REPORT: WHO Treaty Tied to Global Digital Passport and ID System
AUSTIN (Brownstone Institute) — The WHO recently announced plans for an international pandemic treaty tied to a digital passport and digital ID system. Meeting in December 2021 in a special session for only the second time since the WHO’s founding in 1948, the Health Assembly of the WHO adopted a single decision titled, “The World Together.”
The WHO plans to finalize the treaty by 2024. It will aim to shift governing authority now reserved to sovereign states to the WHO during a pandemic by legally binding member states to the WHO’s revised International Health Regulations.
In January of 2022 the United States submitted proposed amendments to the 2005 International Health Regulations, which bind all 194 UN member states, which the WHO director general accepted and forwarded to other member states. In contrast to amendments to our own constitution, these amendments will not require a two-thirds vote of our Senate, but a simple majority of the member states.
Most of the public is wholly unaware of these changes, which will impact the national sovereignty of member states.
The proposed amendments include, among others, the following. Among the changes the WHO will no longer need to consult with the state or attempt to obtain verification from the state where a reported event of concern (e.g., a new outbreak) is allegedly occurring before taking action on the basis of such reports (Article 9.1).
In addition to the authority to make the determination of a public health emergency of international concern under Article 12, the WHO will be granted additional powers to determine a public health emergency of regional concern, as well as a category referred to as an intermediate health alert.
The relevant state no longer needs to agree with the WHO Director General’s determination that an event constitutes a public health emergency of international concern. A new Emergency Committee will be constituted at the WHO, which the Director-General will consult in lieu of the state within whose territory the public health emergency of international concern has occurred, to declare the emergency over.
The amendments will also give “regional directors” within the WHO, rather than elected representatives of the relevant states, the legal authority to declare a Public Health Emergency of Regional Concern.
Also, when an event does not meet criteria for a public health emergency of international concern but the WHO Director-General determines it requires heightened awareness and a potential international public health response, he may determine at any time to issue an “intermediate public health alert” to states and consult the WHO’s Emergency Committee. The criteria for this category are simple fiat: “the Director-General has determined it requires heightened international awareness and a potential international public health response.”
Through these amendments, the WHO, with the support of the U.S., appears to be responding to roadblocks that China erected in the early days of covid. This is a legitimate concern. But the net effect of the proposed amendments is a shift of power away from sovereign states, ours included, to unelected bureaucrats at the WHO. The thrust of every one of the changes is toward increased powers and centralized powers delegated to the WHO and away from member states.
Leslyn Lewis, a member of the Canadian parliament and lawyer with international experience, has warned that the treaty would also allow the WHO unilaterally to determine what constitutes a pandemic and declare when a pandemic is occurring. “We would end up with a one-size-fits-all approach for the entire world,” she cautioned. Under the proposed WHO plan, pandemics need not be limited to infectious diseases and could include, for example, a declared obesity crisis.
As part of this plan, the WHO has contracted German-based Deutsche Telekom subsidiary T-Systems to develop a global vaccine passport system, with plans to link every person on the planet to a QR code digital ID. “Vaccination certificates that are tamper-proof and digitally verifiable build trust. WHO is therefore supporting member states in building national and regional trust networks and verification technology,” explained Garret Mehl, head of the WHO’s Department of Digital Health and Innovation. “The WHO’s gateway service also serves as a bridge between regional systems. It can also be used as part of future vaccination campaigns and home-based records.”
This system will be universal, mandatory, trans-national, and operated by unelected bureaucrats in a captured NGO who already bungled the covid pandemic response.
Aaron Kheriaty of the Brownstone Institute Contributed to the Contents of This Report.
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UNSTOPPABLE: Trump Message Continues On Social Media Despite Ban, Says Report
WASHINGTON (Washington Examiner) — Despite a ban from most major platforms, former President Donald Trump‘s online statements are reportedly spreading far and wide on social media.
Many of Trump’s statements after his January social media ban have received as many, if not more, likes or shares online as they did before, according to an analysis published Monday by the New York Times.
Before his ban, due to his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack, Trump’s social media engagement generated a median of 272,000 likes and shares, primarily on Facebook and Twitter. After the ban, his median engagement dropped to 36,000 likes and shares, but 11 of his 89 statements in the past few months have been either just as popular or more popular than before the ban.
The top sharers of some of Trump’s statements after his social media ban include Breitbart News, a Facebook page called “President Donald Trump Fan Club,” Fox News, and Jenna Ellis, a member of Trump’s legal team who was roundly defeated in court in 2020 election fraud lawsuits.
Sometimes, when Trump criticized conservatives, his statements would get shared widely by those on both ends of the political spectrum and mainstream publications. Top sharers of his statements on the Left include popular Facebook page “Stand With Mueller” and CNN journalist Jim Acosta.
However, Trump’s claims of widespread election fraud were 17 times less popular after his social media ban because of efforts by Facebook and Twitter to curb political misinformation.
“As the Trump case shows, deplatforming doesn’t ‘solve’ disinformation, but it does disrupt harmful networks and blunt the influence of harmful individuals,” Emerson Brooking, a fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensic Research Lab, told theTimes.
Trump’s statements that got the most traction on social media in the past few monthswere his posts on culture, like his boycott of baseball; his praise for certain conservatives, such as radio host Rush Limbaugh; and his criticism of President Joe Biden on political issues related to the border crisis and taxes.
The Washington Times’ Nihal Krisham contributed to the contents of this report.
REPORT: 50 million Facebook user accounts affected by security breach
NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook reported a major security breach in which 50 million user accounts were accessed by unknown attackers.
The stolen data allowed the attackers to “seize control” of those user accounts, Facebook said. Facebook has logged out the 50 million breached users — plus another 40 million who were vulnerable to the attack. Users don’t need to change their Facebook passwords, it said.
Facebook says it doesn’t know who is behind the attacks or where they’re based. In a call with reporters on Friday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said that the company doesn’t know yet if any of the accounts that were hacked were misused.
The hack is the latest setback for Facebook during a tumultuous year of security problems and privacy issues. So far, though, none have significantly shaken the confidence of the company’s 2 billion global users.
This latest hack involved a bug in Facebook’s “View As” feature, the company said in a blog post . That feature lets people see how their profiles appear to others. The attackers used that vulnerability to steal “access tokens,” which are digital keys that Facebook uses to keep people logged in. Possession of those tokens would allow attackers to control those accounts.
Specifically, from the “View As” feature, a bug somehow allowed a video uploader to appear for sending “happy birthday” messages, said Guy Rosen, Facebook’s vice president of product management. Another bug then created an access token that made Facebook think the hacker had legitimately signed in with the account being viewed.
“We haven’t yet been able to determine if there was specific targeting” of particular accounts, Rosen said in a call with reporters. “It does seem broad. And we don’t yet know who was behind these attacks and where they might be based.”
Facebook says it has alerted law enforcement.
Jake Williams, a security expert at Rendition Infosec, said the stolen access tokens would have likely allowed attackers to view private posts and probably to post status updates or shared posts as the compromised user, but not passwords.
“The bigger concern (and something we don’t know yet) is whether third party applications were impacted,” Williams said in a text exchange. He noted that the company’s “Facebook Login” feature lets users log into other apps and websites with their Facebook credentials. “These access tokens that were stolen show when a user is logged into Facebook and that may be enough to access a user’s account on a third party site,” he said.
News broke early this year that a data analytics firm once employed by the Trump campaign, Cambridge Analytica, had improperly gained access to personal data from millions of user profiles. Then a congressional investigation found that agents from Russia and other countries have been posting fake political ads since at least 2016. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg appeared at a Congressional hearing over Facebook’s privacy policies in April.
The Facebook bug is reminiscent of a much larger attack on Yahoo in 2013 in which attackers compromised 3 billion accounts — enough for half of the world’s entire population. In the case of Yahoo, information stolen included names, email addresses, phone numbers, birthdates and security questions and answers.
Ed Mierzwinski, the senior director of consumer advocacy group U.S. PIRG, said the breach was “very troubling.”
“It’s yet another warning that Congress must not enact any national data security or data breach legislation that weakens current state privacy laws, pre-empts the rights of states to pass new laws that protect their consumers better, or denies their attorneys general rights to investigate violations of or enforce those laws,” he said in a statement.
Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said “the most important point is that we found out from them,” meaning Facebook, as opposed to a third party.
“As a user, I want Facebook to proactively protect my data and let me know when it’s compromised,” he said. “Shareholders should ultimately approve of Facebook’s handling of the issue.”
Matt O’Brien and Mae Anderson of the Associated Press contributed to the contents of this report.