By Design or by Disaster

Aral Balkan


Aral Balkan is the founder and lead designer of, a social enterprise creating independent alternatives to Spyware 2.0.

Aral’s work protects fundamental freedoms, human rights, and democracy by creating independent consumer technologies that don’t spy on you.

He is the author of the Manifesto.

Aral is currently working on coding the core of the platform, a beautiful distributed social network called Heartbeat.

Aral blogs at and tweets at @aral.

[/one_third][two_third_last]Glocal Design Spring 2015 | 27.3. | 16:50

The Camera Panopticon

The Matrix got it backwards: we don’t live in a simulation controlled from a tangible world, we live in a tangible world that is increasingly being controlled by simulations. But what does this mean for our future? How does technology affect human rights and democracy, and vice-versa? Aral embarks on a journey through algorithms and surveillance to reveal how the friendly façade of ‘free’ service providers like Google and Facebook belie a darker underbelly.


Interesting questions / statements

Most mainstream technology today is malware.

How do we combat the institutional corruption of the European Commission and European Union to disrupt the digital imperialism of Silicon Valley companies and their corporate influence in European public policymaking?

Are we living in a democracy or corporatocracy and how is systemic inequality related to this?[/two_third_last]