The Guardian published this great piece of investigative journalism on the funding of research on security technologies through EU-funded research programmes (such as Horizon 2020), and the involvement of industry. The following is an excerpt about the way the kinds of funded research projects are presented:

“Often the problem is that the topic itself is unethical,” said Gemma Galdon Clavell, an independent tech ethicist who has evaluated many Horizon 2020 security research projects and worked as a partner on more than a dozen. “Some topics encourage partners to develop biometric tech that can work from afar, and so consent is not possible – this is what concerns me.” One project aiming to develop such technology refers to it as “unobtrusive person identification” that can be used on people as they cross borders. “If we’re talking about developing technology that people don’t know is being used,” said Galdon Clavell, “how can you make that ethical?”

DW Documentary published a short documentary about the use of a type of pesticide, neonicotinoids, which are now seen as the main cause of damage to ecosystems and death of bee colonies. The video shows the truly horrendous practices of Bayer Group, which sells these pesticides, in manipulating research and policy.

For more than two decades, experts have been warning of the negative effects of neonicotinoids, with a whole range of studies published on the subject. It would appear that the industry, aided by the authorities, managed to successfully delay any ban on these substances for years. Studies show that neonicotinoids not only kill pests, but also bees and other beneficial insects.

See the video on Youtube here.