EFF’s How to Fix the Internet Podcast offers optimistic solutions to technical dystopias

It seems that everywhere we turn, we see dystopian stories about the impact of technology on our lives and our future – from tracking-based surveillance capitalism to street-level surveillance to the dominance of a few large platforms that stifle innovation to the growing pressure from authoritarian governments to control what we see and say – the landscape can feel bleak. It is important to identify and articulate these issues, but it is also to imagine and then build a better future. This is where our new podcast comes in.

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EFFs How to fix the Internet podcast provides a better way forward. Through curious conversations with some of the leading figures in law and technology, we explore creative solutions to some of today’s biggest technical challenges.

After tens of thousands of listeners were tuned in to our pilot miniseries last year, we continue the conversation by launching an entire season. Listen today to be deeply informed on vital technology issues and join the movement working to build a better technological future.

The EFF is deeply grateful for the support of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation’s Program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology, without whom this podcast would not be possible.

“We are proud to partner with the EFF to support this new podcast,” said Doron Weber, Vice President and Program Director at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. “How to fix the Internet will bring an unprecedented level of expert knowledge and practical advice to one of the most complex and pressing problems of our technological age. “

With hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien, this season we will explore ways in which people build a better world by fighting back against software patent holders, giving their communities the opportunity to stand up for their privacy and security, supporting real security in our network , phones and devices, create social media communities that thrive, and secure financial privacy in a world of digitized payments.

We piloted the concept with an EFF podcast last year in a 6-episode miniseries of the same name. Not only was it a success and it got tens of thousands of listens, but it also started a conversation. At the end of each episode, we asked how you would fix the Internet, and we heard directly from our listeners about what they would do to build a better future. From technical solutions to political corrections, people across the globe sent thoughtful responses to what we were discussing, as well as their own ideas on how they would like to see tomorrow’s internet be more vibrant, fair, decentralized and free. When we start this season, we want to keep the invitation open and the conversation going: send your ideas and suggestions for improving the digital world to podcasts@eff.org.

Our goal is to begin to imagine what the world will look like when technology better supports users’ power and choices. This means that we need to examine how the modern internet is often rooted in imbalances of power, insecurity and surveillance advertising in ways that have huge implications for our ability to access information, hold private conversations and connect with each other. But instead of repeating everything that is wrong on the Internet today, we are also turning our attention to the solutions – both practical and idealistic – that can help offer a better path for technology users.

We also recognize that there is no one perfect solution to the problems of technology – partly because there is no agreement on what these problems are and also because there is not just one problem. Through this podcast, we seek to explore a variety of solutions instead of offering a single policy solution. We believe there are a multitude of ways to do it right.

We’re excited to offer this podcast talk, to get us all thinking about how we can build a better future. Join us – the podcast is available in your favorite podcast player today.

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Alfred P. Sloan Funds is a New York-based, philanthropic, non-profit institution that provides grants in three areas: research in science, technology, and economics; quality and diversity of scientific institutions; and public engagement in science. Sloan’s program in Public Understanding of Science and Technology supports books, radio, film, television, theater and new media to reach a wide, non-specialized audience. For more information, visit Sloan.org or follow the fund at Twitter and Facebook at @SloanPublic.

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