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Are We Living Inside an Ethical (and Kind) Machine?

This is a moment to ask as we make the plan­et dig­i­tal, as we total­ly envel­op our­selves in the com­put­ing envi­ron­ment that we’ve been build­ing for the last hun­dred years, what kind of dig­i­tal plan­et do we want? Because we are at a point where there is no turn­ing back, and get­ting to eth­i­cal deci­sions, val­ues deci­sions, deci­sions about democ­ra­cy, is not some­thing we have talked about enough nor in a way that has had impact.

Richard Stallman’s Internet Hall of Fame 2013 Induction Speech

So, thir­ty years ago if you want­ed to get a new com­put­er and use it you had to sur­ren­der your free­dom by installing a user-subjugating pro­pri­etary oper­at­ing sys­tem. So I decid­ed to fix that by devel­op­ing anoth­er oper­at­ing sys­tem and make it free, and it’s called GNU, but most the time you’ll hear peo­ple erro­neous­ly call­ing it Linux.

What Will Cybersecurity Look Like in the Next Decade?

Sure, cyber­space is about peo­ple and data. But it is also about appli­ca­tions. And devices. And the indi­rect and non-obvious rela­tion­ships between all of this. It cre­ates a very com­pli­cat­ed and excit­ing ecosys­tem. One that is capa­ble of dra­mat­ic inno­va­tion, and dra­mat­ic exploita­tion.

Making Conservation Proactive

We’re liv­ing in this amaz­ing time. The speed of inno­va­tion has cre­at­ed tech­nolo­gies that have lit­er­al­ly reimag­ined indus­try after indus­try. Technology has improved almost every tool that we use on a dai­ly basis, and it’s time to start bring­ing this tech­nol­o­gy to use for good.

Cybersecurity in the Age of Always-Connected Sensors

We all see the ben­e­fits of active safe­ty sys­tems in cars. But that same safe­ty tech­nol­o­gy, if attacked, can actu­al­ly allow you to immo­bi­lize a vehi­cle or even dis­able breaks while dri­ving.

Personal Privacy Assistants in the Age of the Internet of Things

Imagine your pri­va­cy assis­tant is a com­put­er pro­gram that’s run­ning on your smart­phone or your smart­watch. Your pri­va­cy assis­tant lis­tens for pri­va­cy poli­cies that are being broad­cast over a dig­i­tal stream. We are build­ing stan­dard for­mats for these pri­va­cy poli­cies so that all sen­sors will speak the same lan­guage that your per­son­al pri­va­cy assis­tant will be able to under­stand.

The Internet of Damned Things

We have to be aware that when you cre­ate mag­ic or occult things, when they go wrong they become hor­ror. Because we cre­ate tech­nolo­gies to soothe our cul­tur­al and social anx­i­eties, in a way. We cre­ate these things because we’re wor­ried about secu­ri­ty, we’re wor­ried about cli­mate change, we’re wor­ried about threat of ter­ror­ism. Whatever it is. And these devices pro­vide a kind of stop­gap for help­ing us feel safe or pro­tect­ed or what­ev­er.

Where to From Here?

Although we haven’t reached peak sur­veil­lance, we’ve reached peak indif­fer­ence to sur­veil­lance. There will nev­er be anoth­er day in which few­er peo­ple give a shit about this because there’ll nev­er be a day in which few­er people’s lives have been ruined by this.

Digital Privacy IRL

As we’re giv­ing our homes this new lay­er of smart­ness and intel­li­gence, we’re giv­ing away its own­er­ship to very large orga­ni­za­tions. And as we become a gen­er­a­tion of renters, what I’m very inter­est­ed in is how do land­lords respond to that?

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