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每日英語跟讀 Ep.838: When tracking the virus means tracking your citizens
監控病毒還是監控人民

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日英語跟讀 Ep.838: When tracking the virus means tracking your citizens

Apple and Google on Friday unveiled a rare partnership to add technology to their smartphone platforms that will alert users if they have come into contact with a person with COVID-19. Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android — the operating systems used in iPhone and Samsung Galaxy devices, among others — are used by about 3 billion people around the globe.

蘋果和谷歌兩大公司上週五破天荒宣布一項合作,將在他們的智慧手機平台新增技術,如果用戶接觸了武漢肺炎患者,便會發出警示。蘋果的iOS和Google的安卓(iPhone和三星Galaxy手機等使用的操作系統)在全球約有三十億人使用。

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, some democracies around the world have used technology to avoid having to impose draconian mass quarantines that were common earlier this year in China. That’s reassuring — and it’s also worrying, because the very strategies that can help fight a plague can also be abused once it’s over.

自冠狀病毒大流行爆發以來,世界各地一些民主國家已運用科技,以避免實施像中國今年年初所實施的那種嚴苛的大規模隔離。這令人寬心——卻也令人憂心,因為一旦疫情結束,這些可幫助打擊瘟疫的戰略也可能會被濫用。

Consider Taiwan, where an “electronic fence” allows local police to make regular phone calls to everyone who is home under quarantine; if the citizen doesn’t answer or the phone is out of power, police come to the home within 15 minutes. In South Korea, the government constantly updates a Web site that tracks the movements of people who have been infected, and issues alerts to the mobile phones of people in the geographic vicinity of an infected citizen. The Israeli government gained access to an archive of phone data to map the movements of infected people, then alerted those who had been in contact with them to self-isolate.

以台灣為例,台灣採用「電子圍籬」技術,讓當地的警察可以定時打電話給每位居家隔離者。若電話沒人接或沒電,警察在十五分鐘內就會到他們家去。在南韓,政府有追蹤染疫者動向之網站,會不斷更新,並對染疫民眾附近的人發出手機警示。以色列政府可以調出電話數據檔案,以便將染疫者的活動在地圖上定位出來,然後提醒與其接觸的人進行自我隔離。

Invoking these powers is reasonable during a pandemic. Once the outbreak is over, however, this kind of power can and probably will be abused. What’s to stop a corrupt (or merely unscrupulous) leader from using such technologies to learn or even publicize the location of political opponents or dissidents?

在疾病大流行期間訴諸這些權力是合理的。然而,疫情一旦結束,這種權力很可能會被濫用。怎樣阻止腐敗的(或只是不道德的)領導人使用此種技術來得知甚至公開政敵或異議人士的所在位置?

“This is a genuine emergency and that justifies a lot of things that would not normally be justified,” says Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “But we have to make sure that these temporary powers do not become permanent in a way that hurts everybody else.” The good news is that the pandemic is not an endless war. Once there is a treatment or a vaccine, there will be a clear end date to the state of emergency.

「美國公民自由聯盟」高級政策分析師傑伊‧史丹利說:「這是真正的緊急情況,它使許多通常是不合理的事有了正當性」。「但我們必須確保這些臨時權力不會變成傷害其他人的永久權力」。

好消息是,這場疾病大流行不會是一場無休止的戰爭。一旦有了治療方法或疫苗,緊急狀態就會有明確的結束日期。

Stanley says it’s crucial to set up strict rules beforehand. Any location data, for example, should only be used by public health authorities for public health purposes. The programs should be temporary and the data should be deleted after the crisis ends.

史丹利表示,事先訂定嚴格的規範至關重要。例如,任何位址資訊僅應由公共衛生主管機關用於公共衛生目的。此應為臨時程序,這些資訊在危機結束後應予以刪除。

Along these lines, Freedom House released a set of principles on March 24 for protecting civil and human rights in the fight against COVID-19. It says any surveillance programs that use new technology to fight the spread of the disease should be “subject to independent oversight, and ‘firewalled’ from other commercial and governmental uses such as law enforcement and enforcement of immigration policies.”

同理,人權組織「自由之家」在三月二十四日發布了一套原則,以便在對抗武漢肺炎期間保障公民權與人權。自由之家表示,任何使用新技術來對抗疾病傳播的監視程序都應「受到獨立監督,且不能作為其他商業及政府之用途,例如執法及移民政策之執行」。

In the middle of a crisis, all of this might seem theoretical. The most essential tasks for democratic leaders are providing for the public’s safety and working to revive the economy. Yet it’s also important to remember that the state rarely relinquishes powers it amasses in a crisis.

在危機之中,這些似乎都是理論上的。民主國家之領導者最重要的任務是確保公眾安全,並努力振興經濟。但同樣重要的是要記住,國家很少放棄它在危機中所集聚的權力。

After 9/11, the FBI was given broad new powers to demand data from private businesses. A dozen years later, both the ACLU and the Justice Department’s inspector general found that the use of that extraordinary power had become routine and unchecked. As Americans grapple with the current pandemic, they must be vigilant that their government not repeat the same mistake.

九一一恐怖攻擊發生後,美國聯邦調查局獲得了新的、廣泛的權力,可以要求私人企業提供資訊。十幾年後,美國公民自由聯盟和司法部總監察長都發現,這種非常時期權力的使用已成為常態,且沒有受到約束。美國人在與當前的病毒大流行奮力搏鬥之同時,也必須保持警覺,確保政府不會重蹈覆轍。

Source article: https://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/04/14/2003734545

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