Culture

Isolation, desperation and tech in the refugee crisis: Girt by CNET podcast 84

We took a break from our usual podcast chat about new phones and high-tech gadgets this week to take a look at a tech issue that is really making waves beyond Australia's shores.

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As part of our Road Trip 2016 summer series "Life, Disrupted," CNET took a look at how technology is helping with the global refugee crisis -- if at all.

But while refugees across Europe are using innovative ways to stay connected, asylum keepers trying to reach Australia are kept in offshore detention centres with little to no technology access or ways to communicate with the outside world.

For this special episode of Girt by CNET, we spoke to the people trying to break through those barriers.

We spoke to Australian Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young about conditions in the camps and the crackdown on whistleblowers trying to send information out of the camps. We sat down with the refugee coordinator for Amnesty International Australia, Graham Thom, to talk about why the Australian Government is so strict about photography and mobile phones in detention centres.

We talk about how refugees are using WhatsApp to communicate from detention, even when their phones are taken from them, and we hear words from one of the men who has been stuck in detention for three years.

We also chatted to one resident of the remote Australian territory of Christmas Island, who got around the Government lockdown on information by learning the ins and outs of Twitter.

And we met one former detention camp guard who spent life inside one of the island camps. He tells us about the horror of life inside, and why technological isolation is so much worse when it's compounded by physical isolation and psychological torment.

Girt by CNET podcast 84

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