Julie Owono (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.).

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by Julie Owono

Julie Owono is a lawyer and the Executive Director of Internet Without Borders, an organization defending human rights online, and an open internet for all. At the intersection of technology, human rights and business, her work focuses on creating channels of collaboration between various actors of the digital space. Her writing has appeared in Quartz and Al Jazeera and she is a regular commentator on international news channels, including France 24 and BBC World.

I wanted to start with the good news: Digital rights advocates are increasingly uniting to protect the open and free Internet, like these Tech employees who oppose to the wrongdoings of their companies, or Digital rights organizations in the EU that file lawsuits together to give life to the GDPR. These collaborations are necessary, as our Internet is still critically ill. Our data are opaquely exploited without our consent, including our kids’ data and DNA; AI continues to be biased and dangerous (pay attention to deepfakes!); Internet shutdowns and censorship are becoming normal tools to fight disinformation. All this while Internet giants are getting increasingly richer to have enough money to invest in Internet infrastructures. I think these issues offer an accurate picture of what is currently at stake for our Internet.