All posts filed under: Vol. 3: Digital Transformation

Editorial N° 3

Dear readers,


Send an e-mail and it will reach the moon in just a few seconds. But a postcard will often only arrive at its destination after a week. Communication is easy nowadays; e-mails and WhatsApp move via electromagnetic waves at lightning speed – making the mailman seem incredibly slow in comparison. The internet is a communication technology that shapes our everyday life. We stumble upon new information before witnessing it through more traditional media like the evening news or morning newspaper. But who can guarantee that the flood of information that we are exposed to stems from verified sources and explains issues in their proper context? In an interview, the physicist and science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar demands a public debate to determine who is supposed to filter the mass of information. In ten interviews, the experts of this issue discuss the repercussions of digital transformation on our societies…

“Even the very best academic, the most critical journalist can be manipulated”

How do we distinguish relevant from irrelevant information? In his interview with 42 Magazine, science journalist Ranga Yogeshwar talks about the overflow of information and why it is important to filter it. He calls for the disclosure of algorithms while simultaneously pointing out the positive sides of digital transformation and suggests that its benefits should be used beyond economic ends.

“He who controls the algorithm has the power”

The digital transformation has given rise to platform companies like Uber, Airbnb, and Deliveroo. Although they present themselves as mere intermediaries between supply and demand of services, they also engage in the large-scale aggregation and mining of data produced by workers and consumers alike. Dr Karen Gregory, lecturer in Digital Sociology, explains how these companies operate, how they have changed the nature of work, and finally, what they are really up to.


“We will probably experience the migration of terrorist acts into cyberspace”

Attacks on the 2016 U.S. presidential election, Ukrainian electricity suppliers in 2015, and the encryption software WannaCry in 2017 are just three examples that have demonstrated that cyber operations are increasingly being used to influence elections, to spy, to blackmail, and to manipulate via the internet. For states cybersecurity thus becomes an elementary component of national and international security. Dr Sven Herpig, head of the Transatlantic Cyber Forum at the Stiftung Neue Verantwortung, will shed light on the interplay between cyber resources – hacking tools – and international conflict resolution.

“Thinking about a «state trojan» does not keep me up at night”

The world is going digital – including states and bureaucracies. While E-Governance has already become a part of everyday life in many Southeast Asian countries, many other states, like Germany, have trouble keeping up. In his interview with 42, Prof. Dr Wolfgang Drechsler from Tallinn University of Technology discusses the threat of mass surveillance, why E-Governance is crucial for the EU and why he believes E-Health to be sensible.