Beijing’s ‘autocracy as a service’ is becoming the top choice for governments that want to control the internet

InIn 2010, Uganda passed a law that expanded the legal justifications for intercepting citizens’ communications. Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni had begun to see the internet as a real threat, and after the 2016 election and protests the following year, he turned to foreign companies like Germany’s FinFisher to monitor the…

If Big Tech becomes synonymous with the internet, we could lose free choice, democracy, and even the ability to imagine a different world

A closeup of the reaction icons on Facebook statuses.

BBig Tech wants to be the totality of what we see and do online. From Apple’s carefully curated user experience to the sprawling empires of Google/Alphabet and Facebook, the tech firms’ ultimate goal is to own everything we do up and down the technological stack. And if they win, we’ll…

Writers are the key to creating a frictionless future worth having

My dog loves to play with his toy snake by repeatedly breaking its neck. He prefers traveling on the top of London buses so he can see what’s happening in the world, and he obsessively checks pee-mails and sex-messages from other dogs as we walk around the neighborhood.

His seriousness…

Here’s how we defeat economic inequality and political alienation

French economist Thomas Piketty used a century’s worth of data to show two terrifying things:

  1. The return on capital is higher than overall economic growth, so the rich tend to get richer and society becomes increasingly unequal over time.
  2. Only one thing quickly and reliably reduces inequality: war (or its…

Lessons from history’s most intractable challenges

There’s a point at which disasters compound and multiply, when the worse it gets, the worse it gets.

Motivations thicken. Events accelerate. The gunman’s shadow looms in the doorway as children hide uselessly under desks. The din of drones whining around the windowless apartment block kicks up half an octave…

Maria Farrell

Irish writer based in London. Tech policy, possible futures, politics. @mariafarrell http://www.crookedtimber.org

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