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GEAB 149

The monthly bulletin of LEAP (European Laboratory of Political Anticipation) - 15 Nov 2020

First Steps in the Cyberjungle…

With this article, the LEAP team opens up to a still little-known dimension of the 21st century: the cyber-world, where a society is developing, interacting and operating outside of any legal framework, with very real impacts on our lives. Just as opening up to digital currencies has led us to exciting anticipations about the paths to reform of our monetary systems, it is time to discover this universe in order to integrate it into our maps of the future. This first article is less about anticipating and more about describing. Having said that, these first steps into the cyberjungle have already highlighted pathways for anticipation theories such as the one described in the article on “the next rogue wave”. We hope that the information below will contribute to increasing “your intelligence of the future” as well.

It’s a known fact that information technology has taken such a huge place in our personal, professional and social lives that the digital world sometimes seems to actually replace our physical world. For example, in Europe, Internet access has increased from 64% in 2009 to 90% in 2019, and the number of online shoppers has risen from 46% in 2014 to 60% in 2019.[1] Covid-19 and the lockdown have only confirmed and reinforced this state of affairs.

However, though this world is virtual, it is not devoid of physical existence: it has its own equipment, structure, stakeholders, laws, etc. with a power which is very often underestimated because it is not visible and has no written rules. If the values of anonymity and freedom that founded the web[2] were thought to be synonymous with all that is best, they have for some time now proved to be vehicles for the worst when the intentions of those using these advantages are far removed from the initial utopia. 

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In summary

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