Magazine article New Internationalist

Who's Protecting Your Bits?

Magazine article New Internationalist

Who's Protecting Your Bits?

Article excerpt

It struck me as the perfect irony when Google ads about cyber security popped up on my screen as I researched surveillance for this magazine. It was an excellent example of how much we reveal online, and who has access to it.

Now that is not to say that we should all get paranoid, shut down our social network accounts and head for the hills. But seeing as this digital revolution thing is not going away, we need to get our heads around it.

We are living in a time of accelerated innovation. It poses huge challenges - not least to the magazine industry - when digital data, freed of physical substance, can be shared as easily as ideas. It's a time of great promise - the global democratization of information and knowledge, new ways to network, organize and innovate.

But we don't know, of course, where these new technologies will lead us. It won't all be good news. Over the next 20 years, advances in open-design and 3-D printing promise to democratize and localize manufacturing. There will be environmental gains, and it will slash the import bill for Majority World nations - but it may also wipe out millions of jobs. …

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