It seems like everywhere we turn we see dystopian stories about technology’s impact on our lives and our futures—from tracking-based surveillance capitalism to street level government surveillance to the dominance of a few large platforms choking innovation to the growing pressure by authoritarian governments to control what we see and say—the landscape can feel bleak. Exposing and articulating these problems is important, but so is envisioning and then building a better future. That’s where our new podcast comes in.
EFF’s How to Fix the Internet podcast offers a better way forward. Through curious conversations with some of the leading minds in law and technology, we explore creative solutions to some of today’s biggest tech challenges.
After tens of thousands of listeners tuned in for our pilot mini-series last year, we are continuing the conversation by launching a full season. Listen today to become deeply informed on vital technology issues and join the movement working to build a better technological future.
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 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 urgent problems of our technological age.”
With hosts Cindy Cohn and Danny O’Brien, this season we will explore ways that people are building a better world by fighting back against software patent trolls, empowering their communities to stand up for their privacy and security, supporting real security in our networks, phones and devices, creating social media communities that thrive, and safeguarding financial privacy in a world of digitized payments.
We piloted the concept of an EFF podcast last year in a 6-episode mini-series of the same name. Not only was it a success, garnering 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 policy fixes, people across the globe sent in thoughtful responses to what we discussed as well as their own ideas for how they’d like to see tomorrow’s Internet be more vibrant, equitable, decentralized, and free. As we kick off this season, we want to keep the invitation open and the conversation going: send your ideas and suggestions for improving the digital world to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our goal is to start to imagine how the world will look when technology better supports user power and choices. This means examining how the modern Internet is often rooted in power imbalances, insecurity, and surveillance advertising in ways that have huge consequences for our ability to access information, hold private conversations, and connect with one another. But rather than reiterating everything that’s wrong on the Internet today, we also turn our attention to the solutions —both practical and idealistic — that can help to offer a better path for technology users.
We also recognize that there is no one perfect fix for technology’s problems—in part because there’s no agreement on what those problems are, and also because there is not just one problem. Through this podcast, we seek to explore a range of different solutions rather than offer any one policy solution. We believe there are a plethora of ways to get it right.
We’re excited to be able to offer this podcast conversation, to spark us all thinking together about how we build a better future. Please join us—the podcast is available in your podcast player of choice today.
ABOUT THE ALFRED P. SLOAN FOUNDATION
The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a New York based, philanthropic, not-for-profit institution that makes grants in three areas: research in science, technology, and economics; quality and diversity of scientific institutions; and public engagement with 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 Foundation on Twitter and Facebook at @SloanPublic.