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Brazil is the internet

14 October 2005

There's a great piece in the UK Guardian today profiling Gilberto Gil, dissident, musician, and now minister of culture for Brazil. He is a huge supporter of the Creative Commons, and the profile  captures what's so great about all the Brazilian culture and intellectual property issues that make the country stand out as a citizen of the twenty-first century.

Meanwhile Britain, still hopelessly stranded in the twentieth, took one step further into the future with the launch of the Royal Society of the Art's Intellectual Property (IP) charter. John Naughton was there.

I had the opportunity to meet John Howkins, who is behind the charter, last time I was at the RSA. He was chairing a panel which included - and was dominated by - Creative Commons hero Lawrence Lessig. Howkins finds intellectual property issues "intellectually fascinating". I quite agree.

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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