7/20 Big Tech At The Border; Far-Right Wins In Finland w/ Melissa Villa-Nicholas, Kyle Bailey

July 20, 2023


Check out Sam’s reading of Michael’s book “Against The Web” here: https://www.audible.com/pd/Against-the-Web-Audiobook/B0C62G3P38

It’s an EmMajority Report Thursday! She speaks to Melissa Villa-Nicholas, associate professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Rhode Island, to discuss her recent book Data Borders: How Silicon Valley Is Building An Industry Around Immigrants. Then, she is joined by Kyle Bailey, Ph.D candidate at York University in Toronto, to discuss the recent right wing shift in Finland’s government. First, Emma runs through updates on Trump’s various legal woes, Biden’s meeting with the president of the UAW, the absurd ongoings of the House, abortion legislation, and labor news, before reflecting on the 3rd anniversary of the passing of Michael Brooks, and his lasting legacy on the Left, and watching Biden’s recent statements on labor policy. Melissa Villa-Nicholas then dives right into her concept of “Data Borders,” looking at the core concept of “borderlands,” particularly those between the US and Mexico, and how data plays a massive role in the functioning of these areas – particularly when it comes to the interactions between individuals and federal agencies. Professor Villa-Nicholas then dives into the role of tech companies like Amazon and Palantir in constructing massive databases for law enforcement and predictive policing, that often rely on the data mining of immigrants, with border and immigration agencies like ICE and DHS tracking all sorts of biometric data from those crossing (both legally, and illegally). Expanding on the public-private partnership between federal agencies and big tech, Melissa parses through the history of tech involvement in the militarization of police, how private surveillance has permeated myriad legal industries, and what the future of fighting for information autonomy – especially for non-citizens – looks like. Kyle Bailey then steps back as he walks Emma through the results from April’s election in Finland, seeing the emergence of a far-right-neoliberal coalition ousting the left-wing Prime Minister Sanna Mirella Marin, and why this flip largely lies in the classic anxieties around the collapse of neoliberalism, the climate, and rising populism. After expanding on the rise of the far-right Finns Party, and the militant racists that stand at its forefront, Bailey and Emma wrap up the interview by looking at the major policy implications of the new coalition, how it might impact Finnish labor and welfare, and the role the invasion of Ukraine has played so far.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brandon Sutton and Matt Binder as they watch Sam’s message from the SAG-AFTRA picket line, talk with Micah from Sacramento, and watch Ben Shapiro attempt to Twitter-lawyer Donald Trump out of legal troubles. Candace Owens blames “gay pedophilia” on “gay people” rather than “pedophiles,” and Brett Weinstein comes to the shocking realization that much of the IDW community is aligned with Nazis, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Melissa’s book here: https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520386075/data-borders

Check out Kyle’s most recent writing here: https://jacobin.com/2023/05/us-nato-russia-war-ukraine-washington

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