Aral Balkan

Aral Balkan

An Internet for Everyone

The Internet was meant to be for everyone. Instead, today it is for corporations and governments. They use it to constantly monitor our lives, to profile us, and to manipulate and exploit our behaviour to satisfy their financial and political goals.

What was once seen as a public space has turned into private property. On the Internet, there are no parks, only shopping malls. We’ve lost our public sphere. In its place we find surveillance capitalism, led by Silicon Valley venture capitalists, the Googles and the Facebooks, and the countless startups that want to either be them or be bought by them. This has dire ramifications for our privacy, our freedom of speech, and democracy.

Thankfully, another path forward is possible. Small bands of rebels like us are working to create ethical technologies that are free and open, decentralised, and interoperable. We are making the new everyday things so that they’re owned and controlled by individuals, not corporations or governments. Whether or not these alternatives exist (and are allowed to exist) will mean the difference between living under feudalism or democracy.

In this talk, Aral will outline the problem with surveillance capitalism and explain how we can avoid digital feudalism to build an Internet for Everyone.

Aral Balkan is an activist, designer, and developer. He is ⅓ of Ind.ie, a tiny not for profit working for social justice in the digital age.

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