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Dark Data

Christopher Wylie and Andrei Soldatov

Data is being used to influence elections and invade our privacy. Hear whistleblower Christopher Wylie and Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov explain why this is one of the most important issues of our age.

Hosted by Lenore Taylor.

Venue to be announced. All venues are located within the Sydney Opera House. 

Talks & Ideas | Antidote 

“The things you see online are not random...you are put in an environment that is constantly observing you.”


Christopher Wylie

Data, surveillance, and the weaponisation of information 

In 2018, data scientist Christopher Wylie released a cache of documents that revealed the illegal practice of harvesting data to target certain people and influence political opinion. He witnessed firsthand how culture, information and algorithms were being weaponized by militaries, governments and companies to undermine elections around the world. Russian investigative journalist Andrei Soldatov, who co-founded Agentura.ru, a watchdog of the Russian secret services’ activities, details how the Russian state controls the country's internet. Join Wylie and Soldatov for an unmissable discussion of the erosion of privacy, corporate ethics, and what propaganda looks like in the modern world.

More about the speakers...

Christopher Wylie is a social researcher and data scientist. He has served as an adviser in both the British and Canadian governments, and has extensive experience using technology to improve communication and citizen engagement. Christopher Wylie is the former Director of Research for Cambridge Analytica and SCL Group, which was a UK-based military contractor specializing in information warfare. In 2018, Wylie worked as a whistleblower to expose how social media data was being exploited and turned against ordinary citizens.

Andrei Soldatov is a Russian investigative journalist, co-founder and editor of Agentura.ru, a watchdog of the Russian secret services’ activities. He has been covering security services and terrorism issues since 1999. He has co-written with Irina Borogan, The New Nobility.:The Restoration of Russia’s Security State and the Enduring Legacy of the KGB and The Red Web: The Struggle Between Russia’s Digital Dictators and the New Online Revolutionaries. Soldatov's and Borogan's next book, The Compatriots: The Brutal and Chaotic History of Russia's Exiles, Émigrés, and Agents Abroad, will be published in October 2019.

Lenore Taylor is editor of Guardian Australia. Over almost three decades of political reporting, she has won two Walkley awards and twice won the Paul Lyneham award for excellence in press gallery journalism. Lenore was the Australian Financial Review's Europe correspondent in the early 2000s. She co-authored the book Shitstorm: Inside Labor's Darkest Days, which examined the Rudd government's response to the global economic crisis. Lenore has long been a regular guest on radio and television current affairs programs, including the ABC's Insiders.

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