On this week’s “On Contact,” Chris Hedges discusses censorship and new digital media with Peter B. Kaufman, author and Program Manager at MIT Learning Center. The rise of new digital technologies that are rapidly supplanting print have conspired not to make knowledge and information more accessible. But harder and harder to obtain. The ability by a handful of global digital medias platforms such as Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to decide what information is widely distributed, and increasingly what information is censored, presages an Orwellian world of approved speech and thought. These digital monopolies are opaque and unaccountable to the public. They know everything about us. We know nothing about them. They lack any moral compass or sense of social responsibility. They are driven solely by the twin desires for profit and unrivaled power over information systems. They are bonded with national security agencies, making us the most watched, monitored, spied upon and upon and photographed population in human history, eviscerating privacy. Are these digital behemoths ushering in a new dark age, one that will replicate the tyrannies of the past? And what can we do to protect the freedom of information and thought?
Peter B. Kaufman is author of the new book, “The New Enlightenment and the Fight to Free Knowledge.”