DataSyn is a free monthly newsletter from IT for Change featuring content hosted on Bot Populi.

DataSyn provides concise and relevant analysis on all matters concerning Big Tech. 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.

The (only somewhat) namesake of DataSyn, 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 state-controlled data is prone to becoming a site of authoritarianism, the DataSyn team ironically thinks back to this short-lived, imperfect experiment to remind itself 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.

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

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Latest Issue

From sea to cloud, a cartography of Big Tech control

November 2021

This month, DataSyn features a piece by Tanay Mahindru exposing Big Tech's appropriation of the material infrastructure of the internet, and the attendant policy implications such wholesale capture entails. It also carries Bama Athreya's article examining 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.

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Will Chinese Medicine Cure Big Tech Excess?

October 2021

The debut issue of DataSyn breaks ground with two analytical essays. In the first piece, Anita Gurumurthy and Nandini Chami trace the response of the Chinese state to homegrown Big Tech, drawing lessons for how to go beyond the Westphalian regulatory playbook. The second, by Satyavrat Krishnakumar and Amay Korjan, analyzes worker-led platform initiatives and takes a reality check on the pathway for alternatives.

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