Shady connections in Italy

8 September 2005

On the 1st of August, Italy’s Interior Minister Giuseppe Pisanu created a new legislation which he described as “an intervention to make existing norms sharper and more incisive in the fight against terrorism”. The main consequence of this legislation is that it allows the government to expel foreigners more easily if these are found supporting or helping terrorist groups.
This legislation has already led to several expulsions including an imam in Turin and the vice-president of the Islamic Institute of Come.

Though this legislation is supposed to promote security and therefore protect democracy from exterior attacks, it also appears to be a good way for national extremists to get rid of foreigners (it is the xenophobic party Northern League who accused Imam Bouriqui Bouchta of praising the September 11th attacks).

At the same time, it also seems to undermine one of the main goals of democracy, equal access to justice, since it allows suspects to be questioned without a lawyer being present and held 24 hours without charge.

La Repubblica has the story (if you speak Italian).

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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