Digital colonialism: a global overview

Business & Innovation
re:publica 2016

Short thesis: 

Beyond tensions of privacy and security, we are witnessing a real confrontation between control and freedom, not only of the individual, but of entire populations and regions, enhanced by technologies and massive collection and analysis of data. From predicting to influencing behaviours, from automation of public services to fully control and the ability to disrupt those, even remotely. From gaining access to a global communications platform to losing the ability to protect the rights of those who are interconnected in such platforms. We are witnessing a different form of global domination and control. This talk will explore the dangers of digital colonialism and how countries in the South are fighting back.

Description: 

Never before a small sector had so much power over the entire World, to monitor the present and predict not only future behaviours of individuals but entire populations. The problem is more alarming when we consider how the two sectors are merging in joint ventures, in a quest of global domination, penetrating every government, every citizen movement, mediating every act of any connected person’s life.

Beyond tensions of privacy and security, the alarming tension whose emergence we are witnessing is the one between control and freedom, not only of the individual, but of entire populations and regions. And this is indeed affected by regional and global politics. Some criticise it as a form of “digital colonialism[1]” But very few countries, outside those who had to react in time to the threats out of necessity[2] or lack of alternatives, seem aware about this new form of dominance, which is very seemless, without exercising any violence at all, but at a deep and exponential increase we never ever witness.

Our talk will adress such concerns and offer a path to develop national and local Digital Sovereignty strategies. 

 

[1] Knowledge Commons. “Digital colonialism and the Internet as a tool of cultural hegemony” http://www.knowledgecommons.in/brasil/en/whats-wrong-with-current-internet-governance/digital-colonialism-the-internet-as-a-tool-of-cultural-hegemony/

[2] See Radhika Miller. Cuba rejects Windows, opts for technological sovereignty. Liberation. (2009) https://www.liberationnews.org/09-02-20-cuba-rejects-windows-opts-techn-html/

N.A. Influenced by restrictions imposed by the US embargo and language barriers. 

Stage 2
Monday, May 2, 2016 - 14:45 to 15:45
English
Discussion
Advanced

Speakers

Research Lead
Senior Digital Rights Advisor