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Art by Annie Gugliotta/GZERO Media

No, the internet isn’t forever. And that’s a bad thing.

It is currently some time in the 23rd century, and a scholar of the future wants to understand what was happening in 2024 in, say, Gaza, Ukraine, or Beijing. Surely she’ll be able to find what she needs — it’ll all be online right?

We are used to thinking that the internet is forever. Sometimes this can seem like a bad thing. Every dumb remark, ill-conceived costume, or bad hot take will be fixed indefinitely in the digital firmament, waiting to be dug up as a cancellable offense. But it’s also a good thing: Every atrocity, corruption scandal, transformative artwork, or major scientific discovery will also be there — forever.

The trouble is -- that's not true. The internet is not forever. In fact, in many cases it isn’t even for 100 days, the average length of time before content is changed on a webpage.

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Social media's AI wave: Are we in for a “deepfakification” of the entire internet?
Social media's AI wave: Are we in for a “deepfakification” of the entire internet? | GZERO AI

Social media's AI wave: Are we in for a “deepfakification” of the entire internet?

In this episode of GZERO AI, Taylor Owen, professor at the Max Bell School of Public Policy at McGill University and director of its Centre for Media, Technology & Democracy, looks into the phenomenon he terms the "deepfakification" of social media. He points out the evolution of our social feeds, which began as platforms primarily for sharing updates with friends, and are now inundated with content generated by artificial intelligence.

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"Access is a fundamental right" - Digital activist Vilas Dhar
"Access is a fundamental right" - Digital activist Vilas Dhar | Global Stage | GZERO Media

"Access is a fundamental right" - Digital activist Vilas Dhar

The world is fast becoming increasingly digital, with 60% of global GDP driven by digital participation, but over two billion people still lack basic connectivity access.

Vilas Dhar, a leading activist for a more equitable tech-enabled world, emphasizes three elements contributing to this divide: connectivity, data gaps, and technical capacity.

“Access is a fundamental right and not something to be solved by delivering a last mile piece of fiber or connectivity.” he commented during a Global Stage livestream event at UN headquarters in New York on September 22, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

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The threat of CEO fraud and one NGO's resilient response
The threat of CEO fraud and one NGO's resilient response | GZERO Media

The threat of CEO fraud and one NGO's resilient response

In January 2020, Heidi Kühn, founder and CEO of Roots of Peace, returned from an overseas trip to devastating news: her finance department had unwittingly transferred over $1 million to an unfamiliar bank account. Kühn and her team quickly realized they’d become victims of a CEO fraud cyber attack—cybercriminals had infiltrated the company’s email accounts via spear phishing and impersonated Kühn to trick the finance team into sending funds abroad.

The theft had an enormous impact on Roots of Peace, a nonprofit dedicated to converting minefields into arable farmland in former war zones. Following the attack, Roots of Peace reached out to the CyberPeace Insitute, an organization that provides free cybersecurity assistance, threat detection and analysis to NGOs and other critical sectors. Roots of Peace was able to recover some of the funds, but to date, only $175,000 of the $1.34 million total stolen has been returned.

Roots of Peace is an international humanitarian organization, but their story isn’t unusual: In 2021, CEO fraud caused $2.4 billion in losses to US businesses alone, according to the FBI Internet Crime Report. Kühn’s story is featured in the second episode of “Caught in the Digital Crosshairs: The Human Impact of Cyberattacks,” a new video series on cyber security produced by GZERO in partnership with Microsoft and the CyberPeace Institute. GZERO spoke with Kühn and Derek Pillar, a cyber security expert from Mastercard, to learn more about the threat of CEO fraud, the real-life impact of cyberattacks against the humanitarian sector, and how you can prevent similar attacks from happening to you and your organization.

Fighting online hate: Global internet governance through shared values
Shaping global Internet governance through shared values | Global Stage | GZERO Media

Fighting online hate: Global internet governance through shared values

After a terrorist attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand was live-streamed on the internet in 2019, the Christchurch Call was launched to counter the increasing weaponization of the internet and to ensure that emerging tech is harnessed for good.

In a recent Global Stage livestream, from the sidelines of the 78th UN General Assembly, former New Zealand Prime Minster Dame Jacinda Ardern discussed the challenges and disparities inherent in the ever-evolving digital age, ranging from unrestricted online platforms in liberal democracies to severe content limitations in certain countries.

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Steven Pinker shares his "relentless optimism" about human progress
Steven Pinker shares his "relentless optimism" about human progress | GZERO World

Steven Pinker shares his "relentless optimism" about human progress

If you follow the news closely, chances are your view of the state of the world is not super optimistic. From war in Ukraine to a warming planet to global poverty and hunger, there's plenty to get upset about. But what if things are actually getting...better? That's what Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker asks in his interview with Ian Bremmer for the latest episode of GZERO World.

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2 billion new internet users joined in 5 years but growth is uneven
2 billion new internet users joined in 5 years but growth is uneven | Digital Nations | GZERO Media

2 billion new internet users joined in 5 years but growth is uneven

A whopping two billion new internet users have come online in the past five years. This transformative shift, driven in part by the pandemic, has revolutionized the way people learn and work. But it’s important to note that this growth is not evenly distributed, and significant efforts are required, particularly in Africa, to bridge the digital divide, says Digital Impact Alliance CEO Priya Vora.

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Estonia's digital revolution: a global model of efficiency
Estonia's digital revolution: a global model of efficiency | Digital Nations | GZERO Media

Estonia's digital revolution: a global model of efficiency

In a recent GZERO livestream event presented by Visa, Carmen Raal, a digital transformation advisor and expert from e-Estonia, shared some remarkable insights into the nation's digital transformation. Estonia, often hailed as a digital pioneer, has undergone a profound digitalization process that sets it apart on the global stage. Carmen explained that 99.99% of Estonia’s public services are accessible online, which includes a strong collaboration between the nations’ public and private sectors. Raal points out how this unique partnership has created solutions that are versatile and user-friendly. One example is Estonia's electronic identity and signature system which isn't limited to government use; it extends to online banking across all banks in Estonia.

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