DataSyn: A Newsletter from IT for Change

DataSyn is a free monthly newsletter from IT for Change providing concise and relevant analysis on all matters concerning Big Tech. Building on our strong tradition of deep research and policy engagement on the digital economy with a focus on the Global South, DataSyn delivers quality analysis in bite sized content to your inbox every month.

In an era where Big Tech has become the epochal problem, the spirit behind DataSyn is one of cautious aspiration, critical nuance, and despite everything...a relentless optimism about the digital being a means of equitable development.

Our (only somewhat) namesake, Project Cybersyn, was a 70s public technology initiative in Chile under Salvador Allende. Cybersyn was ahead of its time in encapsulating a powerful idea – that digital innovation could synergize the efficiencies of computing for an equitable and free society. In times when we are deeply aware of how state-controlled data can become a site of authoritarianism, we ironically think back to this short-lived, imperfect experiment to remind ourselves of how, even as we rightly fear the concentration of digital power in the hands of market or state, there remains the imperative to preserving a public, development oriented role for technology.

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2021 versus Big Tech: A Year in Review

December 2021

For this special, year-end issue, the DataSyn Team reached out to 21 powerful voices from around the world, across domains of research, activism, and advocacy to capture the pulse of change in the battle against Big Tech. Reflecting on the year that was, the team also put together an illustrative essay chronicling stories of resistance against Big Tech over the past year. The issue also includes a fun smorgasbord of reading and media recommendations on technology, hand-picked by our experts that you can peruse through and savor for weeks.

Read it here.

From Sea to Cloud, a Cartography of Big Tech Control

November 2021

This issue maps the Big Tech's appropriation of the material infrastructure of the internet, and the attendant policy implications such wholesale capture entails. We also examine the challenges of organizing in the platform economy, and how women workers are meeting the challenge under a new regime of the Deleuzian society of control dictated by dominant platforms.

Read it here.

Will Chinese Medicine Cure Big Tech excess?

October 2021

The debut issue of DataSyn breaks ground by tracing the response of the Chinese state to homegrown Big Tech, drawing lessons for how to go beyond the Westphalian regulatory playbook. We also analyze worker-led platform initiatives and take a reality check on the pathway for alternatives.

Read it here

This initiative is supported under the Fair, Green and Global Alliance.

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