What can we do about the growing Surveillance Industrial Complex? ”
“Surveillance is the business model of the Internet.” — Bruce Schneier
Technology and war have always been interrelated. Some historians see the intersection of science, technology and the US military during WW2 as the beginning of the modern Military-Industrial Complex. Yet mass communications technology has also been historically significant in transforming society, from the Gutenberg printing press, to Television’s connection to the 1960s political and social upheaval, to the rise of the Internet.
As the Bay Area tech industry becomes the de facto center of global technological innovation, its ties to the Pentagon and US intelligence agencies are becoming more and more apparent. Companies like Hewlitt-Packard, Google, Palantir, and Amazon all have close ties to the same military and intelligence establishment that Bay Area activists have been organizing against since the 1960’s. With our basic liberties, such as right to assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of Privacy and the right to a jury trial all under a concerted attack by the government, it should be of increasing concern that the companies we depend on for communicating and accessing information are also dependent on Defense establishment contracts and ties to appease their shareholders and continue their monopolies.
With the Internet becoming such a force for change and democratizing power, why is it under attack right now? The Internet as we know it, free and open, is being threatened by Federal government appointees. Many called Occupy “The Internet generation.” From the Arab spring to Occupy, the Internet and social media tools were key tools for communication. The Internet is a deterritorializing force that is upending the established modes of power and decision-making. This talk will delve into all these questions and more and what we can do to fight back and build the world we want to see.
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