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National security wrap

Posted By , , , and on April 16, 2020 @ 13:30

The beat

Fears marginalised groups being targeted by police

Concerns [1] have been raised in Australia that culturally diverse and low socioeconomic groups will be disproportionately targeted by police enforcing the social distancing regulations imposed to stop the spread of Covid-19. During the Easter long weekend, more than $1 million in fines were handed out [2] across the country. Civil liberties groups have called for new measures, which include [3] the use of drones, vehicle number plate scanners and tracking devices, to be implemented only in extreme circumstances.

Online child sexual exploitation spikes

Law enforcement agencies around the world are reporting [4]a rise in online child sexual exploitation as paedophiles take advantage of Covid-19 lockdown measures. School closures have led to children spending more time online with less supervision, and some have been drawn into [5] dangerous discussions on child exploitation forums on the dark web. Scottish police have launched [6] online campaigns and opened hotlines to target potential offenders.

CT scan

IS targets Chinese in Indonesia during Covid-19 pandemic

Islamic State terror group affiliates in Indonesia are spreading [7] anti-Chinese rhetoric and plotting attacks during the coronavirus outbreak. The Institute for Policy Analysis of Conflict said [8] IS called for attacks in Indonesia in part because the government there had been weakened by the pandemic. Pro-IS communities have also played on political concerns about the government’s reliance on China for infrastructure development.

Neo-Nazi group leader found to be a 13-year-old boy

A key figure in an international neo-Nazi group linked to US shootings and car bombs has been revealed [9] to be a 13-year-old boy from Estonia. Feuerkrieg Division [10] is described by the US Anti- Defamation League as a white supremacist group. Security officials investigated the boy in January but were unable to prosecute him under Estonian law due to his age. Leaked archives [11] of Feuerkrieg Division members’ online chats show that he was referred to as ‘Commander’ and founded the group.

Checkpoint

International border closures could remain in place long term

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly says Australia’s borders could remain closed [12] as part of the response to Covid-19 even as other restrictions are lifted. Resuming international travel depends on how successfully all countries can flatten the infection curve and how quickly a vaccine can be developed and administered throughout the world. The Australian Health Protection Principal Committee is advising the national cabinet on options for eventually easing travel restrictions.

China tightens restrictions at Russian border

Imported cases accounted for 98 of 108 new coronavirus infections reported in China on Sunday. Forty-nine are said to have involved Chinese nationals [13]returning from Russia’s Far Eastern Federal District to Heilongjiang province. This border in China’s northeast is open only to Chinese nationals. Chinese cities near the border, including Suifenhe and Harbin, have bolstered controls and imposed stricter quarantines in response to the increase in cases. These cities now require 28 days of quarantine [14] for returning residents and the testing of all arrivals [15] from abroad.

First responder

Australia to deploy tracking app in fight against coronavirus

The government has begun developing [16] a mobile app to monitor Australians’ daily interactions and help authorities trace the ‘close contacts’ of confirmed cases of Covid-19. If it’s a success, the app could enable an earlier end date for lockdown measures. The app will be opt-in only, but it’s thought at least 40% of Australians will need to sign up for it to be effective. Singapore shared the code for its own, similar app, called TraceTogether [17], but only 20% of its citizens have so far downloaded it.

Firefighters put out blaze near Chernobyl

Ukrainian firefighters have extinguished [18] a large forest fire that tore through part of the contaminated exclusion zone surrounding the decommissioned Chernobyl nuclear power plant and raised radiation to dangerous levels. Two planes, a helicopter and more than 100 firefighters were used to fight the blaze [19], but radiation levels made it difficult to get close enough to the fire to put it out. Ukrainian police have tracked [20] down a suspect who they say started the fire ‘for fun’.



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URLs in this post:

[1] Concerns: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/concerns-police-using-coronavirus-powers-to-target-marginalised-communities-in-australia

[2] handed out: https://7news.com.au/lifestyle/health-wellbeing/calls-grow-for-police-to-release-guidelines-used-to-enforce-coronavirus-lockdown-rules-c-975144

[3] include: https://www.sbs.com.au/news/electronic-tracking-devices-among-new-coronavirus-powers-for-wa-security-agencies

[4] reporting : https://www.hrw.org/news/2020/04/09/covid-19-and-childrens-rights-0#_Toc37256532

[5] have been drawn into: https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/dark-web-forums-discussing-child-sexual-abuse-during-pandemic-lockdown-20200409-p54io0.html

[6] launched: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-52271288

[7] spreading: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/people/article/3078775/coronavirus-indonesia-warned-be-guard-anti-chinese-terrorism-amid

[8] said: http://www.understandingconflict.org/en/conflict/read/89/IPAC-Short-Briefing-No1-COVID-19-AND-ISIS-IN-INDONESIA

[9] revealed: https://apnews.com/7067c03e1af0b157be7c15888cbe8c27

[10] Feuerkrieg Division: https://www.adl.org/resources/backgrounders/feuerkrieg-division-fkd

[11] archives: https://unicornriot.ninja/2020/leaked-neo-nazi-terrorist-feuerkreig-division-organizing-chats/

[12] borders could remain closed: https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6719283/international-border-closures-could-be-long-term/

[13] Chinese nationals : https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/russian-border-town-becomes-china-s-second-virus-wave-frontier-20200413-p54jfo.html

[14] 28 days of quarantine: https://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/china-moves-block-virus-flare-russian-border-70134699

[15] testing of all arrivals: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/04/china-border-russia-front-line-coronavirus-fight-200413064953795.html

[16] developing: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-14/coronavirus-app-government-wants-australians-to-download/12148210

[17] TraceTogether: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/apr/14/australian-government-plans-to-bring-in-mobile-phone-app-to-track-people-with-coronavirus

[18] extinguished: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-15/fires-threatening-chernobyl-nuclear-power-plant-extinguished/12148606

[19] blaze: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-06/ukraine-firefighters-battle-brush-fire-near-chernobyl-plant

[20] tracked: https://www.abccolumbia.com/2020/04/07/firefighters-tackle-forest-fires-near-chernobyl-that-caused-radiation-levels-to-rise/

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