DIGITAL SOVEREIGNTY OR DIGITAL COLONIALISM?

By Renata Ɓvila Pinto

Beyond tensions of privacy and security, we are witnessing today a real confrontation between control and freedom, not only of the individual, but of entire populations and regions, enhanced by technologies and massive collection and analysis of data ā€“ from predicting and influencing
behaviours, to the automation of public services and the ability to fully control and disrupt those services, even remotely. From gaining access to a global communications platform to losing the ability to protect the rights of those who are interconnected through those platforms. Are we witnessing a new form of digital colonialism?

This article focuses on regional, national, and community solutions to restore control and ownership on key information and communications infrastructures ā€“ the only possible first step to fix the current massive violation of privacy rights. It will later suggest some local measures to experiment with and advance alternatives at different levels of intervention and action, including proactive policy, capacity building, and new designs inspired in a set of values and principles different from those of the dominant actors in the market.