And then there were three

11 January 2006

After Christmas and New Year in the bosom of Hong Kong's criminal justice system, 11 of the remaining 14 anti-WTO protesters charged with illegal assembly have been released. That leaves three Koreans who, authorities insist, will face prosecution for their part in the mass demonstrations against the ministerial on Dec 17.

Peasants groups are still holding rallies outside police headquarters demanding the release of their comrades. And, for all the denunciations of thundering police chief Alfred Ma, oD hears the protesters have won the battle for hearts and minds. More and more Hong Kong locals are joining the marches.

As Edmond Ng, 43, a local businessman who looked on from the flyover where the last of the teargas was dispersing as the first of the Koreans were rounded up, said: “They’re just fighting for their rights. That’s OK. They have no choice but to protest.”

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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