Two kinds of protest in China

12 April 2005

Many thanks to China Confidential and Riding Sun for expanding on stories heard over the weekend of riots in and around Huankantou Village, eastern China. The protests against pollution from nearby factories were suppressed by police, and there were two fatalities among the crowd. The environmental degradation caused by China's "economic miracle" is cast as a pivotal political issue by the Chinese deputy director of the State Environmental Protection Administration in our recent interview, China's Environmental Suicide.

Meanwhile in Bejing, Guangzhou and Shenzhen other protests, this time against Japanese targets and apparently motivated by a move from Japan to rewrite its history textbooks to downplay the brutal occupation of China by the Japanese in the decades leading up to the end of the second world war, were seen to be actively encouraged by the Chinese administration.

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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