back to

e-flux conversations



This excerpt of a blogpost and the video are from an event in Berlin in May 2019. The full blogpost is to be found here:

"DiEM25 presents its Green Paper on Technological Sovereignty in a cozy barcamp atmosphere

The location for the event {Technological Sovereignty} – Doing Tech the democratic way couldn’t have been more appropriate. Located in Berlin-Mitte, the renowned hackerspace c-Base was the perfect scenery for the presentation of DiEM25s Green Paper. Around 70 people joined the 8 hour event in which lightning talks, panels and fishbowl discussions shed light on the different topics of Technological Sovereignty.

From Platform Monopolies to a Digital Commonwealth

Surrounded by modular synthesizers, 8bit-arcade-consoles and spaceship-chunks, the paper coordinators gave a brief overview of the making-of and the contents of the paper, followed by an in-depth discussion of the second chapter: “A Digital Commonwealth for the 21st Century” by Kate McCurdy and David Schwertgen.
This chapter is dedicated to the first steps DiEM25s tech policy identified to democratise the development of digital technology. It addresses the so-called Platform Monopolies, an ecosystem of companies like Alphabet (aka Google), Facebook, Apple and their numerous clones and off shoots, and claims we need to limit their power and re-open the playing field for fair competition, as well as go beyond with a positive vision for the “digital commonwealth,” a democratic alternative to monopolistic control. The paper proposes:

stronger and more versatile anti-trust enforcement,
stronger ePrivacy Regulation,
mandatory platform interoperability, and
collective representation of data producers, i.e. data unions;

and to create an infrastructure for a digital commonwealth through

de-commodification of data through a public data commons,
support of democratic economic structures for data-driven innovation, and
creation of a digital rights framework for citizens.

An example for democratic innovative structures are e.g. platform cooperatives, which were covered in depth during the second panel of the event. […]"