Podcast 474 – Important Podcast – This Affects YOU!


Guest speaker: Cory Doctorow

cory (at) eff (dot) org
Electronic Frontier Foundation


Update! October 27, 2015

Victory for Users: Librarian of Congress Renews and Expands Protections for Fair Uses


Today’s podcast features a 2015 Palenque Norte Lecture given by Cory Doctorow at this year’s Burning Man Festival. Cory is a well-known science fiction writer and lecturer who warns us about how much of our freedom has already been assumed by rich corporations through their manipulation of the law through the use of technology. Whether you realize it or not, your personal freedom has already been significantly compromised in the digital domain, and unless you become aware of what is taking place, and then do something about it, Orwell’s world of “1984” will continue to encroach on your life.

“We have not reached peak surveillance . . . but we have reached peak awareness of surveillance.” -Cory Doctorow

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF.org)

PCs – Right click, select option
Macs – Ctrl-Click, select option

Posted in Burning Man, Cory Doctorow, Creativity, Culture, Education, Future, Palenque Norte, Science & Technology.


  1. Fantastic talk by Cory Doctorow! As a biomedical engineering student I have a lot to be prepared for in this future where the DMCA still exists and emerging biotech devices are being made with poor software security (security through obscurity, never works). Software is really critical if our future systems are all going to be on the internet, which they are.

    A point I want to bring up about online marketplaces that I haven’t been able to come up with a solution to, is what do these laws mean for free works hosted on online marketplaces? And by free I mean free of cost, but not free like freedom.

    For example, most of the Google Chrome Apps are free of cost and in all honesty I think Google is doing a good thing by enabling free access to all those educational and interesting Apps/Extensions for everyone. On the other hand, downloading an app REQUIRES that you give away some personal information (automatically taken from your Google account) to the app maker. Now of course everyone should care about their privacy but how can they do it in such a situation? I want an app that will help me with my human anatomy course, but I have to give personal info to the app-making company, but in return I get it for free!

    I feel like if people had to pay for the app, the Google Chrome Store would collapse because app downloads would go down by a lot. Whereas if the apps are “free” (at the cost of privacy), then it enables the world to learn knowledge from and interact with all these apps and that is a pretty good outcome too! So what can we do about this, how can we make a new model that enables free access to apps whilst maintaining everyone’s privacy?

    Phew, sorry about the long comment but I’ve been thinking about this stuff a lot lately.

  2. The digital age has exposed these big corporation as ruthless thieves and government officials as their partners in crime. Think about it–if information about you is so valuable shouldn’t you have the right to negotiate compensation for it? For those who don’t care about their privacy they can give it away. For those of us who value it we might be willing to accept a few billion in compensation. 🙂 We need people marching on the street carrying signs with the simple slogan “Pay me”. Where is our copyright on our life?

  3. I always love listening to Cory Doctorow as well as reading some of his books. Living in Australia I have noticed that many here are unconcerned about the potential pitfalls that Cory articulates. Many don’t want to know about it because they see such a distopian view as being too hard to contemplate lest such a scenario disturb their addiction to digital media and god forbid they may have to think for themselves and have an informed opinion. It’s easier to just consume the media without scratching the surface to see what may be bellow all the hype. Ask any teen or early 20’s if they are concerned about who does what with their digital privacy and you’ll get the same answer. “Well, if you’re not doing anything wrong then you have nothing to worry about”. A deeply uninforned answer I choose to believe!

    So I do wonder if we have really reached what Cory describes as peak ignorance or along such lines. I imagine that the large corporations are also anticipating the possibility that millions of ordinary folk may eventually become educated and informed as to how their information is being used without their informed consent. Thus they may be in the process of instigating even more sinister processes that will help them keep their beloved customers (sheeple) in their commercially driven grip.

  4. Corporations or no corporations, you are much, much, much more powerful than you think you are. The first step is to stop giving away your power. This is an individual, inwardly-based, moment to moment choice. No entry ticket or waiting for others required 🙂

  5. I become increasingly aware that my actions are often different when I am being monitored versus when I am “surveillance” free.

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