Covid 19: Should we be concerned about the safeguards?

There have been concerns over the ways that different governments have been collecting and presenting data during this COVID-19 pandemic.

Edward Snowden spoke about this in an interview on Monday, April 6th, 2020. He said that increased surveillance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic could cause citizens to lose their civil liberties even after the coronavirus pandemic.

American whistleblower Edward Snowden has been living in Russia, where he was granted asylum after leaking confidential government material in 2013.

Here are the highlights of his interview:

  • Different countries have been taking different measures in a bid to curb the increasing spread of the virus. Some of the measures, which all point towards increased surveillance, include tracking of individual mobile devices without permission or a warrant.
  • He said that also some states would demand access to people’s health data

Some of you may recall that Edward Snowden was the same man who revealed the breadth of NSA spying in 2013.  Now, he has left the note of warning that increased surveillance as a result of the coronavirus could affect civil rights. This infringement, he explains, could continue even long after the virus is gone.

Edward Snowden said these in a video conference interview for the Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival. He warned that from a theoretical aspect, the new measures states are using to curb the COVID-19 pandemic are likely to be retained and will last even when the viral pandemic has elapsed.

He said that governments could send orders to all fitness trackers (this includes devices for checking pulse and heart rate) demanding access to user data even in the future.

He expressed concerns about how this could result within the next five years after the virus has subsided. He believes that the data will still be available to these governments. According to him, “they are likely not to stop using the resources available, and they may even apply artificial intelligence to process them. This entails that the government of said states already know what their citizens are searching up on the internet. They also know their citizens’ heart rates, and they even know the direction where their mobile phones are moving. It would be easy for them to use the whole data at their sole discretion.”

So far, no reports have been made of any state or government demanding access to health-related data from advanced wearable like the popular Apple Watch. This, however, doesn’t dispel the fact that a lot of countries are rapidly introducing new surveillance methods in line with fighting the novel coronavirus. Normally decisions like these are made behind closed doors and given minimal if any media coverage. Government press release wordings are written in the manner of justifying these measures as a necessity for public health, and no privacy concerns are brought up.

Some European countries like the UK, Germany, and Italy have already made several deals with reputable telecom companies to create virtual heat maps showing the movement of people using anonymous aggregated data.

Israel has permitted their spy services to hack the phones of citizens without a warrant. Singapore also has devised means of tracking people who may have been exposed to the virus through the use of a smartphone app that monitors the coronavirus spread.While South Korea has gone as far as sending out warning text alerts to people who may have been exposed to the decease.

In Eastern-Europe, Poland created a system that ensures that its citizens are staying under quarantine with a downloadable app developed by the government. This app occasionally requests for selfies. Taiwan also devised means of tracking people on quarantine via an electronic system. They developed an electronic virtual fence system, which alerts the police department about any inappropriate movement made by patients on quarantine.

These new government policies leave room for a lot of skepticism. People can’t help but wonder if they should be concerned about the safety of their private information.

OrangeWebsite’s CEO – Henri K. Johannes commented regarding the news: “Nonetheless, normal people must educate themselves regarding “the whole package” that comes with these new laws and regulations, without neglecting the possibility of misuse of the collected data on a governmental level. It is also important remember that there are ways of extending the protection of your privacy by using already existing systems, such as VPN or data encryption.”

The next months will show the direction each country will take on this matter. We will keep following the topic closely and update our readers if things change drastically. In a meanwhile, stay safe and care for one another.

Covid-19 Lockdown: Use Your Time Wisely and Learn New Skills Online

stay home safe

stay home safeThe new coronavirus (otherwise known as COVID-19) is now a global emergency, and it has been declared by WHO a pandemic. Due to the virus spreading all over the world, life as we know it is seriously impeded. Our daily activities have been jolted. Governments have set aside trillions of dollars to deal with the crisis. Economies are struggling, increasing job losses; small and large industries scaling back or shutting down (Read here it COVID-19 is affecting us). Many of us are now staying at home scared because of the disease. Others don’t seem to care and walk around spreading the virus. The last serious pandemic, Spanish Flu, happened around 100 years ago (1918-1919) and it killed as many as…

…Stop it now! Enough with all that negativity. There are only a few incidents so bad that one could not turn it into something positive. With all that said now is the perfect opportunity to expand your knowledge and gain new skills during this quarantine period.

Release Your Inner Creativity or Get a New Hobby

Starting a blog to expressing your views or writing about a topic you feel passionate about is a great idea. You can write stories of your lifelong experiences or talk about present events in your life. You can blog about something you are an expert at, or you can start your own sports, fashion or DIY blog.

There are numerous ways we can learn about what may interest us and grow into new endeavors, while getting our minds off stressful situations. If you are artistic, why not try Photoshop and learn the art by creating cards or editing your photos of yourself, friends and family? Use this time to let loose your inner creativity. Connect via Facebook, post your pics on your blog or Instagram, make videos on Youtube. Learning and adapting to different situations is the new normal and will help you in the long run. If you already have a blog, here is a great article about how to monetize your blog and start earning passive income from it.

Network & Start Planning a New Project or Business

Use LinkedIn to create a profile to link with people with similar mindset. Setup a think-tank and start working on that great idea you once had, but never had the time to get to it. The crisis won’t last long and if you spend your time wisely, you will have a great startup plan ready when things are getting better.

Ready to go online or build a website?

According to Statista as of April 13th, 2020, there are 4.54 billion active internet users globally. Making your own website is easier than you think. Not a tech savvy person – why not trying a website builder? A website builder is a software or tool that allows you to create personal, business, and eCommerce websites without needing coding or designing skills.

Site builders such as Sitepad makes it easy for bloggers, freelancers, hobbyists or business owners to build a website. With over 380 responsive themes, the site builder cover categories such as blogging, business, portfolio website, travel, food and more. You can include in widgets such as image/view slide, image galleries, rich text, Google maps, contact forms, social media and much more.

If you are more experienced and want more freedom with designing your own page you can take advantage of our one-click script installer tool Soltaculous. Which is an exceptional Auto installer having 453 excellent scripts and more are still being added all the time. Choose the CMS or platform you prefer and get to it. There are numerous free guides online to walk you through solutions that you need.

The best thing about Softaculous is that complex operations, such as backing up your database or all the Website’s information can be performed with just one click. So can scrips installation or upgrading the system. Softaculous saves you the inconvenience of importing scripts for backing up your website manually.

All these features and tools are available and included in all our web hosting plans. During the COVID-19 outbreak we want to offer our new clients an easy and inexpensive way to get their website project started. For this reason, we have a special campaign which allows you to sign up with our Gold Hosting plan for only less than $1.00 for the first month. You may cancel the service when ever you want to. Give it a try and click the link before to discover your inner creativeness or start building the project you always dreamed about.

Take the first step to get your ideas online for less than a dollar!

CEO’s BLOG: How is COVID-19 affecting our business

It has been a really busy year for us at OrangeWebsite as we have been working hard internally to improve our systems to serve better both our existing and new clientele. As most of our old customers know, since the very beginning, we have been encouraging our staff to work online from remote locations. For this reason, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic does not affect much to our way of working. Nearly all our staff have been safe from the virus at their home offices, performing their duties soundly and we intend to keep this procedure continuing as well in the future.

Our commitment

No one really knows what the next weeks or months will bring and exactly what kind of impact this pandemic will have on the economy and web hosting industry. Luckily for us, our company has remained debt free and lucrative up until the present day. Whereas many other companies have been forced to lay off people and are sizing down their operations at least temporarily. This puts a lot of workers in a tough situation and causes stress for those who are not sure what measures their employer will take.

We at OrangeWebsite are committed to make sure that our staff will not lose their jobs, nor will there be any cuts to working hours during the crisis. This means that every single person who is on our payroll will get paid timely – except for myself. As I have decided to not accept my paychecks for the next three months (March – May 2020), in order to do what I can to help the rest of our team.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Even we are now facing tough times, I am sure that in the end we will beat this thing and the future will bring more positive news. Now as many people are locked down to their homes, it is the perfect time to educate yourself about online work. Such as building your own website or starting your blog and we offer perfect tools for this. Our website builder is designed for people who has no past experience in making websites. Only the basic computer skills are more than enough.

Get yourself online by clicking the link below to try out our Gold hosting plan, which includes all these features for less than $1.00 USD for the first month. No further commitment is needed and you can cancel at anytime. Should you require any help, our 24/7 customer support team is at your disposal day and night!

Click here to try our hosting for less than a dollar!

Stay safe, take care of yourself and wash your hands! 🙂