How the Rich and Powerful Use Tech to Silence Activists
Culture Date of Publication: 03.25.16.
Truth and Power, the final episode of which airs tonight on Pivot. Directed by Brian Knappenberger.
Knappenberger, who directed the feature-length documentary The Internet’s Own Boy, about the late Reddit co-founder Aaron Swartz.
Social Media Has Helped Activists Reclaim the Narrative
it’s not just activists who are benefiting from new technologies. Knappenberger spends nearly half the series carefully explaining the myriad ways governments and corporations use digital tools to surveil social movements. From examining the cell-phone tracking technologies used by law enforcement to uncovering how repressive regimes work with American tech companies to thwart social movements, the series offers up a smart meditation on the threat of digital surveillance on political dissent
It’s a problem Knappenberger illustrates in the “Activists or Terrorists” episode, where he unpacks how “Ag-gag” laws were passed under pressure from corporate lobbying and have made it illegal to film or photograph inside any animal farm without consent of the facility’s owner.
“Prisoners for Sale,” the seventh episode, explores the story of two inmates-turned-journalists who started an independent publication to document systemic failures of the prison industrial complex.
More on technology and civil disobedience in this IMS blog