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At home with Onora O’Neill: ‘I fear for democracy’ | Financial Times
Trustworthiness is not simply about transparency. “Transparency is exciting if you have a sort of juvenile Snowdon-esque view of the world,” she says, referring to the former CIA contractor who leaked classified information to The Guardian and The Washington Post. “Disclosing information does not guarantee that anyone relevant finds it, understands it, or can assess it.

“Regulation of the digital world is extremely difficult, not so much because of the technology, but because of the business models used by those who control it.” Evan Spiegel, chief executive of Snapchat, was in the audience the night O’Neill was presented with the Berggruen prize in New York. Every six months, his company releases “Transparency Reports” outlining data on the government information requests the company receives. It is a move that O’Neill welcomes, but says it falls “short of transparency and very far short of communication”. She advocates “intelligent openness”, which ensures information is intelligible to and accessible by the most important parties.

This will require significant cultural changes in the US and UK, she says, and have impacts for everybody. In Sweden, Finland and Norway, everyone’s income tax returns are in the public domain, she says. “I can imagine people being horrified if that were proposed here.”
politics  authoritarianism  technology 
3 days ago by corrales
At home with Onora O’Neill: ‘I fear for democracy’ | Financial Times
Trustworthiness is not simply about transparency. “Transparency is exciting if you have a sort of juvenile Snowdon-esque view of the world,” she says, referring to the former CIA contractor who leaked classified information to The Guardian and The Washington Post. “Disclosing information does not guarantee that anyone relevant finds it, understands it, or can assess it.

“Regulation of the digital world is extremely difficult, not so much because of the technology, but because of the business models used by those who control it.” Evan Spiegel, chief executive of Snapchat, was in the audience the night O’Neill was presented with the Berggruen prize in New York. Every six months, his company releases “Transparency Reports” outlining data on the government information requests the company receives. It is a move that O’Neill welcomes, but says it falls “short of transparency and very far short of communication”. She advocates “intelligent openness”, which ensures information is intelligible to and accessible by the most important parties.

This will require significant cultural changes in the US and UK, she says, and have impacts for everybody. In Sweden, Finland and Norway, everyone’s income tax returns are in the public domain, she says. “I can imagine people being horrified if that were proposed here.”
authoritarianism  technology 
3 days ago by corrales
No, the Republican Party Is Not Turning on Donald Trump | The New Yorker
Yes, the Party includes a few people who occasionally assert their independence, with Collins, and Murkowski prominent among them. But more representative of the Party are the humiliating reverse of Tillis, the fawning bromides of Mike Pence, and the servile maneuvers of Lindsey Graham, who on Thursday prevented the Senate from following the House in voting on a resolution to insure that the special counsel’s report is made public.
trump  authoritarianism 
3 days ago by corrales
The Moral Failings of American Press Coverage of Nazi Germany | The New Yorker
Schneidermann, when I spoke with him, added that, of course, “the situation today is totally different from the nineteen-thirties. In the thirties, there were the big papers and there were the small papers. Period. Today, newspapers are drowned in the social networks, drowned in Facebook and Twitter, which is to say drowned in an ocean of commentary. Commentators who are activists, moralists, et cetera.” As a result, today’s readers are inundated with emotion, and turn to legacy media for trustworthy information. Here, Schneidermann’s analysis dovetails with what the American public says it wants. “I think what remains for journalism today is the essence of the profession,” he said, “which is the verification of facts. Everywhere there is commentary. The only thing that’s left, really, is investigating facts.”

The public wants facts. But, as evidenced by the outrage at Esquire’s story, something more than what we think of as objective facts is required to craft a representation of reality. Esquire may have wanted to make “Wisconsin a stand-in for the state of our country,” as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel wrote, to capture the subtle social forces of alienation and resentment that turned out to be strong enough to elect Trump President. But the story also seemed to deliberately withhold judgment; to its detractors, this didn’t feel like objectivity. In an environment that, to many, is the source of perpetual moral crisis, the objective becomes subjective, and vice versa.
authoritarianism  history  nazism 
3 days ago by corrales
Russia bans 'disrespect' of government
Those found guilty of “blatant disrespect” or spreading so-called fake news will face fines or even jail.
authoritarianism  censorship 
6 days ago by joeybaker
A Russian Lawyer Said She Filmed Police Abuse. Then She Was Found Dead. Human rights lawyer Galina Muzyka was found dead in her apartment one day after she is thought to have made a video showing nine Investigative Committee employees beating a detained s
Residents of a Siberian town were outraged when a prominent defense lawyer was found dead, one day after recording a video purportedly showing police investigators beating a detained suspect. The video has not been found.
policeBrutality  policeoverreach  authoritarianism 
7 days ago by joeybaker
Huawei says it would never hand data to China's government. Experts say it wouldn't have a choice
Huawei would have to give data to the Chinese government if it was asked for it, according to experts, despite the company saying that it would refuse to do so.
authoritarianism  informationObscurity  corporateLies 
7 days ago by joeybaker
China bars millions from travel for ‘social credit’ offenses
BEIJING (AP) — Skipped paying a fine in China? Then forget about buying an airline ticket. Would-be air travelers were blocked from buying tickets 17.5 million times last year for “social...
authoritarianism 
9 days ago by joeybaker
Russia passes law to jail people for 15 days for 'disrespecting' government
Law allowing courts to fine or jail offenders is reminiscent of Soviet-era laws used to target dissidents, say critics
authoritarianism 
11 days ago by joeybaker

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