by Jillian C. York
How Google, Facebook and Amazon threaten our Democracy
What is the impact of surveillance capitalism on our right to free speech? The Internet once promised to be a place of extraordinary freedom beyond the control of money or politics, but today corporations and platforms exercise more control over our ability to access information and share knowledge to a greater extent than any state. From the online calls to arms in the thick of the Arab Spring to the contemporary front line of misinformation, Jillian York charts the war over our digital rights. She looks at both how the big corporations have become unaccountable censors, and the devastating impact it has had on those who have been censored.
In Silicon Values, leading campaigner Jillian York, looks at how our rights have become increasingly undermined by the major corporations desire to harvest our personal data and turn it into profit. She also looks at how governments have used the same technology to monitor citizens and threatened our ability to communicate. As a result our daily lives, and private thoughts, are being policed in an unprecedented manner. Who decides the difference between political debate and hate speech? How does this impact on our identity, our ability to create communities and to protest? Who regulates the censors? In response to this threat to our democracy, York proposes a user-powered movement against the platforms that demands change and a new form of ownership over our own data.
"The Internet has never been the utopia of free and equal expression its ideologues would have us believe it is. Jillian York's vivid reportage shows us that the power to determine who gets to use it to speak, and under what circumstances, is now more concentrated--and less accountable--than ever before." --Adam Greenfield, author of Radical Technologies
"For years, Jillian York has been at the forefront of defending freedom of expression online. Her new book unpacks how Silicon Valley corporations have gained more control over speech than the most ambitious of governments and how ill-prepared they often are to use that power in ways that are just and fair. Entertaining, deeply informative and often very personal, Jillian's journey into the world of online speech reflects on deep questions about how we should treat one another and who makes rules for societies in our digital world." --Ethan Zuckerman, Associate Professor, UMass Amherst and co-founder Global Voices
About the Author:
Jillian C. York is International Activism Director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, EFF. She is also a founding member of the feminist collective, Deep Lab. She has been covering questions of surveillance and freedom since the 2000s. She was named by Foreign Policy as one of the top 100 intellectuals on social media. She has written for the Guardian, Al Jazeera and Foreign Policy. She is based in Berlin.