The Politics of Technology
"Technology is anything that doesn't quite work yet." - Danny Hillis, in a frustratingly difficult to source quote. I first heard it from Douglas Adams.
Here is, at minimum, who and what you need to know:
- Free Software Foundation (FSF) — The non-profit that funds and supports free software development, notably:
- The GNU Project — Which develops the free software GNU operating system, and a whole swag of other useful free software.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)
- Electronic Frontiers Australia
- Berkman Klein Centre for Internet & Society at Harvard University
- Defective by Design — Campaign against "Digital Restrictions Management" (DRM).
- Open Rights Group
- Boing Boing — A blog/zine that posts a lot about technology and society, as well as - distressingly - advertorials aimed at Bay Area hipsters.
- Richard Stallman — Founder of the free software movement, the GNU Project, and the Free Software Foundation. More commonly known as RMS.
- Cory Doctorow — "science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger", co-editor of Boing Boing. At the time of writing, also working for the EFF.
- Bradley Kuhn — President of the Software Freedom Conservancy.
- danah boyd — Probably the most citable academic on IT[C], which is frustrating, because sticking to her preferred non-capitalised name will almost certainly lose you marks for referencing.
- Eben Moglen — Director-Counsel and Chairman, Software Freedom Law Center and President of the FreedomBox Foundation.
- Pia Waugh — Australia's "open government and open data ninja".
- From the Essays and Articles page of the Philosophy section of the GNU website I recommend you start with:
- The FSF High Priority Free Software Projects list
- FAIFzilla — the no-frills online version of Free as in Freedom: Richard Stallman's Crusade for Free Software, by Sam Williams.
- Tim Berners-Lee's original proposal for what would become the World Wide Web.
- The Web Is Ruined and I Ruined it by David Siegel — a criminally under-cited article that describes what happens when control over technology is left in the hands of duelling monopolists and people who fundamentally don't understand it. Otherwise known as the Browser Wars. I was there, and have the PTSD to prove it.
- The Future of the Internet — And how to stop it — The website where you can download the book of the same name by Jonathan Zittrain of the Berkman Klein Centre. You'd think it would have dated since 2008, but nope; it's right on the money.
[I'm aware of the hypocrisy in recommending videos of talks about freedom, privacy and security that are hosted on YouTube.]
- Reclaim your freedom with free software now — Richards Stallman
- Eben Moglen on Facebook, Google and Government Surveillance — Note that this interview was pre-Snowden
- The last lighthouse: free software in dark times - Edward Snowden's LibrePlanet 2016 keynote
- Freedom of Thought Requires Free Media — Eben Moglen
- The Future of the Internet — Jonathan Zittrain talks about his book of the same name
- Cory Doctorow's keynote from the 11th Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference, 2016