Technology for surveillance - or for "communal luxury"?

An article from Roar on how to turn round our vision for digital technology, away from a nightmare scenario of permanent surveillance and monitoring. An excerpt:

What is required today is radical imagination to re-envision how powerful technological change could be repurposed to feed and house the poor, to provide health, education and culture to everyone, to decentralize societies and achieve self-governance, classlessness and democratic autonomy.

The number of active virtual reality users is forecast to grow to 171 million by 2018. For people who imagine whole new worlds all the time, imagining just one new world — our own — in which there are ecologically friendly smart homes, smart cities, smart schools and smart hospitals for everyone should not be too difficult. The technology exists. Achieving “communal luxury” for everyone is now more possible than ever.

Yet large firms and state institutions have appropriated and transformed information and communications technologies into some of the most powerful tools for social control the world has ever known. Their networks, platforms and surveillance apparatuses have enabled a dangerous fusion of public and private power and are clearly designed to cement their own positions of privilege and domination.

It is up to us, the people and communities most affected, to fight for the re-appropriation, decentralization and re-creation of these technologies in order to make possible new and better ways of living.