Democracy and Terrorism: the debate continues

4 March 2005

Next week a team from openDemocracy will be off to the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security in Madrid - for the past two months we've been running an online debate about the issues raised. and we're asking people around the world to Meet on March 11 and discuss them at home or work with friends, family or colleagues.

There has been a fascinating debate about the ways that democracies should respond to terror, and we've seen some brilliant pieces published both on openDemocracy and elsewhere. 

One really compelling view comes from Judith Large,  Senior Programme Advisor on Democracy Building and Conflict Management for IDEA, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.  In an illuminating essay on the Safe-democracy website, written in a personal capacity, she argues that a post- 9/11 remilitarised international security framework threatens to marginalise democratic approaches to conflict management and that some measures meant as response may undermine or compromise democracies in fragile or key stages of development.

Large has extensive experience in international relations, political economy and conflict theory/analysis, having run practical consultancies for the WHO, DFID, UNDP and the British Council in areas such as East Timor, Bosnia, Indonesia and the Philippines, so her perspective deserves careful consideration.

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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