Remember the early days of internet exuberance? All the talk was about how it would inevitably expand freedom across the world, by connecting people to information and to one another. Once online and connected, we liked to believe, people would be free to avoid censors, organize with like-minded citizens, and mobilize as an independent civil society. Indeed, the internet and social media have inspired people in many parts of the world, including Mexico, to demand safer neighborhoods, a cleaner environment, better schools, a crackdown on corruption, and, of course, greater freedom. But as governments (and corporations, for that matter) have become more sophisticated at combing through the vast quantities of data we surrender to the cloud, it has also become easier to track individuals and their behavior, to police against crime, silence dissent, or disseminate tailored propaganda, disinformation, or advertising. If connecting online was once seen as the ultimate act of individual empowerment, some people now speak of going off the grid to regain their freedom. Technology will continue to alter the balance of power between individuals and the state in ways we cannot yet predict, and we invite you to join Arizona State University and Future Tense to consider how we might best protect individual freedoms in a more connected world. The event will take place at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, at Mexico City’s Casa Lamm Cultural Center. A reception will follow the main program from 8:40 p.m. till 11:00 p.m. If you would like to attend, please RSVP on the event webpage.
Learn more at NewAmerica.org