This is the continuation of this post. What is this about? I’m running interviews with academics, experts and activists to understand the surveillance and loss of civil rights that are coming with the current pandemic. The idea is to start a wide debate around how to defend our privacy against emergency powers. But most importantly: How we can fight back and earn our civil rights and privacy.
You can ask questions about each interview and I’ll ask them to the guests. And at some point I’ll do a livestream where you can ask questions directly.
Why am I doing this? First, I want to do a feature documentary about this. Because I believe this needs to be documented and presented to the public in a cinematic way. And second, and this is the core, because we urgently need to start a wide social debate about this.
Alright, now I’ve done seven interviews and there are a few questions that are still pending—some of them are focused on the technical aspects of preserving our privacy. Nonetheless, the big questions remain.
I’ll get to those answers soon in future interviews… Right now we could focus on technical questions, but I believe first we need to get the fundamental questions right. Otherwise, we won’t be able to find the right answers.
Right now I’m seeing there are a couple of threads we need to pull in order to start figuring things out. The first one is about finding the root of the problem. What is the core? Because if we understand where the root is, solving it would become much easier.
Now, we’re seeing a few ways this core problem is manifesting itself (more in the videos below), but we still need to dive deeper. I have a few hunches…
Capitalism thrives on insecurity… Astra Taylor recently published a great article called the insecurity machine—I believe this is at the core of the conversation… I’m trying to get Astra on the show (so far, unsuccessfully).
Also I want to properly cover the nature of debt. David Graeber has a phenomenal book on this called Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Hopefully one day I’ll interview him too.
Now, on another note, we’re seeing how events are currently unfolding around the world. We’ve got the protests in the US. We’ve got China removing Hong Kong’s democratic powers. And as I said in a previous thread, studying revolutions as they form will be really useful in the future.
That will teach us some “privacy hygiene.” (Interestingly, protesters can be tracked by analyzing the datasets from their smartphones—link. Now imagine that combined with contact tracing apps that can tell who’s been around as well.)
Since the interviews are time consuming for you and hard to keep up with, I’m starting to make short videos condensing all the knowledge from these interviews—as well as serving as an update on how things are moving forward.
You can find them here:
(Sorry for the YouTube/Invidious links. I’ve tried to use a peertube but I can’t find any instance without a real unlimited uploading quota—I managed to upload some videos here, but not all of them)
In this first video I explain what this project is about and how this works: (Invidious link)
In the second one I explain in depth what I described above about the core problem and solutions to this problem: (Invidious link)
And in this third video (and I think this is critically important) I explain the reason why surveillance capitalism is a mainstream idea. We should talk instead about how capitalism has its roots based on colonialism, and start talking about data colonialism. But also talk about Data Dictatorships. I made this video because some people asked me to do it. And I think this is great to get everybody on the same page. (Invidious link)
I published an entire book about this called Data Dictatorships. You can read it for free here: https://borjamoya.com/DataDictatorships/
I don’t want to make this post too long, but I also want to share something that came up in my interview with Marta Peirano (Spanish author and researcher — Invidious link). It’s just a great reminder on the importance of FOSS: https://twitter.com/iamBorjaMoya/status/1265953452519297024
(Full conversation with Marta here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFI5fYmuypc)
Please let me know if you think this is useful. They’re time consuming for me but I’ll try to release at least one of these short videos per week. As well as more interviews.
Please comment down below questions, thoughts, whatever. Maybe we don’t answer everything right away, but everything is noted and at some point I’ll find answers for your questions. And of course, feel free to reach out to me via DM or email at hello(at)borjamoya(dot)com