WSF in the news

19 February 2006

The buzz about Karachi Forum has started, star guests will include the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and Arundhati Roy, say Pakistan's Daily Times.

One of the most interesting articles on the WSF I've read in a while, by Hanna Dahlstrom in Upside Down World, discusses the Alternative Social Forum, state appropriation of social movements in Venezuela, and criticizes the glamour oil politics of Chavez from an environmental and indigenous rights standpoint. She feels Venezuela's state oil company, PDVSA, was too tied in with the Forum in Caracas. It may have been worth adding that the Brazilian oil company, Petrobras, was a major funder of the Forum in Porto Alegre. How to raise the hundreds of thousands of dollars to organise the Forum is a constant headache for organisers. Seems to be that most bodies with enough money to help, amassed their wealth through activities anathemous to the left.

Plus, another article about the WSF and Chavez in The Nation

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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