On February 17, Major tech publication, TechCrunch (in the most dramatic fashion) published a story exposing several vulnerabilities in JamCovid, the Government of Jamaica’s (GOJ’s) Covid App. The story has caused an uncomfortable stir on the local tech scene not just because of the astounding negligence it has brought to light but because of the botched response from both the GOJ and the app developer Amber which has, in effect devolved the situation into an international scandal.
What’s worst is the glaring lack of subject matter experts among local media personnel who seem to be struggling to ask the right questions much less being able to adequately scrutinize the answers.
Add to that mix the glaring dissimilarities between the information on the ground and what Tech Crunch (with receipts to boot) has been dishing on Twitter.
With other major tech publications weighing in and TechCrunch’s Zack Whittaker (the editor who broke the story) seemingly unwilling to let the story die, there’s worsening scrutiny and now a permanent spotlight on Jamaica.
New: In the latest #JamCOVID development, the Amber Group broke its silence to say absolutely nothing of value, and the Jamaican government continues to point fingers at everyone other than itself.— Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) February 21, 2021
A thread. (1/) https://t.co/nQ3yGxjKxV
It wouldn’t be a proper scandal without the public adding their (mostly uninformed) two cents — With Jamaicans being so unused to media ‘follow-up’, of course the dogged pursuit of TechCrunch who has now exposed 3 security lapses, will start to look sinister to some.
This is starting look like a directed attempt to expose organisations rather than highlight security flaws. The reality is security incidents will happen. Especially if someone is making a concerted effort to penetrate/compromise the system.— Samantha Simms (@SamSimmsEsq) February 26, 2021
IT’S A MESS!!!
So, in an attempt at rational and informed discourse on the issue Digital Jamaica has invited local cyber security Trevor Forrest to the table so we can piece together the timeline of what happened, who the players are, consequences and the lasting impact this shit storm will have on the local tech community and Jamaica.
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