We are pleased to introduce the Influence Industry Expert Interview Series.
Inspired by the excellent work of professionals within our international networks, these interviews are a way to amplify the work and voices of the community examining the global and local practices of influencing elections.
Throughout this series, we invite you to join us as we hear from international researchers, professionals and organisers, who have worked on uncovering the broad network of practices and companies working on political influence.
Listen in as former Data and Politics project co-lead Varoon Bashyakarla speaks with various experts, we’ll update this page as we launch new episodes as well as our PeerTube, Vimeo and YouTube channel.
Varoon Bashyakarla is a data scientist and statistician who worked with Tactical Tech for several years as part of the Influence Industry project. His past statistical undertakings led him to a variety of domains: public health, public safety, sports, finance, art, and cybersecurity. He started his career working as a data scientist in Silicon Valley. Today, he splits his time between public-interest technology groups and private sector companies. He aims to help bridge these two spheres and to build privacy and security-preserving technologies that respect democratic ideals.
Find Varoon on Twitter: @vbashyakarla or contact him directly at vbashyakarla [at] proton [dot] me.
Cyber-security expert Bob Diachenko:
Bob Diachenko, one of the founders of Security Discovery describes his journey into data security, why companies minimize the large role that human error plays in data breaches and what politicians running a data-driven campaign should be promising their constituents.
Lawyer's Hub guests Linda Bonyo and Catherine Muya:
Linda Bonyo, the founder and CEO of Lawyer's Hub describes her experience working to bridge the divide between technologists and law practitioners and the digital divide in Kenya. Fellow lawyer, Catherine Muya, also discusses issues of digital identity.
Elections and civil society researcher Tetyana Bohdanova:
Tetyana Bohdanova describes the historical events leading up to the 2019 national elections in Ukraine and what she found in her in depth research on data-driven campaigning during the election. Please note the interview was recorded in June 2021.
Data journalist and researcher Nino Macharashvili
Nino Macharashvili speaks about the the state of politics in the country of Georgia in 2021. From offline voting practices that have the potential to be translated online to the history of revolution and hope, this conversation explores Macharashvili’s research and thoughts for the future. Please note the interview was recorded in July 2021.
Digital Rights and Leglislation Activist Rafael Zanatta
Rafael Zanatta and Varoon Bashyakarla discuss how popular media often misrepresents techno-authoritarianism, the legal reaction to data breaches in Brazil and why data protection is for everyone.
Digital Rights Activist and Researcher Eliana Quiroz
Eliana speaks with former Data and Politics co-lead Varoon Bashyakarla about her journey into activism, the disinformation ecosystem in Bolivia, and how her organisation, Internet Bolivia.org is working to expand the digital rights conversation in Bolivia to include all citizens.