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Jacinta González is not an angel or venture capitalist. She is not a scientist or a technologist. She doesn’t have a Ph.D. in AI or quantum mechanics. She is not an entrepreneur who founded the next unicorn startup. Yet Jacinta’s decade-long first-hand experience of surveillance, and the system and technology that supports it, is as eye-opening as any expert’s. A point of view that is much needed to take us out of our often utopian tech-bubbles dominated mostly by narratives created in the marketing departments of Silicon Valley. That is why I was very happy to have Jacinta González on Singularity.FM. I hope you find her as interesting, illuminating, and informative as I did.
During this 2h interview with Jacinta González, we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: the inception story behind her activism; how military technology gets normalized for domestic use; ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] – its purpose and modus operandi; how I almost didn’t make it to singularity university; Palantir and why it is “mission-critical” to ICE; how Microsoft, Amazon, Google and other Big Tech companies sell and profit from surveillance; the role of data-brokers such as Thompson-Reuters; Peter Thiel as the founding father of the modern surveillance industry; Sean Gourley and the Nobody Speak documentary; why we should all care about surveillance; search engines and intelligence gathering; why algorithms are Weapons of Math Destruction; Clearview.AI as the most callous and blatant appropriation of personal data for surveillance purposes; Immigration Nation Netflix documentary; what tech workers and people, in general, can do to oppose the system; Mijente and NoTechForIce.
My favorite quote that I will take away from this conversation with Jacinta González is:
Organizing is the key to transforming the system.
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Jacinta González is a Senior Campaign Organizer with Mijente and is based in Phoenix, AZ. Previously, she worked at PODER in México, organizing the Río Sonora River Basin committees against water contamination by the mining industry. Jacinta was the lead organizer for the New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice Congress of Day Laborers (2007-2014). In Louisiana, González helped establish a base of day laborers and undocumented families dedicated to building worker power, advancing racial justice, and organizing against deportations in post-Katrina New Orleans.