The UN findings confirmed that Assange’s detention has been unlawful since his very first arrest in the United Kingdom in 2010. But Phillip Hammond thinks the UN detention report ‘frankly ridiculous’. Daniel Margrain unpicks the real drivers of this cat and mouse saga.
When talking about the internet, we like to assume it is a powerful utility that enhances democracy. But instead of improving our understanding and informing our political choices, social networks and social media actually narrows the debate and closes down free speech. Electorates across the world are being manipulated by tech monopolies that are collating our data and using it to appeal to our prejudices. In short, digital is killing democracy. We went to the Netherlands to meet André Krouwel, a political scientist who thinks differently about the power and influence of social media.
Yesterday’s Parliamentary debate into RBS’ long-running scheme to bankrupt hundreds of business owners via its Global Restructuring Group was postponed after an “emergency debate” was called on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. Sure, it’s selling arms to Saudi Arabia which is using those arms to murder, oppress and starve the Yemeni people, but there’s one surefire way to get the British Government to take foreign diplomacy seriously: threaten them with a banking inquiry.
Former Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, claims capitalism is making itself obsolete thanks to the technologies it has produced. He argues that because companies like Google and Facebook are powered by social production, the private means of production are becoming obsolete. He says that Artificial Intelligence will be capitalism’s downfall. If wishing made it so…
The Big Four tech giants control most of the world’s information flow, drug and food supply. Google and Facebook tried to manipulate the recent presidential election by prioritising, and sometimes burying content altogether. Throughout the history of human civilisation, including periods of ecclesiastical rule, no entity has had as much power to influence and control the social and political ideals of billions of people with zero oversight or regulation as these tech giants. Democracy’s only hope is for Google, Amazon, Facebook and Twitter to be broken up and regulated.