Blogrolling filtered!

15 August 2005

Iranian Telecom is famous for the filters it imposes over websites/weblogs that are containing what the government considers as "against morals of the society" or "against national security". This costly activity has already cost Iranian government many million dollars to become reality and there is a little care about the legitimacy of the reasoning that should be there behind the filtering of each URL that is swept away from the sight of Iranian web surfers.

Meanwhile, there are many social/political pages that are filtered just because they have something to say that brings bend in the eyebrow of the headmasters! yet sometimes when I hear news about recent filtered websites in the Persian blog-sphere, I can not create any logical link between my humble Gray cells and the minds of those who commit the filtering!

One of my such odd surprises came after I gathered that blogrolling.com is filtered in Iran after some days of fluctuation between availability and unavailability. So many bloggers are now complaining that why a tool such blogrolling should be unavailable? perhaps because it would make you aware that something is posted questioning the new president! Some bloggers now fear for Blogger to get filtered and with the popularity this free blogging service has among Iranians, that would be due to the huge decrease for the skyrocketing number of Persian blogs. I guess the idea of media censorship can only come from the culture that says: "If I am right and indeed I am, one that talks against me is wrong and should not be there to talk". Sweeping the URLs with political content and closing newspapers containing debates is like what kids do by hiding the broken glass in the closet pretending everything is safe an sound while everyone knows it is not and more than others, the kid himself!

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.

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