Thoughts at length.
- Farewell, not goodbye: leaving DiEM25 (or “We need to talk about democracy, transparency, feminism, and Assange.”) This is not a post I ever wanted to write but it’s time to tie up loose ends before starting the new year. I’ve left DiEM25 and I’d like to explain to you why that is and what I hope DiEM will do differently in the future if it is to realise its tremendous potential to be a force for good in the world.
- Accessibility For Everyone For the past three years, Laura Kalbag has been writing a book on accessibility. It’s called Accessibility for Everyone. You should read it.
- Decrypting Amber Rudd Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, and YouTube (Google/Alphabet, Inc) have formed the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism and Amber Rudd is asking them to quietly drop end-to-end encryption from their products. You should not believe a single word any of those companies tells you about end-to-end encryption or privacy on their platforms ever again. PS. WhatsApp is owned by Facebook.
- Constructive Disobedience Join us for an evening of constructive disobedience at the G20. Starts 19:30 on 7 July, 2017 at the Audimax lecture hall on the University of Hamburg campus. No RSVP necessary.
- DiEM25 Internet of People launch in Berlin (video) To facilitate DiEM25’s goal to democratise Europe, we must create a compelling counter-narrative to the Surveillance Capitalism of Silicon Valley and set Europe on a path to fund and create an Internet of People.
- Introducing the 7th pillar of DiEM25: An Internet of People – a progressive tech policy for a democratic Europe. I’m excited to announce that I’ve been elected to the DiEM25 Advisory Panel to help lead a new initiative with Renata Avila to craft DiEM25’s 7th pillar: a progressive tech policy for a democratic Europe.
- We didn’t lose control – it was stolen The Web we have is not broken for Google and Facebook. People farmers are reaping the rewards of their violations into our lives to the tune of tens of billions in revenue every year. How can they possibly be our allies?
- Encouraging Individual Sovereignty and a Healthy Commons Mark Zuckerberg’s manifesto outlines his vision for a centralised global colony ruled by the Silicon Valley oligarchy. I say we must do the exact opposite and create a world with individual sovereignty and a healthy commons.
- The Nature of the Self in the Digital Age This is the original English version of an op-ed I wrote for Zeit Online.
- Why I’m not speaking at CPDP (Hint: it’s the privacy-washing, stupid!) The revolution will not be sponsored by those we are revolting against and I, for one, will not play in their gilded sandboxes.
- So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish Following the election of a Tory government with a mandate to further mass surveillance, we’re leaving the UK to avoid the possibility of having to add backdoors to our products at Ind.ie.
- The Orwellian doublethink of ‘open data’: when closed is open. Proprietary platforms that call themselves ‘open’ create the illusion of choice, lead to apathy, and have ramifications for privacy, human rights, and the health of the commons. It’s time to call them out on it.
- Europe, we need to talk about institutional corruption. The “multi-stakeholder model” is nothing more than a fancy name for the institutionalisation of corporate influence on public policy.
- Apple vs Google on privacy: a tale of absolute competitive advantage Isn’t Apple just spyware, like Google?
- On iteration At Ind.ie, we appreciate your support but we will never pander to it.
- Islam is Privilege. You cannot both purport to support social justice and attempt to protect privilege from criticism.
- The Camera Panopticon Multi-billion-dollar Silicon Valley companies and their long tail of startups are gathering huge amounts of data about the world and about us. It’s time we began to understand why they’re doing it and what exactly is at stake.
- Alternatives Not everyone who works at a spyware company agrees with the business model. Can we blame them unless we build alternative independent organisations they can work at?
- Why? Is wanting to make the world that you live in better an altruistic pursuit or simply a manifestation of selfishness?
- Spyware vs Spyware. Using the status quo against the interests of the status quo is essential pragmatism for those building alternatives.
- Shakespeare and the Apple Pen (or why we are setting Swift free with Phoenix) Programming languages, like natural languages, are a means of self expression. What does it mean when a means of self-expression is limited to the boundaries of a corporation?
- A Nancy Writes Back (Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Digital Imperialism). Is Europe making mistakes in technology or simply avoiding the societal mistakes of Silicon Valley?
- Ello, Goodbye. Ello, it’s been brief but I’m leaving you for your own good.
- What is the ind.ie/manifesto? A quick guide to the ind.ie/manifesto as a series of questions and answers.
- Privacy as Innovation. Last week, I was in Istanbul to take part in the UN-organised Internet Governance Forum (IGF) where I took part in a panel on Privacy as Innovation. In this initial article, I want to introduce my thoughts on the subject.
- My question to Vint Cerf on Network Neutrality. Is Google becoming the new AOL? Does this raise concerns on network neutrality and, if so, do Google employees have a conflict of interest here that they should be disclosing?
- Off to Istanbul for the Internet Governance (and Ungovernance) Forums. I’m off to Istanbul on Monday to take part at a workshop at the Internet Governance Forum and attend the Internet Ungovernance Forum.
- On design and diversity. Further thoughts on design and diversity from the ind.ie/summit.
- Design: the ‘d’ is for diversity. Why diversity is core to meaningful design.
- Spyware 2.0 It’s time we evolved the meaning of a familiar term from the personal computer era to tackle the challenges of the Internet era.
- Be Democracy. I’m the guest editor for the Nobel Peace Center’s Be Democracy exhibit this week. Follow along at @BeDemocracy.
- How Web 2.0 killed the Internet. We were told that Open APIs from companies like Facebook and Twitter would make the web a better, more open place. They’ve had the opposite effect. Find out why that’s not a surprising outcome given that they were never created for that purpose to begin with.
- Towards an Indie Tech Manifesto On the 25th anniversary of the World Wide Web, these are some of my longform thoughts as I work towards formulating a manifesto for Indie Technology. Indie Technology is the heir to both the free software and open source movements. It is the antidote for the erosion of our fundamental freedoms in the post-Snowden era by companies like Google and Facebook that espouse the business model of corporate surveillance.
- RightsCon or a right con? Are folks in Silicon Valley genuinely ignorant of the relationship between corporate surveillance and government surveillance? Or is it wilful ignorance? Or is this just a textbook example of institutional corruption at work? Are the organisers of RightsCon actively supporting the whitewashing of a business model (monetising data/corporate surveillance) that is directly responsible for the dragnet government surveillance that we’ve been alerted to by Edward Snowden? Corporations like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft are painting themselves as the victims when they are every bit the perpetrators and it appears that some of us are buying into their story hook, line, and sinker.
- Let’s build a care.data that actually cares about your data. NHS England’s care.data programme can be implemented in a way that respects privacy and the right of people to own their own data. In this article, written in response to Ben Goldacre’s piece in The Guardian, I outline three indie data principles that any such implementation must satisfy.
- 2014: The Rise of Indie Tech The post-Snowden world is not necessarily all doom-and-gloom as people around the world — including myself — are working to redecentralise the web and create a new breed of independent technologies.
- The missing quadrant of consumer technology. Experience‐driven Open (XO) is the missing quadrant of consumer technology. It is essential that we start building products that fall under this category of technology if we want to craft a future society where individuals own their digital selves.
- Trickle‐down technology and why it doesn’t work. Just as the unprecedented global wealth gap between the super rich and everyone else proves that trickle‐down economics doesn’t work, the glaring lack of open source adoption in the consumer space indicates that trickle‐down technology isn’t working either.
- Indie Data is a movement to create, support, and popularise products that empower you to own digital self; your data, tools, & profile.
- Beware of geeks bearing gifts. First Google, and now Facebook, want to connect the world to the Internet. Surely, this can only be a good thing, right?
- Schnail Mail. Introducing our latest startup which offers you free unlimited real mail for life. (Also: German translation by Sebastian Gingter.)
- On owning your own data. Owning your own data is like owning your own home. Unfortunately, we live in a world where our only option is to rent from companies that snoop on us. Prometheus aims to change that.
- Codename Prometheus is a new initiative to create an open platform that competes on user experience in the consumer space.
- Sites vs. Apps defined: the Documents‐to‐Applications Continuum. Documents and applications sit at opposite ends of a continuum.
- Responsive Pixels, the concept introduced in this post, gives you all the advantages of using pixels combined with all the advantages of using rems. So you get a relative unit that is also easy to visualise. A responsive pixel is a pixel that is equivalent to a rem.
- A letter from Lindsay. Lindsay Sandiford, who faces death by firing squad in Bali unless we can help her, has written a letter addressed to me and everyone else trying to help her. I share her letter with you.
- Save Lindsay Sandiford. Help 56 year-old British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford appeal her death sentence with the Supreme Court in Bali. The UK government won’t help her but we can.
- Pixel‐parity rems. Get all the advantages of using rems combined with all the advantages of using pixels. A pixel‐parity rem is a rem that is equivalent to a pixel. Pixel‐parity rems are relative units that are also as easy as pixels to visualise.
- Diversity, equality, toxicity, etc. We all lose when a young man who cares about diversity and equality is hesitant to speak publicly about the subject because we’ve made it toxic to do so.
- Stop starting at my willy, please. It’s not everyday that you get mainstream media confirmation that you are, indeed, the owner of male genitalia. It is sad, however, when an important topic gets overshadowed by talk of willies.
- On false dichotomies and diversity. Having a diverse roster of speakers at a conference does not imply that those speakers were not chosen on merit.
- 2012: year in review I take a stroll down memory lane to review the year that’s been.
- Design is not veneer. This is a response to the article ‘How to make your site look half‐decent in half an hour’ by Anna Powell‐Smith on 24 ways.
- Learning to think before I tweet. An apology to 24 ways and Anna Powell‐Smith for having all the grace of a bull in a china shop on Twitter yesterday morning.