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The Future Human Podcast returns with Closing Net, in which the team explore how governments and corporations are using the Internet as a tool of control.
The World Wide Web has increasingly become the battleground of a secretive ‘information war’ between the world’s leading powers. Practises range from the subtle, such as the the Russian government’s use of mafia hackers to attack Georgian websites, to the obvious, such as China’s censorship of Western news sites.
The picture has grown more complex, however, as anonymous hackers have targeted governments, corporate giants and their shadowy proxies in the information security industry. Reacting to this threat, states and corporate giants alike are developing new tools of digital surveillance to monitor the activities of the ‘information anarchists’. Increasingly though, these new tools are being used to surveil the general public, and to suppress dissent on a mass scale.
Is ‘digital vigilantism’ here to stay? Can the utopian ideals of the Web – of openness and universal expression – ever be realised in a meaningful sense? And to what extent will information conflict fuel new forms of criminality and terrorism in the UK?
Joining Future Human’s Ben Beaumont-Thomas to address these vital questions is Sam Jordison, presenter of the Closing Net salon, and Gabrielle Guillemin, a lawyer from the free speech NGO Article 19. They hear from Article 19 head Agnes Callamard, the information security expert Daniel Cuthbert and from the Occupy London activist Samuel Carlisle, and attempt to understand this complicated picture.
Ben also meets Jim Killock, chairman of the Open Rights Group, at the London headquarters of the digital liberty organisation, where he learns about the UK government’s plans to monitor social networking activity.
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