can take place where it is relatively easy to install a widget, For example in the workplace or as a condition of entry to a shopping center, small businesses (restaurants, hairdressers, etc.), a school (especially high schools where students have smartphones) or the train. In this way, it will be possible to produce an effective ‘corona routine’. “

The report’s recommendations are not unequivocal or straightforward. Based on the joint platform of Google and Apple, in contrast to the current situation, provide ‘alternative solutions’ to citizens who do not own a smartphone and require legislation to install an application or scan a QR code as a condition of entry into public places.

However, the main recommendation concerns a change in the perception of the role of the state in this field, and calls on it to start functioning as a regulator of the technology and not as its supplier. “Preparations must be made for, and even actively encouraged, initiatives in workplaces, malls, cinemas, small businesses such as restaurants and hairdressers, schools and hospitals,” the report said. “The role of the state is to act as a regulator in the field of contact monitoring widgets. This is to prevent the situation of the ‘Tower of Babel’ of widgets and to ensure compatibility between them in order to increase efficiency and for the benefit of users; Produce their own standard; Establish rules permitted and prohibited in the affirmative of citizens, buyers and workers to install them on devices; And protect users’ rights. The fact that the State of Israel has failed in its ability to provide its citizens with a functioning widget makes this role even more thought-provoking. “

From the beginning of the crisis, we have been looking for a simple technological solution that will make our lives easier. For the state, it was mainly the GSS’s personnel, for many experts this is the “Defender” app. But the reality is that it is very rare that complex problems have simple solutions, and the corona plague is one of the most complex problems that humanity has faced since World War II.

The report explicitly calls for a paradigm shift: moving from a single centralized contact detection app to a large number of decentralized apps. But its subtext addresses an even more significant change, the need to break free from the thought of having a “whipped up” solution, if only we found the right technology (or Even the right vaccine) we can take control of the plague and leave this nightmare behind.Every successful deal with the corona requires a series of solutions, more or less successful, easy and difficult to implement, centralized and decentralized, original and conservative, and their implementation will be complex, confusing and strenuous. Israel will understand this, it will start walking the real path to limiting the plague in the long run.