Leaked NHS documents tied to Russian hack

Andrew Gilkey, World News Editor

Britain’s left-leaning Labour party released documents leaked onto Reddit that showed conservative Members of Parliament compliance in “selling” aspects of the publicly funded National Health Service to the U.S. A trade deal privatizing portions of the NHS for U.S. companies would hand over unprecedented access to NHS data. Labor party leader Jeremey Corbyn held up the heavily redacted documents on live television on Nov. 27. However, according to Reuters, Reddit’s security team have confirmed that these documents has been tied to a Russian disinformation campaign named“Secondary Infektion.” 

 The NHS has long been adored by the British, but satisfaction with national healthcare has hit an 11-year low, according to a British Social Attitudes poll taken this year and published in the Guardian. The public’s major concerns are the lack of staff and longer waiting times for treatment. 

 With the general election of Dec.12 drawing closer, both parties took the recent poll as an opportunity to get their noses in front of the other. Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to hire 50,000 new nurses, give preferential treatment to immigrants with medical experience and open up 40 new hospitals. The Labour Party saw the leaked documents as the perfect opportunity to reduce their 10% voting deficit, according the The Guardian, with these explosive documents. 

Reddit released the following statement to Reuters regarding the leaked documents: “We investigated this account and the accounts connected to it, and today we believe this was part of a campaign that has been reported as originating from Russia.” The security team continued stating that the 61 accounts that were suspended due to their connection to “Secondary Infektion” mirrored the Facebook accounts misinforming the U.S. public during the 2016 election. 

 A Labor spokesman told the Independent, “These documents reveal the plot against our NHS. And of course, neither the U.K. nor the U.S. government has denied their authenticity,” he said. “Our releasing them to journalists was clearly in the public interest.” 

The Labor Party promised to remove the NHS from potential trade deals if they won control of Parliament. However, some members of the Labour Party felt that Corbyn’s move came too late. The U.K. government, in an effort to utilize technology to relieve pressure from pharmacists and General Practitioners allowed Amazon to access “all healthcare information” gathered by the NHS, including “symptoms causes and definitions.” according to an interview between The Times and Health Secretary Matt Hancock. The $863 billion company will not pay for access to this data.