The intelligence services of Pakistan are secretly deploying surveillance technology – not to locate militants but to rack coronavirus patients and the people they come in contact with.
In a program to tackle the virus, touted by Prime Minister Imran Khan, has turned to the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) for help, which is spreading at an accelerating rate across the country.
Details about the project have not been shared yet, but two officials of the intelligence service told AFP that they are using phone-monitoring and geo-fencing to hunt high-value targets including foreign militants and homegrown.
Talking about its technology – geo-fencing is a discreet tracking system that has the ability to alert authorities when someone leaves a specific geographic location, and also helpful for officials monitoring neighborhoods on lockdown.
Authorities are also planning to listen to the calls of Covid-19 patients to monitor whether their contacts are talking about symptoms or not.
An intelligence official said; “The trace-and-track system basically helps us track the mobile phones of corona patients as well as anyone they get in touch with before or after their disappearance”.
Added to that; “The government has been successful in tracing even those who tested positive but went into hiding”.
The lack of awareness, stigma, and fear have contributed the most for some people with symptoms not seeking treatment or maybe fleeing hospitals, while there were a portion of those who’ve had contact with virus patients but have flouted self-isolation rules.