Brand new tin foil hat on, let’s simply and without comment, make a few contact observations regarding the proposed App to be deployed by………well that’s a matter of conjecture actually. Just to be clear, 5G doesn’t impact Covid19 in any way but it has been useful to allow the media to be swamped with conspiracy stories meaning that the real curiosities are harder to spot. Anyhow, here we go.
UK Health Minister has announced that a new app will be used to track and trace people displaying Covid 19 symptoms. This will be done by enabling Bluetooth on one’s phone and straight away that is a hugely dumb idea because it gives anyone with malicious intent within a certain radius of your phone complete access to everything on your phone and the ability to use your phone without your knowledge. But that isn’t the issue. Though it’s a slight concern that the UK Health Minister doesn’t appear to know this. BUt that’s not the curious thing.
The UK state does not have a great track record with IT. In fact it has a fucking appallingly wasteful track record and an equally appalling record of lying about it to tax payers. That is to say, “the system works” is repeated until someone finds out it doesn’t. So it’s no surprise that early reports from the trialling of this app “Wobbly” System fails to meet standards show that it’s not great. But that’s not too curious.
Last week (at date of writing, 05/05/20) the Health Secretary of the UK also granted, by means of statutory instrument, access for GCHQ (UK Intelligence) to any NHS or NHS related network or system. For reasons of cyber security. The Consent to Activities Related to the Security of NHS and Public Health Services Digital Systems (Coronavirus) Directions 2020
So that makes everything adorably legal. It’s quite a loose thing. But then the UK government has already granted Amazon access to medical records. So it’s no biggie. Alexa Advice Deal
Data in the tracing app, with the bizarre Bluetooth flaw, is, according to the UK Health Minister, anonymous. That can’t be true. I don’t say Mr Hancock is lying. I say he is studiedly and pragmatically informed. He hasn’t asked the obvious questions so no-one has told him so therefore he can honestly say, when confronted with the bleeding obvious, that he wasn’t told. Remember, it’s against the ‘rules’ for an MP to lie to another MP but a vital part of the cut and thrust of politics to tell the public something you would know to be untrue if you asked obvious and meaningful questions about it. As our current ‘prima inter pares’ and adulterer in chief Boris Johnson’s barrister established in quashing a charge of “Misconduct in Public Office”. Johnson V Westminster Magistrates Court
I know, I know. It’s a lot of links but the reading is interesting. But we’re not at the really curious thing yet. Anonymous data ? If it is data at all then it can’t be anonymous. And there must be a method of verifying any source or else within about 1 minute of ‘go live’ some 13 year old in a bedroom in eastern Europe or South East Asia could launch a primitive but effective denial of service attack. So it must verify that the responses pinging back and forth come from actual phones. So certainly not anonymous. But that’s not the curious bit.
No, the curious bit is that this app is in the hands of an executive agency called NHSX (The X stands for Xperience) (Because these things are staffed to the gills with exactly the sort of wanker who thinks that sounds cool) The CEO of which is Matthew Gould. This is where it gets good.
Those who follow the grand guignol of politics for reasons of morbid curiosity will remember that one of the scandals to interrupt the career of the wily Dr Liam Fox MP was when he had to resign from his position of Minister of Defence over secret meetings he’d had with a guy called Adam Werrity. Mr Werrity is a curious fish because at the time everyone in government said he was a chancer and Walter Mitty-ish guy. But a chancer with defence industry contacts nonetheless. It was a scandal. Dr Fox had to resign. But there was a 3rd person in these meetings. Our erstwhile former ambassador to Israel, Mr Matthew Gould. Adam Werrity
Now although this scandal was so bad the minister resigned, Mr Gould was cleared by the FCO. I make no comment on that. Perhaps there are plenty of occasions when, to take an entirely tangential example, the police raid a brothel and find people in a room snorting cocaine from a prostitutes breasts that the guy sat in the corner who says “I’m just taking notes” is found to have done nothing wrong.
Now let’s be clear. Mr Gould did nothing wrong. He was in the room yes. So at worst perhaps we can accuse him of lacking sound judgement. He was in the room. He knew, or at least ought to have known that it was at least unwise. Like, say, someone with an enormous neck tattoo which says “Fuck You”. So I’m not entirely comfortable handing over access to my phone to an organisation run by someone like that.
Anyway, I’m returning to considering, philosophically, the Health Secretary’s concept of anonymous. Is a grave truly unmarked if the gravediggers know who they are burying ?
Don’t expect to see this stuff on the BBC. Their ‘reporters’ are pseudo senior civil servants who won’t report anything that might adversely effect their career. In the tangential example, they are the prostitutes from whose breasts cocaine is snorted.