LISBON, Nov 14 (Reuters) – Chelsea Manning, a former U.S. military analyst and WikiLeaks source, said on Tuesday that technological tools can be more effective in protecting people’s privacy and information than legal or regulatory mechanisms which risk being falsified.
“I strongly believe that there are technical ways to protect information and that these are more reliable,” Manning told Reuters in an interview at Europe’s biggest technology conference, the Web Summitin Lisbon, Portugal.
Manning was convicted by a court martial in 2013 of espionage and other offenses for leaking a massive trove of military reports, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to the online media publisher WikiLeaks while she was an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
Former President Barack Obama later reduced Manning’s sentence and she was released in May 2017.
Manning currently works as a security consultant at Nym Technologies, a network that aims to prevent governments and businesses from tracking people’s online activities.
The 35-year-old said “technical means”, such as cryptography, data obfuscation and end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms such as Signal, are ways to ensure privacy and a level of privacy. online anonymity.
Legal or regulatory mechanisms “can change on a whim… legislators can be pressured… the rules can be reinterpreted by the courts and the burden of proof is very difficult to meet”, he said. Manning said.
“Regulation can set the tone for what standards should be,” she said. “(But) the actual math and technology…is much easier to control and offers many more guarantees.”
“LISTEN TO ETHICS”
Artificial intelligence (AI) is the big topic at this year’s Web Summit, which is attracting tens of thousands of attendees and high-level speakers from global technology companies, as well as politicians.
AI is transforming the world and can be applied in various sectors, from improving early detection of diseases to sorting data and solving complex problems. concerns around.
Some tech and policy leaders have warned that AI poses enormous risks if left unchecked, ranging from eroding consumer privacy to danger to humans and causing a global catastrophe.
Manning, who herself has worked with and uses the technology, said “damage has already been done” to some AI training models and will be “very difficult to undo.”
“These companies have been neglecting and knowingly circumventing the ethics of these things for many years,” she said. “The best thing we can do now is try to fix it.”
Earlier this month, at the UK Artificial Intelligence Summit, leading AI developers agreed working with governments to test new models before they are launched to help manage the risks associated with rapidly changing technology.
Reporting by Catarina Demony; Additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee; Editing by Aurora Ellis
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