War for the Web
30 05.12

Eben Moglen: [We] are losing the right to be left alone

Last week we were lucky enough to attend David Isenberg’s Freedom to Connect conference in Washington DC. The conference included many engaging panels, and an impressive list of speakers including Google VP and Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf, former FCC Chairman Michael Copps and Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz (all three of which have agreed to be part of War for the Web).

Eben Moglen’s keynote titled “Innovation Under Austerity” was one of the most poignant of the conference. Moglen explained that while the web browser made the Internet easy to read, it did not make the Internet easy to write. Facebook was an application that made it easy to write and create a page, however it allowed a middleman to control our data. In fact there are a number of intermediaries who not only own our data but control information dissemination.

Moglen called for a movement of power out from the middle of the net, for we should not have a man in the middle of us being able to access information and data. He extolled that universal access to knowledge has the greatest ability to lead to innovation. But today, whole economies are dependent on the data mining of our information by companies in the middle.  Moglen also spoke about the role of government intruding on users’ private information, saying that integrity for the human soul is our business, not the government’s business.

Eben Moglen’s full keynote featured below.  Also check out the F2C YouTube channel to watch all the keynotes and panels from the event.

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