Former Cambridge Analytica Exec Brittany Kaiser on Why Data is the New Oil

Targeted: My Inside Story of Cambridge Analytica and How Trump and Facebook Broke Democracy Brittany Kaiser HarperCollins 400 pages | Rs 699 SOME TIME AGO, I reviewed a book by a whistleblower from the tainted political consultant and voter-profiling firm Cambridge Analytica (CA). Christopher Wylie’s Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America was … Continue reading Former Cambridge Analytica Exec Brittany Kaiser on Why Data is the New Oil

Is Campus Activism Losing Its Sting?

STUDENTS OF THE late 1960s and 1970s had a lot to protest about, and they did. In the process, many of them acquired a halo. Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Tariq Ali were some of them. Some others did not become famous student leaders, but they, too, were seen as part of a generation that became synonymous … Continue reading Is Campus Activism Losing Its Sting?

‘Anonymising Political Donors Is a Blatant Violation of the RTI Law’

Noted freedom activist Anjali Bhardwaj is in the news for accessing crucial information about the interaction over electoral bonds between the Centre and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), which had raised serious concerns about the scheme. An alumnus of University of Oxford and Delhi School of Economics, she is the co-convenor of the National … Continue reading ‘Anonymising Political Donors Is a Blatant Violation of the RTI Law’

After Sweden, it is now UK’s turn to offer Assange justice: Co-author

Dr Suelette Dreyfus modestly calls herself a researcher. But she is also an author who co-wrote a best-selling book with Julian Assange, titled Underground, a 500-page volume on the lives of young hackers of the 1980s and the 1990s (including Assange himself). While she is glad that a Swedish judge has dropped rape charges against … Continue reading After Sweden, it is now UK’s turn to offer Assange justice: Co-author

How Sabarimala Changed Kerala’s Politics

The Harivaraasanam rendition by Yesudas in praise of Lord Ayyappa was one of the first devotional songs I heard in my life. To the teenagers of my generation who grew up in the 1980s, it was one of the most exciting experiences whenever neighbours and relatives prepared themselves to visit Sabarimala, which appeared distant to … Continue reading How Sabarimala Changed Kerala’s Politics

How a Few Smart Men Mined and Manipulated Data to Con the World

Book: Mindf*ck: Inside Cambridge Analytica’s Plot to Break the World Author: Christopher Wylie Publisher: Profile Books 269 pages | Rs 599 Two sentences from its pages capture the spirit of this book by the man who is often called ‘the first great whistleblower from the millennials’s generation’. Here goes one of them: ‘Inside Cambridge Analytica, … Continue reading How a Few Smart Men Mined and Manipulated Data to Con the World

Israeli Company NSO’s Spyware Is in the News in India for All the Wrong Reasons

HERZLIYA IS A coastal Israeli city where a large number of the country’s wealthy citizens live. Outside the Middle East, this affluent city, named after Theodor Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, often finds mention for its expensive villas and fine beaches located in a tony neighbourhood called Herzliya Pituach. But lately, it has earned … Continue reading Israeli Company NSO’s Spyware Is in the News in India for All the Wrong Reasons

Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee’s Quiet Revolution to Free People from Poverty Traps

"AS A YOUNG CHILD, my son Abhijit liked literature and poetry and read extensively in Bengali and English. My memories of him from his early teens are of a voracious reader,” Nirmala Banerjee tells Open before ending the chat on a polite note. “The only thing I want to say is I am happy like … Continue reading Nobel Laureate Abhijit Banerjee’s Quiet Revolution to Free People from Poverty Traps

Economics Nobel for Kolkata Boy, Alumnus of JNU, Presidency College

Indian-origin, Mumbai-born economist Abhijit Banerjee has won this year’s Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his work in alleviating poverty, making him the second Indian after Amartya Sen to receive the honour. An authority on global poverty, Abhijit Banerjee carried out his research emphasising the human condition in his home country, and in the … Continue reading Economics Nobel for Kolkata Boy, Alumnus of JNU, Presidency College