The Revolution Will be Digitised
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At the centre sits the Establishment: governments, corporations and powerful individuals who have more knowledge about us, and more power, than ever before. Circling them is a new generation of hackers, pro-democracy campaigners and internet activists who no longer accept that the Establishment should run the show.
Award-winning journalist and campaigner Heather Brooke takes us inside the Information War and explores the most urgent questions of the digital age: where is the balance between freedom and security? In an online world, does privacy still exist? And will the internet empower individuals, or usher in a new age of censorship, surveillance and oppression?
local activists and journalists. ‘OK,’ Birgitta began, getting straight to the point, ‘can you please give us an idea how something like this could actually work?’ ‘Think of how a tax haven operates,’ Julian said to the assembled audience of mostly young people in their twenties. (Birgitta, at forty-three, was likely the oldest.) ‘Now, what Iceland could do is follow this model but instead create an information haven. It would become the global publishing portal – because soon all publishing
Iraq, the US diplomatic cables and the personal files of Guantánamo detainees. They talked about another video Assange had of an American air strike in Granai, Afghanistan, but Julian thought the footage was confused and did not tell a story like the Apache helicopter video. ‘The one thing he wanted was a voice in the timing,’ Nick told me. ‘If the US attacked him, he would put everything online.’ What Nick needed now was access to the material. Julian proposed creating a new website, posting
beliefs and even whether you prefer diet soda or full fat. Each data element lists where it came from, be it public records, surveys, registrations, telephone directories, business records, government transactions, etc. Some companies also do data cleaning, which involves ringing people to check accuracy. Data brokers are a bit like used car salesmen but instead of offering this vehicle or that, they offer all sorts of personal data. You want a list of white people looking to buy a car next
certain politicians who wanted WikiLeaks taken offline. But as Anonymous’s power grew, there arose other online groups to check its power until it was itself ‘hacked’ in 2011. The Internet is remarkable for allowing such balancing forces to come into existence incredibly quickly. This is where chaos theory comes in. Chaos theory is found in many sciences that study dynamic systems such as the weather. Within nature there exist innumerable interconnections which make it impossible to accurately
infrastructure. Initially created as a borderless network of nodes populated by academics, geeks and the US Department of Defense, the Internet has expanded beyond all expectation. Governance of the Internet was passed to private-sector, technical non-profit-making organisations in the 1990s, and it is largely this bureaucratic hands-off approach that is credited with the Internet’s phenomenal success. So if it ain’t broke, why fix it? Although the Net is not ‘controlled’ by any one government,