Excerpt from the full article: on Forbes “Financial De-Platforming: The Scary Threat We Need To Talk About” by Michael Ashley
In the future, what “sin” might we commit resulting in financial retaliation? Saying the wrong thing? The thought crime of not possessing the right views? Somewhere George Orwell is spinning in his grave.
But there is still time to turn this around—especially if people say no. To aid in this cause, Robert Grant and I are completing a new book on centralization’s growing threat. Entitled The Future Is Free(dom), it introduces the concept of DeCent—as in decentralization. “Tomorrow’s companies will profit immensely from DeCent, tech that enables the user to wrest back control, especially over their data,” says Grant.
As CEO of Crown Sterling, a leader in data sovereignty technologies, Grant recently penned a “Data Bill of Rights.” It proposes that the data created by each individual be recognized under the same laws and protections as personal or intellectual property. “We believe that digital assets are the intangible personal property of the original producer and therefore are protected by the United States Constitution, including the 4th and 5th Amendments; the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, including Articles 12 and 17; the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, including Articles 7 and 8; and the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, including Article 8.”
Much like DeFi (decentralized finance) enables people to break away from centralized banking control, DeCent can be our future—should we stage an escape from Facebook’s thorny walled gardens or Google’s unabashed third-party tyranny (community standards, anyone?).
And DeCent couldn’t come at a more urgent time.
For years, practitioners of surveillance capitalism, like social media companies, profited from an asymmetry of power. Big data modelers of the Ferguson variety made fortunes forecasting what we might say and do. As it turns out, you and I were never the “consumer” of sites like Facebook and Instagram. We were the product. Our every move was observed, then monetized, then sold in an AI-enabled arms race of predictive capabilities.
Now the same innovations we once knew and loved are being used against us as governments like Canada’s employ them in a sweeping techno panopticon. For years, we were lulled into complacency by the promise of “free” apps and social media platforms. Instead, we got digital chains.
It’s high time we break them.
A few hundred years after the Declaration of Independence, America can once more can lead the charge against tyranny. And not a moment too soon. For as John Adams warned us, “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” Let’s summon the courage of our founding fathers and reclaim our digital freedom. Before it’s gone.