President Joe Biden’s nomination of Eric Lander to be his top science adviser has been delayed in part because of a Democratic senator’s concerns about meetings Lander and his colleagues had with Jeffrey Epstein, the late financier who was charged with sex trafficking in 2019 before his apparent suicide.
By April, U.S. officials at the NSC and the State Department had begun to compile circumstantial evidence that the WIV lab, rather than the seafood market, was actually the source of the virus. The former explanation for the outbreak was entirely plausible, they felt, whereas the latter would be an extreme coincidence. But the officials couldn’t say that out loud because there wasn’t firm proof either way. And if the U.S. government accused China of lying about the outbreak without firm evidence, Beijing would surely escalate tensions even more, which meant that Americans might not get the medical supplies that were desperately needed to combat the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the United States.
The so-called “test and trace” rollout will see thousands of people handing over their personal data to U.K. authorities via contact tracers as part of efforts to inform others if they have been in contact with people infected with the virus. The personal information, including names, zip codes, phone numbers and email addresses, will be held by government bodies for up to 20 years.
But Public Health England, the agency overseeing the system in England, confirmed to POLITICO that it had yet to complete a so-called data protection impact assessment — a mandatory requirement under U.K. law — before the system started on Thursday.
Under U.K law, such an assessment, detailing the potential privacy concerns of collecting reams of people’s sensitive data, is obligatory and must be completed before data collection begins. It has to be submitted to the country’s privacy watchdog for review.
This article is from 28 March 2018:
There are many things policymakers can do to fight fake news and propaganda. New legislation for websites could require transparency about sponsored content and who is financing them, and the amount of money for sponsored content could be capped. They could attempt to clearly define illegal hate speech.
But they must be careful to avoid creating incentives for mass removals — and ensure they don’t find themselves mimicking the behavior of authoritarian countries.