Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Nov 2021)

Digital Nomad

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed hearing about decentralized blogging, reading through the twitter thread of underacted google & facebook advertising complaint and of course  Facebook and its effect on gen-z with yet another whistle blower leaving the sinking ship.

To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

You are seeing aspects of this with seeing John Oliver covering misinformation outside the English language, some young people questioning our capitalistic society, Mozfest 2022’s call for proposal and experiencing unified messaging on my devices


Personal data stores in the lime light

Ian thinks: Wired do a reasonable job explain some of the benefits, there are a lot more important aspects of personal data stores than beating others, like sovereignty and trust. Said as someone who worked on related work in the past.

The future of social networks with James Vasile

Ian thinks: James is a seasoned expert in this space and this interview is good covering a lot of ground including Project liberty’s DSNP. Even if you are new to this space, its accessible and understandable.

Visa & Mastercard regulate the internet by stealth?

Ian thinks: No matter what you think of adult sites, there is a complicated problem which should not be left companies which are only interested in maximising their own profits.

Misinformation works in all languages

Ian thinks: Its good to see mainstream John Oliver covering the huge problem of dis/misinformation outside the English language. Also great to see them not jump to the conclusion encryption is the problem.

The clear amplification of social media

Ian thinks: Adrian’s kickback is something I wasn’t super aware of but its a clear sign of the massive amplification of social media for good and bad, depending where you stand.

Digital nomadic dreams and border-less countries

Ian thinks: Although the digital nomad lifestyle is something I am personally interested in, I think the notion of Plumia is a worrying trend of a new kind of digital elite dream. Which needs to be put in check before it runs wild.

The mystery of Satoshi bitcoin creator, solved?

Ian thinks: I have to say this is the best case for the mystery of Satoshi (the creator of bitcoin). Recently it looks like his wallet has been used too?

Facebook: a little empty, a little sad; a place where a few voices get most of the attention

Ian thinks: Although turning your Facebook timeline back into a timeline doesn’t even start to touch the fundamental problems. I loved the end quote, which speaks volumes.

NFTs challenging the status quo

Ian thinks: Beyond the hype, scams and general nonsense. I am seeing signs of NFTs being used to genuinely disrupt the status-quo. From the portability of bought in game goods, new models of film making and of course the new NFT royalties standard.


Find the archive here

Can I travel around Europe with Estonia’s Digital Nomad Visa?

schengen zone countries

I spent a bit of time tonight looking at the Estonia’s Digital Nomad Visa requirements and I do believe the idea of applying for a Estonian Nomad Visa then heading over to the Netherlands is possible.

From the Estonia Digital Nomad Visa FAQ.

17. How long can a DNV-holder stay in other countries in the Schengen Zone during their visa period?

I looked at the Schengen area and found the above mapping.  I’m sure its obvious for most but I hadn’t actually looked at what countries were included and not. I can imagine a base out of Tallinn, Estonia and a month or two out of the Netherlands?

The other restrictions look good to me although I’m also interested in the short 90 day Nomad visa too.

Estonia’s Digital Nomad Visa, very tempting

Tallinn, Estonia
About 3 years ago I signed myself up for Estonia’s e-residency programme.I have used a few times for ID and sending state backed emails, but ever since Brexit became a reality I have thought imagine if it could be used to spend more time in Europe? This is why I was so impressed when the digital nomad visa became a reality.

Because of this, I have been looking much more deeply into the idea of actually going back to Tallinn for 6 months when/if the current pandemic is more under real control. I have been pretty clear about trying to live in Europe at least for a short while. Originally the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden were hot my list but I’d like to just give it a try. The digital nomad visa looks perfect for this.My Estonian e-residency ID

I like to think of myself as a digital nomad, so maybe its time to test the logic? I know one thing for sure… Its been over 6 months since I was last in work. Besides my Ubuntu SSD issue (long story, but its something I can’t fix myself without wiping out the existing work settings) everything workwise has been fine.

Between a lot of cloud applications like Zoom, Slack, Google drive, Dropbox, etc. Its very clear I could do this from almost anywhere with a good internet connection. Of course with my personal cloud applications running on my server such as Plex, a number of docker apps, etc. I was recently checking out cryptpad.

I did notice thanks to the e-residency newsletter than Tallinn and Estonia featured recently in a episode of Netflix’s new science show called connected.

Tallinn

Estonia features in an episode of a new science series now available on streaming service Netflix, where the country is highlighted for its trail-blazing digital development.

“Connected”, a U.S. show hosted by science journalist Latif Nasser, looks at the various ways people are connected to each other and the world around them.

Episode 5 of the series, “Clouds”, visits Estonia and sees first-hand the country’s cloud-based digital infrastructure, as well as taking a turn in a smoke sauna.

The show has already received rave reviews, with the New York times listing it as their recommended show to watch Sunday, or at any time.

Presenter Latif Nasser notes that it is difficult not to get jealous of Estonians.

“Imagine you can vote in the sauna, register your company in the hot tub or declare taxes in the toilet,” he says.

Estonia's ID system

UK Home Office to scrap ‘racist algorithm’

Black lives matter
Photo by Sushil Nash on Unsplash

I couldn’t help but see the clear connection between a conversation we had on the most recent tech for good live podcast and the UK home office’s not officially announced decision to scrap the algorithm for people applying for UK visas. BBC also reports similar.

The Home Office is to scrap a controversial decision-making algorithm that migrants’ rights campaigners claim created a “hostile environment” for people applying for UK visas.

The “streaming algorithm”, which campaigners have described as racist, has been used since 2015 to process visa applications to the UK. It will be abandoned from Friday, according to a letter from Home Office solicitors seen by the Guardian.

The transcript is online, now (massive thanks to tech for good making these). Ade made such a great point…

The Home Office response was, not only that they knew but that their focus was making the application simple to use, right? So, the overall performance was judged sufficient to deploy, and the home office told the BBC it wanted the process of uploading the passport application photo to be simple.

Simple as in white…?! Seriously!

I’m glad its scrapped but we have to ask serious questions how it even made it out? Is something we talked about in the episode and the absolute responsibility of developers and technologists to call these things out. Passing it off as a MVP isn’t good enough.

As Ethar says…

This does create a two tier dam. Do you think that does create.. Well.. part of that situation? It’s the fact that we technologists build to the greatest value first. In the event where we’ve chosen, we’ve made an explicit choice that white people have the greatest value in that context by doing what we’ve done and said that people of colour don’t matter.

I highly recommend listening to the whole podcast, its well worth your time. As there’s some great thoughts from Vimla and David too. Just listen and enjoy!

https://pod.co/tech-for-good-live/black-lives-matter-special-canaries-in-the-coal-mine-with-ian-forrester

Public Service Internet monthly newsletter (Aug 2020)

Dark estonia
Photo by Kevin Lehtla on Unsplash

We live in incredible times with such possibilities that is clear. Although its easily dismissed watching the twitter hack fall out and the cult like increase in conspiracies theories.

To quote Buckminster Fuller “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

You are seeing aspects of this happening with the new Estonian digital nomad visa and a steady drive of transparency questions levelled at Facebook.


Protocols, Not Platforms

Ian thinks: This paper really sets out the problems of the current mainstream internet. Platform building opposed to open protocols which everybody can use. Its well thought out and substantial in its arguments.

The growing changes in robot technology, iot and 3D printing

Ian thinks: I am impressed with the bio-mimicry in some of the robots. Its certainly the way to go, learning from nature. If only we could save it too.

Estonia launches a new type of visa for digital nomads

Ian thinks: Estonia was the first country with e-residency and they have flatten the world one more time with a new type of visa, allowing people to work for a remote company for up to 90 days.

If I earn a bitcoin everytime some asked me about the darkweb…

Ian thinks: Although the speaker doesn’t do himself any favours with a blurred out face, he crushes a lot of the typical questions I have been asked about the darkweb

Insight into the dark world of shadow brokers

Ian thinks: Its fascinating to hear about the unsolved puzzle of shadow brokers who sold NSA surveillance tools on the open market. Another reason why government encryption back-doors are such a bad idea.

What are the applications using blockchain technology right now?

Ian thinks: There is a lot of scepticism about crypto technology but I found this video from Crypto startup school, useful looking at the direction and focus of the actual applications which currently exist. The questions are pretty intruding too.

An atlas of surveillance

Ian thinks: Ok this is mainly American but its quite a unique database of different types of surveillance, how they are used and for what purpose. Good work by the EFF.

Emerging tech overview with Node

Ian thinks: Starting with drone delivery and ending with human assisted tech. Node is a great place for summaries on emerging open tech advancements.

Mozilla wants your advice on how to make the internet healther

Ian thinks: If you had only one question for Mozilla, what would it be? Well here is your chance to think and submit that one question.


Find the archive here

Estonia to implement a digital nomad Visa

My Estonian e-residency ID

How on earth did i miss this!?

The Estonian parliament on 3 June adopted amendments to the current laws to create a digital nomad visa that would allow people to come to Estonia as a tourist and at the same time continue working for a foreign employer or as a freelancer independent of location.

This is the step I’ve been dreaming about… Digital ID becomes useful for physical ID

Would I work in another country while doing my current job? You darn right I would. The last few months have made it super clear that I could work completely remotely quite well. A tourist visa is about 90 days within a 6 month period, I just spent 3 months mainly in my flat!

This is very doable and heck if I can also wonder across into other parts of Europe?! Now that would be incredible..!

 

My quick short view on Libra cryptocurrency

Facebook Libra

  • Facebook is full of crap and this privacy first play is just total bull. I don’t trust facebook, but to be fair I don’t trust my bank, however there business model isn’t completely at odds with my freedom as a digital citizen.
  • Cryptocurrency for the masses is not such a bad thing but theres so little information I can just imagine the headlines about being taken for their life savings.
  • A single global currency is a very very bad idea for many reasons not worth going into now.
  • I know Facebook is only spearheading the libra Association which is a not-for-profit organization but its FACEBOOK Remember! I don’t even really think the others are in it for anything more than a punt.
  • Calibra the tools facebook have built to work with Libra do not subscribe to the same ideas as the association and that might not be a bad thing in your book but it clearly points towards the endless dominance of facebook in this association.

Don’t get zuckered into this all, againglad others have push back hard.