In/outputs - a taste plate of stuff that’s passed through my feeds this week
- EU drive to protect drug firms puts fight against Aids at risk The European Union hopes to finalise a Free Trade Agreement with India at the 12th EU-India summit that will include a deal to slow production of low-price generic medicines for distribution to developing countries of India’s generic drug companies. While I can understand the economic incentive to control the development of generics by Western pharmaceuticals, there’s a human cost that is more important. Just look at generic HIV anti-viral medication for example: as the The Independent reports, “More than 80 per cent of those on HIV treatment in developing countries are on generic medicines made in India.” I hope that European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Indian PM Dr Manmohan Singh keep this in mind when they finalise arrangements that will create delays in the production of affordable generic versions of vital medicines.
↷ Paul Vallely on The Independent, 10 February 2012. ★ Does EU/India free trade agreement spell the end of cheap drugs for poor countries? Sarah Boseley on Sarah Boseley’s Global Health Blog, guardian.co.uk, 10 February 2012
- Spy Tech Companies & Their Authoritarian Customers, Part I: FinFisher And Amesys Part of a name-and-shame series of posts by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, this post profiles two companies in a “… growing and dangerous civil liberties concern: Western companies marketing and selling mass surveillance technology to authoritarian regimes.” (You should read the whole article for a full overview, as these are just quick summaries but) first up is UK-based FinFisher, who’s spying technology including FinSpy was used by former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Surveillance files generated using the company’s technology were discovered in an abandoned state security building after the 2011 Egyptian revolution. The second company outed for their involvement in questionable surveillance is France-based Amesys. After the Battle of Tripoli the Wall Street Journal reported that Amesys provided Libya’s leader Muammar Qaddafi with spying technology used to surveil “dissidents, human-rights campaigners, journalists or everyday enemies of the state.”
↷ Trevor Timm on Deeplinks Blog, Electronic Frontier Foundation, 16 February 2012.