Identity in a “Phygital” World: Vaccine “Passports” and Machine-Readable Humans

17 August 2021 — Internationalist 360°

Elizabeth M. Renieris

shutterstock_748732714.jpgEighteen months into the COVID-19 pandemic, a palpable restlessness has set in as people everywhere are desperate to re-enter the world and resume their lives. But in this new reality, even old and familiar activities have a new digital dimension. Fancy a European holiday? Be prepared to present a mobile app or quick response (QR) code as requested while travelling. Hoping to catch a Broadway show in New York City or dinner in L.A.? Planning to return to campus this fall? Odds are that you may have to present proof of vaccination through a mobile app or by other digital means to travel, enjoy theatre, dine out or even attend lectures — in fact, New York City will require proof of vaccination for most indoor activities. While few question the legitimacy of the public health measures, there are rightful concerns about the technologies employed in the process, including digital identity-related tools.

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After success against Corbyn, Israel lobby ousts UK scholar

7 October 2021 — Jonathan Cook

Bristol university lecturer David Miller fired following an Israel lobby smear campaign despite official investigation finding no evidence of antisemitism

Mondoweiss – 7 October 2021

Britain’s pro-Israel lobby gained another important scalp last week after a prolonged campaign of intimidation finally pushed a major UK university into firing one of its lecturers.

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Moderna: A Company “In Need Of A Hail Mary”

7 October 2021 — Unlimited Hangout

Before COVID-19, Moderna was in danger of hemorrhaging investors, as persistent safety concerns and other doubts about its mRNA delivery system threatened its entire product pipeline. Fear caused by the pandemic crisis made those concerns largely evaporate, even though there is no proof that they were ever resolved.

Those analyzing the COVID-19 crisis and its effects have mostly focused on how its disruptive nature has led to major shifts and recalibrations throughout society and the economy. Such disruption has also lent itself to a variety of agendas that had required an event of “reset” potential in order to be realized. In the case of the vaccine industry, COVID-19 has led to dramatic changes in how federal agencies manage the approval of medical countermeasures during a declared crisis, how trials for vaccine candidates are conducted, how the public perceives vaccination, and even how the term “vaccine” is defined.

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UK: Not ‘canteen culture’ – a culture of impunity

7 October 2021 — — Origin: Institute of Race Relations

Many of us were left reeling as details of the murder of Sarah Everard came to light over the past week, which has prompted the IRR to publish a twitter thread detailing evidence of racist and sexist attitudes in the police force. This is not just a question of ‘canteen culture’, IRR argues, but a wider culture of impunity, which will become even more entrenched if the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts bill is passed. Read our intervention here.

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A Different Sort of Truth

7 October 2021 — Consortium News

In the novel released this year, Mohamedou Ould Slahi offers a glimpse of the world he created to escape Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp, writes Alexander Hartwiger.

Camel market in Nouakchott, Mauritania, 2008. (Ferdinand Reus CC BY-SA 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

By Alexander Hartwiger
Africa is a Country

When Mohamedou Ould Slahi Zoomed into my graduate class from Mauritania in March to discuss his new novel, The Actual True Story of Ahmed and Zarga, he shared a bit about the role writing fiction played during his detention at Guantanamo Bay from 2002 to 2016.

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