Video shows French police using tear gas to break up anti-vaccine protests

A supporter of French nationalist party "Les Patriotes" (The Patriots) holds a placard during a protest against government's economic and social policies during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Paris, France April 10,2021. The placard reads "No to the health passport".
A supporter of French nationalist party “Les Patriotes” (The Patriots) holds a placard during a protest against government’s economic and social policies during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Paris, France April 10,2021. The placard reads “No to the health passport”.

  • French police tear-gassed a crowd of demonstrators on Wednesday.
  • The protest was against President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to require proof of vaccination to access non-essential places like movie theaters and bars.
  • A video shows the moment police deployed tear gas leading the crowd to disperse.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

French police deployed tear gas on a group of protesters demonstrating Wednesday against President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to require a COVID-19 “health pass” to go to restaurants or movie theaters.

Video shared on Twitter shows protesters in Paris fleeing as officers disperse tear gas into the crowd. The large group of protesters had taken to the streets of Paris to protest the new requirement, some wearing “No to the health pass” badges, but did not have permission from Paris authorities to march, Reuters reported.

Macron had announced on Monday that France will require proof of a COVID-19 vaccine or a negative COVID-19 test to access non-essential places like bars and movie theaters starting in August.

The decision comes as the Delta variant is causing an uptick of infections in the country, according to Reuters.

As Newsy reported, over one million people signed up to receive the vaccine in less than a 24-hour period following Macron’s announcement earlier this week.

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Disneyland and other California theme parks just returned to full capacity – here’s what is changing

disneyland
LOS ANGELES, CA – FEBRUARY 19: Pedestrians walk near the entrance to Disneyland Resort on February 19, 2009 in Anaheim, California. With the worsening economy, declining attendance and reduced operating income, the Walt Disney Company announced that it plans to restructure its domestic theme-park operations, which will result in the layoff an unspecified number of employees in the coming weeks. Disneyland in Anaheim, California and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida will reportedly be consolidated into a single unit headed by Worldwide Operations President Al Weiss. Attendance at Disney theme parks in the US dropped 5 percent in the last quarter of 2008 compared to the previous year and in January, Disney offered buyout packages to 600 US executives.

  • California theme parks, sporting events, and concerts returned to 100% capacity on Tuesday.
  • The state health department added some regulations on vaccinations records and masking for theme parks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

California theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, returned to full capacity on Tuesday.

Gov. Gavin Newsom first announced the parks could return to full capacity in May as a part of his Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The previous 15% to 35% capacity limits lifted at the same time that the entire state fully reopened.

The parks will also no longer be required to maintain physical-distancing requirements on the sites.

The California Health Department added special regulations for venues such as theme parks, concerts, and sports arenas that could be classified as “mega-events” – indoor events with more than 5,000 people, and outdoor ones with over 10,000. The venues are required to provide masks for all customers, though attendees will not be required to wear them if they have been fully vaccinated.

Customers planning on attending indoor venues must either be able to verify that they are fully vaccinated or take a COVID-19 test with a negative result 72 hours prior to entering the venue. They are expected to bring their test results or send them prior to arriving at the event.

For outdoor events, the agency recommends that the venues require a vaccination record or COVID-19 test, but will not enforce it. If an individual at an outdoor event cannot verify that they have been vaccinated, it is recommended that the venue asks the individual to wear a mask.

The California Health Department said the new mandates will run through October 1, but will be reassessed on September 1.

Disneyland reopened for the first time since the pandemic started on April 30 at 25% capacity. Since then, fans have flocked to the theme park.

Fully reopening the park will allow Disney to begin recouping from the impact of the pandemic on one of its biggest revenue streams. Last year, the media giant lost nearly $5 billion due to park closures.

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Ted Cruz follows suit from red states and introduces a bill to ban the federal government from using vaccine passports

ted cruz
Sen. Ted Cruz during a Senate hearing on November 17, 2020.

  • Sens. Ted Cruz, Mike Braun, and Cynthia Lummis introduced a bill banning federal vaccine passports.
  • At least 10 US states already have bills or executive orders banning vaccine passports.
  • Vaccine passports are becoming more common, as US tourists to the EU will be required to prove they are vaccinated.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Three Republican senators have introduced a bill to ban the federal government from establishing COVID-19 vaccine passports, following in the footsteps of at least 10 GOP-led states.

Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Braun of Indiana, and Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming introduced the legislation to the Senate Friday. The bill would also prevent the government from working with third parties, such as airlines, on setting up their own vaccine passport systems.

“Americans shouldn’t be discriminated against because of COVID-19 vaccine status – whether that is at work or in everyday life,” Cruz said in a statement announcing the bill. “We should be encouraging individuals to receive the vaccine through increased patient protections, not mandating it.”

The senator also said he got the vaccine because “it was the right decision for me, but people should be free to make the decision that is right for them.”

At least 10 states, including the home states of the senators introducing the bill, have enacted legislation or issued executive orders banning or limiting the use of vaccine passports. They are: Alabama, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Montana, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

Vaccine passports are becoming increasingly common internationally. The European Union will require Americans traveling to the EU this summer to provide proof they are fully vaccinated.

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Disneyland and other California theme parks will return to full capacity in June – here’s what is changing

GettyImages 1232826025
  • On Friday, Governor Gavin Newsom announced California would fully reopen on June 15.
  • Theme parks, sporting events, and concerts will be able to return to 100% capacity.
  • The state health department added some regulations on vaccinations records and masking for theme parks.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

California theme parks, including Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood, will return to full capacity on June 15.

The announcement was made on Friday as a part of Governor Gavin Newsom’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy. The current 15% to 35% capacity limits will lift at the same time that the entire state fully reopens.

The parks will also no longer be required to maintain physical-distancing requirements on the sites.

The California Health Department added special regulations for venues such as theme parks, concerts, and sports arenas that could be classified as “mega-events” – indoor events with more than 5,000 people, and outdoor ones with over 10,000. The venues are required to provide masks for all customers, though attendees will not be required to wear them if they have been fully vaccinated.

Customers planning on attending indoor venues must either be able to verify that they are fully vaccinated or take a COVID-19 test with a negative result 72 hours prior to entering the venue. They are expected to bring their test results or send them prior to arriving at the event.

For outdoor events, the agency recommends that the venues require a vaccination record or COVID-19 test, but will not enforce it. If an individual at an outdoor event cannot verify that they have been vaccinated, it is recommended that the venue asks the individual to wear a mask.

The California Health Department said the new mandates will run through October 1, but will be reassessed on September 1.

Disneyland reopened for the first time since the pandemic started on April 30 at 25% capacity. Since then, fans have flocked to the theme park.

Fully reopening the park will allow Disney to begin recouping from the impact of the pandemic on one of its biggest revenue streams. Last year, the media giant lost nearly $5 billion due to park closures.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I’m a former hacker and I believe the current round of digital vaccine passports pose real security risks. But a safe, effective vaccine passport is possible.

international travel guide
Vaccine passports

  • Vaccine passports are not yet safe and secure enough to be widely distributed.
  • Many of the options available today present security risks for sensitive personal information.
  • To successfully implement vaccine passports, data-tracking guidelines, government policies, and online behavior must change.
  • Mary Writz has 19 years’ experience in the field of cyber security and is the vice president of product at ForgeRock.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

I am a former ethical hacker, and because of my more than 20 years of experience in security, my friends and family often come to me with cyber security questions. On their minds lately is the question of whether digital COVID vaccine passports are safe.

The short answer is not yet. While I believe it is possible to build a safe and secure digital vaccine passport, there are serious hurdles that make it difficult to deliver an app that can stand up to the security and privacy rigors that would meet my, or my peers’, standards.

Anyone considering downloading one of the existing applications should proceed with caution – some of the options today present too great a risk to people’s identity. Many of these hastily-created applications can expose sensitive personal and health information, which can be sold and used in malicious ways. Tech companies need to keep working to create a safe digital vaccine passport.

A digital passport even a hacker could trust

Before we can debate the possibilities a vaccine passport can unlock, we need to address safety and it’s clear a new approach to vaccine verification is needed. Currently, the technology community does not have the right solution in front of them – it is more of a buffet of options, some riskier than others.

Ideally, companies should aim to create a single, universally-accepted physical or digital passport recognized by all governments and businesses while preserving our privacy and securing our health information. Think of it as the ultimate passport to life that speeds our return to normal when the next global health crisis emerges.

A universal passport could also include verification data for other documents we carry separately today, like driver’s licenses, passports, social security cards, membership cards, and credit card information. But we cannot place big bets on improving access to the digitally-connected world without also investing in security solutions first.

Technical challenges and public buy-in

Technically speaking, the challenge will be to get a bunch of technologists to agree on a standard approach to vaccine tracking. A universal standard will require alignment on what constitutes evidence of vaccination or how data should be collected and stored from the start – without leaking users’ personal information.

Without a widely-adopted set of standards, people will be downloading myriad, potentially dangerous mobile apps to do things we all desperately miss doing now like going to a movie or a concert.

The problem with a fragmented approach is most people do not know how to spot a good app from a less trustworthy option. We can count on Google and Apple to filter out a lot of the garbage for us, but without checks and balances, it’s virtually impossible to ensure the digital safety of these apps. As non-technical consumers, it would be even harder to avoid being tricked into downloading a copycat version or an app that was not developed securely.

Additionally, even if the technology is sound and secure, some folks may not feel comfortable with vaccine verification apps initially. The reason my friends and family come to me for my opinion on the security of technologies is because they feel unqualified to ascertain if these applications are safe. For widespread adoption to take hold, we need time to educate citizens and get their buy-in.

In the meantime, if someone needs to use a vaccine passport now, they should only use a link from an actual source like a government agency, employer, or mobile carrier. Scanning a random QR code or clicking a link from an unknown source can be dangerous.

Government policy around vaccine passports can help

A potential solution for the cultural friction that could surface would be to enforce a government policy around vaccine passports, but there are challenges here too. Governments across the world differ in their ability to enforce such policies, and currently the US government indicates a preference to leave it to the private sector. Even if that position changes – or a public-private partnership forms in our country, like European EID schemes – it would take time to determine specifics surrounding vaccine passport enforcement and the infrastructure needed to stand it up.

Historically, legislation has not kept up with the rapidly-shifting technology landscape. In the case of approving COVID-19 vaccines, we have seen the government move quickly and partner with the private sector to help bring a life-saving solution to market fast. That same rule-breaking approach in developing new protocols that sidesteps traditional processes could go a long way in helping to deliver a universal vaccination passport. For example, the US could fund and steer a task force aimed at delivering a solution that encompasses thinking across policy, security, and user experience.

And it can be done. The tech community has solved hard problems before, like securing the internet with SSL, and they can do it again. But it does not happen overnight – it takes time, resources, and a mindset shift to find the right solution. If tech and government agencies work together, we can be ready to help society get back to the things we love faster, with more confidence in its safety and security.

Mary Writz is the Vice President of Product at ForgeRock. Mary has 19 years’ experience in the field of cyber security. Prior to ForgeRock, Mary held product and leadership positions at Hewlett Packard and IBM in domains such as threat detection, machine learning, penetration testing, security intelligence, distributed denial of service, and targeted attack protection. Mary holds two patents and a Master of Engineering degree in telecommunications.

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Arizona became the latest state to ban so-called ‘vaccine passports.’ Its governor said the choice to get a shot or not is ‘up to each individual.’

In this Nov. 30, 2020 file photo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey hands over his signed election documents to certify the election results for federal, statewide, and legislative offices and statewide ballot measures at the official canvass at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix
In this Nov. 30, 2020 file photo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey hands over his signed election documents to certify the election results for federal, statewide, and legislative offices and statewide ballot measures at the official canvass at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix.

  • Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issued an executive order banning vaccine passports on Monday.
  • The order prevents state and local officials from requiring documentation to enter areas or events.
  • Montana, Idaho, Texas, Florida, and Utah have also banned vaccine passports.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey signed an executive order on Monday banning “vaccine passports” and preventing state and local governments from requiring such documentation to enter areas or events.

“The residents of our state should not be required by the government to share their private medical information,” Ducey said in a statement. “While we strongly recommend all Arizonans get the COVID-19 vaccine, it’s not mandated in our state – and it never will be. Vaccination is up to each individual, not the government.”

Arizona joins Montana, Idaho, Texas, Florida, and Utah in banning vaccine passports, which can be used to show a person has been vaccinated against COVID-19.

This is a developing story. Please check back for more updates.

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UK will start a trial for ‘vaccine passports.’ But essential shops and services will ‘never’ require them, Boris Johnson said.

COVID 19 vaccine
  • The United Kingdom is going to start a trial for a COVID-19 “vaccine passport” program.
  • The program would allow people who are vaccinated to access events like concerts and sports games.
  • Prime Minister Boris Johnson said vaccine passports will “never” be required for essential businesses, according to The Independent.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

The United Kingdom will start a trial for COVID-19 “vaccine passports,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said at a press briefing on Monday.

Johnson said “COVID safe certifications” – either a vaccine, negative test, or proof of antibodies – will be tested at a number of events this month.

However, Johnson said vaccine passports will “never” be required for essential businesses or public services like buses or trains, according to The Independent.

Read more: Here’s how young and healthy people are getting vaccinated early. It’s totally legal, and they’re doing good in the process.

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Florida governor Ron DeSantis says he will ban coronavirus ‘vaccine passports’ in the state

ron desantis limbaugh
Governor Ron DeSantis said Biden’s plans for a national vaccine passport scheme are “completely unacceptable.”

  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he will ban vaccine passports.
  • It comes after reports that President Biden was pushing efforts to develop vaccine passports.
  • “We are not supporting doing any vaccine passports in the state of Florida,’ DeSantis said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he issue an executive order forbidding businesses from requiring so-called vaccine passports across the state.

DeSantis said at a press conference on Monday that he would introduce “an executive function” designed to prevent businesses from refusing to serve customers who were unable to prove they had been vaccinated, while seeking support from the Republican legislature to enshrine the act into law.

DeSantis was speaking after reports that the Biden administration was co-ordinating efforts by private companies and federal agencies to develop a scheme that will allow people to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to gain access to some businesses, offices, or restaurants.

“We are not supporting doing any vaccine passports in the state of Florida,” he said at a press conference on Monday which was broadcast by news station 10 Tampa Bay.

“It’s completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply be able to participate in normal society.

“You want to go to a movie theatre, should you have to show [a vaccine passport]? No. You want to go to a game, should you have to show that? No. You want to go to a theme park? No. We’re not supportive of that.”

The scheme could be used to allow people entry to sports bars, restaurants, and music venues, and to travel abroad.

DeSantis made the comments about vaccine passports at a press conference at the State Capitol where he signed a separate bill into law designed to shield businesses and schools from lawsuits related to the coronavirus pandemic, The Hill reported.

Vaccine passports are being developed or introduced in dozens of countries around the world and have been touted as a means for businesses that were shut during the pandemic to reopen safely.

DeSantis last week rejected the idea of introducing a lockdown in Florida after President Joe Biden said that more national restrictions might be required if the public was not “vigilant.”

“To even contemplate doing any type of lockdown, honestly it’s insane,” DeSantis said.

He said: “That’s not gonna happen in the state of Florida. We’re gonna continue doing what works, but under no circumstances would we entertain anything of the sort.”

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