Governments throughout history have always bent technology to their advantage. Today, nation states have built staggering surveillance systems, and continue to exert more control over their citizens. Can decentralized networks like bitcoin help strengthen civil liberties and challenge this consolidation of power? HRF’s Alex Gladstein provides a tour of how technology is being used against us, and shows how it just might be the one thing that can save our privacy and freedom.
Alex Gladstein is Chief Strategy Officer at the Human Rights Foundation. He has also served as Vice President of Strategy for the Oslo Freedom Forum since its inception in 2009. In his work, Alex has connected hundreds of dissidents and civil society groups with business leaders, technologists, journalists, philanthropists, policymakers, and artists to promote free and open societies. Alex’s writing and views on human rights and technology have appeared in media outlets across the world including The Atlantic, BBC, CNN, Fast Company, The Guardian, Monocle, Now This, NPR, Quartz, TIME, WIRED, The New Republic, and The Wall Street Journal. He has spoken at universities ranging from MIT to Stanford, presented at the European Parliament, and participated in Singularity University events from Berlin to Johannesburg, where he is a guest lecturer. He has also spoken at a range of blockchain and cryptocurrency events about why bitcoin matters for freedom. He currently lives in the San Francisco area.