Digital technology

There are wonderful high-frequency digital projects unfolding which tackle many of the world’s problems and increase inclusivity, equity, transparency and humanness. Such projects include open source initiatives, healthy digital communities, businesses which redistribute wealth and transform current power relations, technological devices which are built in increasingly ethical ways and allow us to take back control over our privacy and data, securing and re-establishing our rights. Yet the root of digital and internet technology – the very foundation on which all these beautiful projects are built – is in the wrong hands. Digital infrastructure needs to change fundamentally. Until that happens much of our energy will simply go into protecting ourselves from technology. Many projects seem to improve privacy superficially while still being hooked into the same abusive roots which deeper down facilitate the same harmful treatment of data and people, as less secure systems. Most decentralised cryptographic technology requires the use of, or is connected with ‘Big Tech’ operating systems, or pseudo-secure versions thereof which are neither transparent, nor independent.

Phones, laptops and gaming devices contain myriad materials, some highly toxic, which are mined across the planet, each with its own story and its own complex supply chain. Conflict minerals, child labour and human rights abuse are huge issues in the phone and laptop industry. Mineral trade has funded some of the world’s most devastating conflicts and the destruction of the environment and its societies for decades. The supply chains of worldwide brands are highly intransparent. Certain parts of the world provide raw materials while others hugely profit from turning these materials into finished products and using these products for business – profit and opportunity which never reaches the origin countries of minerals and metals. The level of inequality is sad, and its transformation is in our hands.

Many so-called ethical technological devices only address a small fraction of what is wrong with the digital world and its surrounding business world. For example Fairphone, a company featured below on this website for addressing many issues related to the production of phones, is a supporter of 5G, a technology which is deeply harming many people’s health. EMF radiation is nowhere mentioned – not exactly ethical… At the moment using digital technology in somewhat healthy ways requires the creative combination of devices, software applications, protective technologies and often cryptocurrency/blockchain.

It is up to us to approach companies on track for a future in alignment with nature’s principles so that remaining issues are addressed and resolved. We have the power to expose ALL the biases and destructive practices linked to today’s digital technology so that these things can be dismantled. It is also up to us to decisively stop supporting those brands which simply destroy the planet and its peoples and have never aimed for something different. Joining communities which know about digital security, and know how to discern can be really helpful in these times. Below are some transformative projects which we will keep adding to. Digital technology, including AI, is a growing world which will soon be an expression of nature’s algorithms. Many amazing initiatives involving digital technology can also be found on other pages of this website.

Digital Democracy

Worldwide

Using digital technologies as tools which empower marginalized communities to defend their rights; working towards equity & inclusivity & creating local autonomy. Co-design, modify & support free, flexible, easy to use, multilingual tech solutions & open source tools. Train communities to use basic digital tools (mapping, data collection, documentation etc.) & provide ongoing support. Create networks through events & workshops. Collaborations with local indigenous partners, funding, tech & human/environmental rights partners. Decolonising technology.

Fairphone

Netherlands

Phones designed for longevity, easy repair & made with more and more responsibly mined & recycled materials, incl. fairtrade gold & cobalt – changing the electronics industry towards fairer materials & responsible practices. Supporting artisanal & small-scale mining. Co-founded Fair Cobalt Alliance. Supply chain transparency. Collect old phones for proper recycling, reducing e-waste. Strong use of open-source software & collaboration with open source community. B-Corp.

Software practices:

European Digital Rights

Europe

Network of civil & human rights NGOs, advocates & academics securing digital rights & freedoms through robust & enforced laws & data protection standards, informing & mobilising people, promoting a healthy, fair & open accountable technology market. Challenging mass surveillance, polarisation, deception, unlawful & discriminatory profiling practices & power imbalances. Regulating AI. Building inclusiveness rooted in equal access to digital technology & knowledge. High transparency.

Earthing Oz.

Australia

Wide range of genuine, functional, indoor earthing solutions & EMF-protective technology rooted in years of research in the field, incl. EMF testers, clothing, shungite, protective pouches, shields & cases, bodywell chips, earthing footwear, mats, sheets etc. Partnering with Groundology, Safesleeve, Baxter Blue, Cellsafe, Bodywell, Defender Shield, Blushield. Website provides lots of information on EMF & earthing. Member of Buy One Give One.

Purism

USA

Privacy-protecting laptops, smartphones & mini-PC’s with physical hardware kill switches for camera, microphone, WiFi card, bluetooth etc. which neutralise/disable all known hardware backdoors. Portable power banks, freedom-based operating system & software. Public source codes. Software freely accessible & modifiable. Encryption tools & services. Fully user-controlled computing environment. No customer registration process or licenses. Constantly increasing supply chain transparency & security.

Matomo Analytics

Worldwide

Secure website analytics platform for transparency, data protection & user privacy. 100% data ownership. Open-source, modifiable software. Raw data access. 100s of customisation options. No data limits. No data sampling. GDPR compliance.

EMF Fortress

USA

High-quality 2-layered Faraday pouches for phones, FOBS/keys, crypto cold wallets – CASEcage replaced every 6 months free, for 2 years, due to lifespan of all Faraday material. Protects from EMF & hacking. Reusable Spyypatches to cover phone & laptop cameras hassle-free & without glue/residues. Bamboo touchscreen pens which keep your fingers away from electric fields of touchscreens. Convertible Faraday Crossbody phone purses made from leather (waste product of food industry, more durable than vegan leather, less chemicals to produce). EMF-technology that works. Great info material in videos on website.

Mailfence

Belgium

Private, secure email, calendar, document storage & data sharing features. OpenPGP end-to-end encryption incl. subject line, digital signatures, 2-factor authentication, password encrypted messages etc. Actively participating in worldwide movement to regain & secure online privacy. Advocating for stronger digital privacy laws, supporting Electronic Frontier Foundation, European Digital Rights etc. Member of Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets. Cryptocurrency payment options.

Member of Coalition for Competitive Digital Markets:

Protocol Labs

Worldwide

Connecting open-source research, development & deployment under one efficient roof. Developer of decentralised cryptographic protocols, tools & services incl. data structures, file storage systems/networks, open collaboration platforms, consensus protocols, cryptocurrency & blockchain technologies (IPFS, Filecoin, IPLD, libp2p etc.), distributed randomness beacon (Drand). Mainstreaming zero-knowledge proof (ZKP) cryptography. Legal framework for protocol token fundraising. Decentralised web technology education. Decentralising the internet. Bringing data control back to people.

WildTrack – Non-invasive Wildlife Monitoring

Worldwide

Non-invasive monitoring of endangered species based on footprint identification technique (FIT) – reviving the art & science of tracking. > 90% accuracy on species identification. Combining advanced data analytics, AI, traditional ecological knowledge, indigenous tracking expertise & art for conservation. Pioneering use of drones to collect endangered species data without disturbing animals. Truly inclusive projects involving local communities, researchers, citizen scientists, outdoor enthusiasts, students etc.

DoNotPay

USA

AI-based platform for legal information & documents which helps people secure their rights in the face of anything from parking tickets, bank fees & tackling phone number verifications to medical fraud, insurance claims, divorce, copy right & refund issues etc. Provides access to legal aid for homeless people, low-income families & other disadvantaged or marginalised communities, increasing inclusiveness & equity. Helps prisoners connect with family, each other etc.

Code for Kenya

Kenya

Build free, people-based, open-source tools which amplify citizen voices & provide local, personal information to facilitate informed decision making. Projects include communication tools, independent information platforms, digital maps for data visualisation, health tools etc. based on official sources & crowd verification. Engaging people in shaping their world. Supporting local activists, local female journalists, civil society researchers, citizen data initiatives, local governments & grassroots social enterprises. Non-partisan. Rebalancing distribution of power.

Skiff

USA

End-to-end encrypted email, documents, data & collaboration. Decentralised file storage via Interplanetary File System (IPFS). Decentralized real-time collaboration via CRDTs. Sign up & login option with MetaMask wallet (Ethereum wallet address). Support ENS & numerous crypto wallets incl. Brave Wallet, Phantom etc. Multiple aliases, custom domains, import of existing email etc. Completely open source. Strong supporter of internet decentralisation.

Ellington Lab

Texas University, USA

AI-based plastic recycling technology. A machine learning model was used to generate novel mutations to the natural enzyme PETase that allows bacteria to quickly degrade PET plastics, facilitating recovery & reuse of plastics at molecular level. Article: Machine learning-aided engineering of hydrolases for PET depolymerization. By Lu, H., Diaz, D.J., Czarnecki, N.J. et al. published 2022 in Nature 604, 662-667.

More info:

SNEW

Netherlands

Circular Telecom & IT company offering preventive replacement maintenance & refurbishing services. Collect old equipment directly from people, remove all data, refurbish it, sell at affordable prices & take back products after use. Recycle what can really no longer be used as spare parts for maintenance services or by recovering raw materials. Arrange international transport. Maximising lifespan of IT equipment – moving from replacement consumerism to durability, eliminating e-waste. Highly inclusive team. Rooted in expertise & abundance. PSO certified for social entrepreneurship.

CactusVPN

Moldova

Well-functioning, no-nonsense VPN service with multiple protocol options. Smart DNS feature to bypass geo-restrictions to accessing any content platforms incl. government-censored sites. Military-grade end-to-end encryption. Works across many different devices & platforms. Supports torrenting. User-friendly & great customer support. Cryptocurrency payments possible. Standing for privacy & online freedom.

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