Interhacktives at Mozilla Festival 2017

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This year was London’s turn to play host to Mozfest, an innovative festival advocating for open and safe internet access for people around the globe.

The events which took place at  Mozfest House, central London, as well as the city’s most tech industry focused digital media venues, Ravensbourne College, had interactive spaces spread over nine floors.

Throughout the event people were invited to engage with technologies, promote ideas of internet accessibility and help make sense of the issues involving authenticating content and online safely and security.

Listen to Jochai Ben-Avie, Mozilla’s Senior Global Policy Manager, talk about this year’s festival and specific issues around the use of biometric and demographic data collection system in India by the state for example which gives itself broad sweeping powers to store personal data on it’s 1.3 billion people without implementing any meaningful legislation on it’s use.

Concerns were also raised by privacy rights campaigners such as Nighat Dad @nighatdad from Pakistan and Emily May @emilymaynot  from United States who are campaigning to end online abuse, harassment and intimidation of women.

Although large parts of this seven day festival were devoted to discussions around the intersection of technology and society it also committed a separate day to, MisinfoCon. During this dialogues on current concerns around fake news, data, misinformation and the need and tools for verification of sources took place.

A US based former investigative journalist Amy McCullough Mosley conducted a session on data, fake news and fake records.

This is what she had to say about over reliance on data in storytelling and spoke about the need for reporters to reach the person on the other side of the political divide.

A number of other screenings, workshops, participant led sessions and talks, all centred around people’s rights to internet access, privacy and freedom from state surveillance rolled out through the week.

The week long festival which was highly interactive and diverse kicked off on Friday, 23th October and continued through to Sunday 29th October.

By Nishat Ahmed and Thomas Kilroy

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