Past Meetup

The history, philosophy and politics of the internet

This Meetup is past

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Join us for an evening delving into the fascinating history of the internet. What did it's makers intend it to be? How have political groups and individual radicals used it? What, if anything, can governments and corporates do to control it? What technologies are developing to keep activists from being spied on? What is the relationship between open source and ultimate privacy?

Our speakers will include

Tim Jordan, Professor of Digital Cultures at Sussex University. Tim will discuss the history of hacking. He'll talk about how it developed from a few people playing around in their bedrooms, to a global political movement which the world's biggest governments struggle to keep up with.

Michael Rogers, founder of the Briar Project. Michael started the Briar project to support freedom of expression, freedom of association and the right to privacy. Briar is a messaging app designed for activists, journalists, and anyone else who needs a safe, easy and robust way to communicate. Unlike traditional messaging apps, Briar doesn't rely on a central server - messages are synchronised directly between the users' devices.

Kieran Gibb has been a programmer for 4 years and has spent the last year working in an open source R&D affinity called MMT. Composed of cooperative members and activists, MMT have been exploring the potential of new and existing technologies in crypto-space to encourage horizontal group collaboration.

What does it mean to regain control over what data you share, who you share it with, and who gets to host it? Radical new technologies emerging from cypher-space offer the potential of the vision of data sovereignty, a dramatically different form of politics from the corporate data persistence paradigm. Why are these technologies different, what set of power relationships do they encourage and can they be described as utopian?

Michael Watts and Dominic Coelho: What even is the Internet? Where does a Google search go? What could prevent an email from travelling further than 500 miles?

Michael Watts is a web developer with previous lives as a primary school teacher and musician. Dominic Coelho left a job in digital advertising earlier this year to re-enter the world of web development and entrepreneurship a decade after dipping his toes in as a teenager. They will talk about some of what happens under the surface of the Internet.