They denounce the surveillance business as a big problem for journalism

New York, Sep 22 (EFE) .- Philippine journalist Maria Ressa, Nobel Peace Prize winner, said Thursday that the business of “surveillance for profit” is a big problem for journalism, statements she made during a event in defense of a free press in New York, in which governments and civil society participated.

Ressa led the second summit of the Alliance for Information and Democracy, an agreement between governments initiated by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in 2019 to promote and implement democratic principles in the global sphere of information and communication, which already has 47 signatories.

The journalist, addressing the many foreign ministers included in the Alliance, defended “journalism as an antidote to tyranny” and declared: “We count on you to help us survive in this existential moment not only for journalists, but for democracy. In herself”.

Ressa, who has been involved in the initiative and in the report “How to end info-epidemics” (2020), asked them in this regard to “stop” the surveillance business and work to achieve “equality in technology”, so that it is egalitarian for all instead of following “codified biases”.

In a similar way, the prominent sociologist Shoshana Zuboff, professor emeritus at the Harvard Business School and who co-chairs the new International Observatory of Information and Democracy that was created last year and whose research will focus on these issues, was expressed in a similar way, as she advanced.

Zuboff explained that with the rise of the digital age, autocratic regimes have taken advantage of technology to “export” their forms of government and values, while democracies have not done the same and that has left a “vacuum that has been filled by private capital”.

Specifically, he referred to the business of private surveillance, which converts “predictions of human behavior” into commercial goods and then sells them for a lot of money, which has led some companies to go from being “start-ups” in two decades. babies to empires.”

One of the tasks of the Observatory, he said, will be to generate ideas so that democracy “reclaims that vacuum” that is leading disinformation to dominate the “online” public sphere, since the integrity of the information, he maintained, is “inversely correlated with income.”

The president of the Forum for Information and Democracy and secretary general of RSF, Christophe Deloire, also spoke at the event, hoping that the Alliance will be the “equivalent of the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) for information.”

Deloire highlighted the increasing number of countries adhering to the initiative and the work between technical groups and governments to implement measures to protect the plurality and integrity of the press, to which a group on pluralism and algorithms will soon be added.

For their part, some foreign ministers invited to recount their experiences in the application of measures expressed concern about hate speech and propaganda on the internet, especially in the context of the war in Ukraine, and advocated working together to combat these trends.

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They denounce the surveillance business as a big problem for journalism