Press and Interviews

For press inquiries, please email Laura Kalbag at


“We mogen niet alles overnemen wat uit Silicon Valley komt aanwaaien. We moeten onze eigen koers leren varen”

“We shouldn’t copy everything that comes from Silicon Valley. We [in Europe] need to do it our own way” Aral was interviewed by Thomas Van den Elzen


“Are we overestimating the benefits and ignoring the pitfalls the iPhone has brought in the past 10 years?”

“YES – Aral Balkan, cyborg rights activist and co-founder of… It’s hard to stress how fundamentally the iPhone has altered the face of modern technology in the decade since. Its tremendous success, however, has also meant that a huge amount of power now rests in the hands of a single company.”


“Google Hasn’t Stopped Scanning Gmail”

“It’s only a baby step, though, according to entrepreneur and activist Aral Balkan. He argues that the drumbeat for privacy has to continue until the general public starts to get why it’s important.”


“Is Facebook Taking Its First Steps Into VR Surveillance?”

“‘With more traditional interfaces and methods, the best Facebook can hope for is to attempt to digitize what’s happening in tangible space,’ Aral Balkan, an independent software developer and privacy advocate, told Vocativ”


“Business Is Spiking for Online Privacy Services Because Congress Sucks”

Brady Dale wrote an article about the spike in demand for privacy-protecting products, and interviewed Aral about Better.


“In Silicon Valley, ‘Pi Day’ Gets Political With Tech Worker Protest”

“More broadly, the Valley’s entire business model of venture capital-fueled big data is fundamentally at odds with its noble intentions, argues Aral Balkan, an independent software designer and human rights advocate.”

IT Pro

“Ad blocking holds fast at 22% of Brits”

“Aral Balkan is one of the developers behind Better, a tracking blocker that also knocks out ads. He said the IAB’s figures ‘do not apply to or reflect our experience’.”

Boss Level Podcast

“There are only two industries that use the term ‘user’. One is us, as in Silicon Valley, and the other is drug dealers…”

Sami Honkonen came to Media Evolution City to interview Aral for the Boss Level Podcast.


“A Clickbait Site’s Trackers Cost the USA $4M in Data Monthly, Entrepreneur Says”

Brady Dale wrote an article based on Aral’s talk at Doku:Tech in August.

MintPress News

SpaceX Explosion Slows Facebook & Israeli Efforts To Control Online Content

“Aral Balkan, a human rights activist, told Bazley, ‘I wouldn’t call it philanthropy I would call it colonialism.’”

“Oldukça başarılı bir reklam engelleme deneyimi sunan Better by, agrasif bir yapıda olmaması ile yararlı reklamların önünü açıyor.”

“Better by provides a rather successful ad blocking experience without being aggressive, paving the way for beneficial ads.” Better was reviewed by Ender Öztürk.

Winmag Pro

“[W]e were impressed with the keynote by Aral Balkan”

(“Zo waren we onder de indruk van de keynote die Aral Balkan verzorgde”). Peter Güldenpfennig rounded up Black Hat Sessions XIV, leading with Aral’s keynote.


Top 10 Adblockers for Apple iOS devices

“Coming in at number one is a new app called Better.” Better was reviewed by Andrew Orr, alongside other blockers.


“Better, el complemento de Safari en iOS para ahorrarte batería, datos y tiempo”

(“Better complements Safari on iOS, saving battery power, data and time”). Better was reviewed by Cristian Rus.


This iPhone App Blocks Behavior-Tracking Ads and Evades Blocker-Blockers

Aral was interviewed by Motherboard about the launch of Better.

VPRO Tegenlicht

VPRO Tegenlicht: Smart Cities

Aral was interviewed for VPRO Tegenlicht’s documentary on Smart Cities.

Positive News

Positive News: Transition or revolution?

Aral took part in Positive News’ Constructive Conversation on whether we can evolve the economic, political and other systems that underpin our societies, or whether all the systems must be replaced.

CB Creative Bloq

“22 web trends every designer should know”

Aral and Laura were asked about the “trends” that were most important to the web in 2016. We both talked about the movement of Ethical Design.

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera: Is Twitter still relevant?

Aral discussed 10 Years of Twitter with other invited experts on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story.

Zeit Online

“Wir sind alle Cyborgs” (We are all Cyborgs)

For Zeit Online’s 20th Anniversary, Aral kicked off their “20 years online” series with an op-ed. You can read Aral’s original article in English on his site, and a French translation on Framablog.

The Guardian

“Linked to bullying and even murder, can anonymous apps like Kik ever be safe?”

Aral was interviewed as part of an article on Kik: “Ethical developer Aral Balkan says the data-mining business model behind free apps must change to improve safety…”

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera America: Digital rights are human rights

Joshua Kopstein wrote an article featuring Aral’s talk at re:publica in 2015.


“They want to create an alternative to Silicon Valley with Malmö as new base”

Aral and Laura were interviewed by Elisabeth Andersson about our move to Malmö.

BBC World Service

World Have Your Say: Apple, FBI & Encryption

Aral discussed Apple, FBI & Encryption with other invited experts, and people from around the world. The BBC also made a short video from the recording.

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera: Violating privacy or fighting ‘terrorism’?

Aral discussed Apple’s stand against the FBI with other invited experts on Al Jazeera’s Inside Story.


“Want to Stop Data Brokers From Profiting Off You? These Subversives Have a Solution”

Aral was invited to comment, and observed that an app geared toward harvesting data would require a lot more transparency…

BBC World Service

Aral was interviewed about Wikipedia on BBC World Service

Aral was interviewed on BBC World Service about Wikipedia as part of the World Update.

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera: ‘White and Western’ Wikipedia marks 15th birthday

Aral was interviewed by Al Jazeera about Wikipedia. His full comments weren’t included, but you can read his full thoughts on Wikipedia on our forum.


People Are Mad that Facebook and Google Sponsored a Privacy Event

Aral was interviewed by Motherboard after he pointed out that Amsterdam Privacy Week was sponsored by people farmers.


Privacy startup Why we decided to leave the UK following election

Aral was interviewed by Margi Murphy on our decision to leave the UK.

Vrij Nederland

Interview with Aral in Vrij Nederland

Aral was interviewed by Vrij Nederland whilst in Amsterdam. ‘Google en Facebook nemen je vrijheid weg’ or “Google and Facebook take your freedom away”


He wants to stop the giants’ dominance. How do you stop Silicon Valley from taking over the world?

Aral spoke to Andreas Ekström again for an interview in the print and online version of Sydsvenskan.

Alto Adige - Quotadiano Indipendente Fondato Nel 1945

Interview with Aral in Alto Adige

Aral was interviewed by the local Italian newspaper whilst in Bolzano. “Aral Balkan does not feel like David against Goliath, but the comparison gives a good idea of ​​the challenge launched” or “Aral Balkan non si sente come Davide contro Golia, ma il paragone rende bene l’idea della sfida che ha lanciato.”

Civic Radio

Has the world of commerce encroached irrevocably on our civic spaces, and how much do we care?

Aral was interviewed on Episode 5 of Civic Radio.

Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera Inside Story: Will YouTube profit from new child-safe app?

Aral was a guest on Inside Story alongside Janice Richardson and Brendan Gahan.

Be Democracy

Aral curated @BeDemocracy for the Nobel Peace Center

Tweets curated by Aral were displayed at an exhibition at the Nobel Peace Center for Week 25 (16th - 22nd June 2014)

Gigaom remains one to watch closely

“Audacious it is: it’s no less than a plan to move beyond the web that we know and love.”

8 till 5 is doing everything right - and refuses capital

“This is internet activism in its best form, and it just warms my heart when I read about what are trying to do”

Paste Magazine

The Revolution

“We’re not just building toys. These devices really fundamentally have the power to effect the society in which we live by their nature. And it comes down to whether you have control of that or whether some company or corporation does.”

Yorokobu — Take a walk on the slow side

Interview with Aral in Yorokobu

Aral was interviewed by Yorokobu whilst in Barcelona. «Aral Balkan: Arcoiris y gatitos para espiarte en internet» or “Aral Balkan: Rainbow and kittens to spy on internet.”

Nominet Trust 100 nominated for Nominet Trust 100 has been nominated for the Nominet Trust NT100. Nominet Trust has compiled the Social Tech Guide to recognise the pioneers who are using digital technology to make a real difference to millions of lives.

The Economist

Hiding from big data

“AS THE chorus of Twisted Sister’s 1984 anti-authority hit “We’re Not Gonna Take It” faded, Aral Balkan got ready to launch his latest project from the main stage at Handheld, a small technology-design conference held in Cardiff, Wales, last November. The entrepreneur’s big idea? A phone that flies in the face of a consumer-technology industry transfixed by big data and how to make money from it.”

Vote now — Net Awards Nominee phone shortlisted at The Net Awards

Thank you all for your support — we did it! We have been shortlisted for Game Changer of the Year at The Net Awards. founder Aral Balkan is also shortlisted in Entrepreneur of the Year for and Conference Talk of the Year for his keynote on Digital Feudalism and How to Avoid It.

The 50 most exciting lean hardware startups in Europe phone is featured in as one of the 50 of the most exciting lean hardware startups in Europe.


Designing for freedom: Meet the people putting user experience at the heart of online privacy

“Balkan wants Indie Phone to compete head-on with Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Nexus: consumer devices that are all about the integration of hardware with software and services … ”If we are to compete with closed silos and solutions, we have to compete on user experience.”


Can This Alternative Smartphone Deliver Real Privacy to the Masses?

“Indie Phone, with an original operating system and individual servers for each user, aims to sell mobile hardware that protects and empowers the masses, but is just as beautiful and useable as our current, compromised devices.”


“That would be interesting”

Bruce Sterling shared Aral’s article on 2014: The Rise of Indie Tech.