As big tech continues to exploit our personal data—more than ever, people are demanding control of their digital lives and asserting their self-sovereign identity. The solution is a decentralized Internet—and we are here to talk about all things decentralized. The Decentralists is a podcast about social media, privacy, and self-sovereign identity. The Decentralists is hosted by Michael Cholod, Henry Karpus, and Geoff Glave.
The Peace Coalition goes to Ottawa - Part 2
25:24After being summoned by the Government of Canada, Mike’s about to walk into several meetings with some of the highest-ranking officials and Ministers in Ottawa. Learn all the details including ‘what it’s really like’ within the hallowed halls of the House of Commons on Parliament Hill. Mike was rather surprised!Please join us to learn who’s involved, what was discussed, and the next steps to move forward on this episode of The Decentralists.
The Peace Coalition goes to Ottawa - Part 1
32:04After more than nine months, Mike is back in Canada. Why? Well, he was summoned by the Government of Canada. An influential Member of Parliament and a well-respected Senator have heard about the unique plan to rebuild Ukraine that The Peace Coalition has developed, and they want to talk.Please join us to learn who’s involved, what was discussed, and the next steps to move forward on this episode of The Decentralists.
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Decentralists in Ukraine - War in Cyberspace
34:44The war in Ukraine is not just a physical war of tanks, trenches, artillery and attrition. It’s also being fought across the Internet on the social media front line and deep within the darkweb where armies of hackers from both sides fight a brutal cyberwar. Sometimes these electronic battles erupt into the daylight with both horrendous and hilarious results. Are there legitimate reasons to train national cyber-soldiers - a professional army of hacktivists? Find out what we’ve discovered in Ukraine on this episode of The Decentralists.
Decentralists in Ukraine - Techraine
27:42Ukrainian people are very technically sophisticated, especially in the big cities like Kyiv and Lviv. Evenryone has the latest iPhone compete with air buds. You can order, pay and tip at every restaurant by scanning a QR code at your table. Banking is virtual and people pay and transfer money by sharing credit card numbers and tapping Apple Pay. Hungry? Glovo will deliver in the middle of an air raid and Uber, Uklon or Bolt will pick you up and drive you anywhere in Kyiv anytime.How did Ukraine become such a technically sophisticated nation? Tune in to the latest episode of the Decentralists to find out.
Decentralists in Ukraine - The Corruption Conundrum
34:18Ukrainians routinely complain about paying extra fees for expedited processing of documents, or to have a plumber repair their toilet. Kyiv is littered with unfinished apartment buildings because developers skim so much from the construction funds that the structure cannot be finished. Doing business in Ukraine is challenging and it’s not just because of the illegal Russian invasion. For decades corruption has been a reality. Is corruption inevitable in post-soviet countries? What effect could corruption have on Ukraine's recovery and rebuilding after the war? And how can it be eradicated?Find out on this episode of the Decentralists.
Decentralists in Ukraine - Telegram from the Kremlin
22:46WIRED recently published an explosive article The Kremlin has Entered your Telegram Chat, regarding the experience of Russian rights activist Marina Matsapulina. Matsapulina, like most Russians and indeed most Ukrainians, was using the globally-popular Russian-developed Telegram. Equivalent to the American WhatsApp, communicating through Telegram is touted as totally private and secure. So how did the Russian secret service know her every move?Is Telegram, the supposedly anti-authoritarian app co-founded by the mercurial Saint Petersburg native Pavel Durov, now doing the Kremlin’s bidding? Or it is compromised because its servers are located in Dubai, a known friendly nation to Russian oligarchs and expats. Nearly everyone in Ukraine uses Telegram - an app created by a Russian in Russia. Should Ukrainians switch to WhatsApp? Listen to this episode of the Decentralists to learn more.
Decentralists in Ukraine - An Application to Rebuild a Nation
31:18We came to Ukraine because we felt our mobile app could be incredibly helpful to refugees. Many agreed, so we redesigned it to enable displaced people to securely & privately report details of damage or destruction of their home, land and property (HLP). Ukraine must find an efficient way to document and process the expected millions of rebuilding claims, even from those who may not have a property deed or other formal proof of occupancy. Furthermore, political agreement and precedent must be established to seize Russian assets, leading to a legal mechanism to forfeit them and apply the funds to the rebuilding of Ukraine.No organization exists to confront these political & legal challenges or to manage such a daunting task. Until now: The Peace Coalition. Join the Decentralists to learn how technology and policy can unite to rebuild Ukraine.
Decentralists in Ukraine - Life in War Time
30:38It’s not easy traveling to Ukraine during wartime with multiple flights and a 24-hour train ride from Warsaw, but it’s certainly an adventure. You’ll find that Kyiv has every modern conveniece like ride-sharing, food delivery and digital government services. However, it also has daily air raid sirens, and deadly missile & drone attacks courtesy the Russian Federation. Most people speak English, restaurants are full and the bars make awesome cocktails, but a little anxiety is always palpable.Season 5 is all about Ukraine and its brave people so if you want to stay informed, listen to The Decentralists. Mike’s now been living in Kyiv for nearly six months. What’s life really like in a war zone? Have a listen and find out.
Return of The Decentralists: A Decentralist in Ukraine
24:10It’s been three months since we last released an episode of The Decentralists and for that we apologise. However, we have a pretty good excuse. Mike went to Kyiv for two weeks in early August on a mission for our non-profit, The Peer Social Foundation. He’s still there - deeply involved in planning the country’s recovery with the brave people of Ukraine. What the heck are the Decentralists doing in Ukraine? How do you even get there? What’s life really like in a war zone?Please have a listen – there’s much more to come…
Hot Topix: Private Spies
26:06Palantir, Clearview A.I., NSO Group, maker of the infamous Pegasus spyware, Anomaly 6 and Zignal are a few examples of private companies that offer to spy on anyone for a price. Anomaly 6, a mobile phone spyware solution set up by 2 former NSA military intelligence officers, can track roughly 3 billion devices in real time, equivalent to a fifth of the world’s population. Zignal Labs, a social media monitoring firm that leverages its access to Twitter’s rarely granted “firehose” data stream to sift through hundreds of millions of tweets per day without restriction.With their powers combined, A6 proposed, Zignal’s corporate and governmental clients could not only surveil global social media activity, but also determine who exactly sent certain tweets, where they sent them from, who they were with, where they’d been previously, and where they went next. This enormously augmented capability would be an obvious boon to both regimes keeping tabs on their global adversaries and companies keeping tabs on their employees. These firms represent a burgeoning new private military-grade surveillance industry and it is targeted at us!Is this the beginning of surveillance on demand? What can we do to prevent this type of surveillance from happening? Join the Decentralists this week and find out why hacking tools are available to the highest bidder and how anyone can hire their own Private Spy...for a price.