Tomorrow is the beginning not the end

16 June 2005

As the whole world is watching to see the outcome of the election, we Iranians have to remember that, we have come a long way in our struggle for freedom. The internet has allowed Iranian voices to reach places they could not reah befocre. Whoever wins will not be able to stop this trend. As "Pouya":http://www.pouyashome.com/weblog/ , a popular blogger and activist has written that regardless of the outcome, we should not consider it an end to our hopes, but a beginning of our struggle toward freedom and justice for all.

This election won't oust the ruling mullahs, but as "Christopher Hitchens":http://www.vanityfair.com/commentary/content/articles/050613roco03 has noted in his great article for Vanity Fair from Iran, the atmosphere is definitely moving in the right direction. Even Ayatollah Khomeini's grandson is looking to the US for hope and he talks about complete separation of religion and the state. Who would have imagined this some 10–15 years ago?

The day will come when Iran will not be associated with nuclear bombs, terrorism and dictatorships. It will be famous again for it’s poetry, for philosophy, for architects and for it’s great hospitality and the generosity of its people. After all, lets remember it was King Darius of Persia who wrote the first Human Rights Charter some 2500 years ago! So, tomorrow is only the beginning and Iranian people know that this time around the momentum is on their side.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

By adding my name to this campaign, I authorise openDemocracy and Foxglove to keep me updated about their important work.

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