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Tele-activism

12 May 2005

Here's a bit more techie-optimism for you.

Actually, I think some might call it cyberterrorism. It's a new technology that enables thousands of people to ring the US Senate from their cell phones at the same time.

Forget the steady trickle of email and phone calls. Sometimes you need to act fast. People for the American Way are asking supporters to give them their cell phone numbers... At an important tactical moment, minutes before Senators are to vote, the switchboards will begin to implode with calls. I don't think this has ever been done before.

The campaign is about saving the filibuster, a legal tactic which enables a minority to stall legislation indefinitely. The Right are keen to get rid of it, because it could prevent "their people" from getting seats in federal and supreme courts. That's the short version of the story. Read more.

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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