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Weekly Update 16 - 22 “June”
What Heba was subjected to, and what Palestinians, both males and females, are regularly subjected to inside the country and in the diaspora, is considered a form of systematic economic and digital discrimination against them. This was one of the most important topics raised in the "Palestine Digital Forum", which concluded its activities on May 25, 2023. The events, which were distributed between Ramallah, Haifa, the besieged Gaza Strip and the Palestinian cities in Israel, included dozens of seminars and workshops that were held both face-to-face and digitally in parallel, in the presence of dozens of guests from all over the world to talk about the discrimination that Palestinians are subjected to in the digital space and the possible ways of advocacy.
Israel has turned its occupation into a profitable enterprise, and Israeli arms and surveillance companies have rarely been shorted an opportunity to turn a buck - even at the expense of lives. Take the tragic demise of Javier Valdez Cardenas, a Mexican journalist who investigated corruption and the cartels' drug operations and was shot and killed in 2017. Later, his wife discovered the Mexican government had spied on him using Pegasus, a phone-hacking tool sold by an Israeli company called NSO Group.
PayPal missed the opportunity to do the right thing, again. We’ve been at this for nearly a decade. I can never come up with a satisfactory answer to those who ask why PayPal refuses to follow the lead of technology giants like Google, Cisco, HP, Oracle, and many others, which all operate in Palestine. Even PayPal’s competitors, Apple Pay and Stripe operate in Palestine.
While PayPal operates in Israel and its illegal settlements, it has refused to extend its service to Palestinians. The Palestinian technology sector, one of the only bright spots in the overall economy, operates with enough Israeli restrictions; PayPal has the opportunity to do some good here, rather than follow an illegal military occupation’s cue.
Should we automate away all the jobs, including the fulfilling ones? Should we develop non-human minds that might eventually outnumber, outsmart...and replace us? Should we risk loss of control of our civilisation?” These questions were asked last month in an open letter from the Future of Life Institute, an ngo. It called for a six-month “pause” in the creation of the most advanced forms of artificial intelligence (ai), and was signed by tech luminaries including Elon Musk. It is the most prominent example yet of how rapid progress in ai has sparked anxiety about the potential dangers of the technology.
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