Will Lennon is a writer and journalist based in Washington D.C. After spending several years traveling, working and writing about music as a freelancer, Will settled in the District in 2016... just in time to witness Donald Trump's upset victory in November. Since then, he has graduated from The School of Media and Public Affairs at The George Washington University and trained extensively as an investigative reporter. For local and national outlets, he has covered politics, homicides, ICE raids, immigration, campaign finance and more. He has also completed trainings in freedom of information journalism and open source investigations. One of his investigations for Washington City Paper revealed the extent to which local public safety agencies collaborated with ICE. D.C. law was amended to restrict such collaboration as a result of the investigation. On January 6, 2021, he covered the pro-Trump riots from the lawn of the U.S. Capitol.
Refugee crisis in Colombia Since 2017, violence on the Colombia-Venezuela border has fueled an emerging refugee crisis. Tens of thousands have been displaced due to fighting between the two countries' militaries and governments, as well as leftist guerilla forces, right wing paramilitaries and drug mafias on both sides of the border. Economic collapse in Venezuela and police crackdowns in Colombia exacerbate the situation. I am researching the National Liberation Army (ELN), a leftist group which expanded to fill the power vacuum left behind after the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) mainstreamed into Colombian politics, and Los Rastrojos, a narco gang that frequently clashes with the ELN. (Source) I'm especially interested in writing about people who might find themselves displaced, jobless or injured as a result of the conflict. If you have any tips or ideas, please do not hesitate to get in touch. (Image credit: Google Earth)
Military and security applications for artificial intelligence According to Russian President Vladmir Putin, whoever is first to master militarized Artificial Intelligence will become "ruler of the world." We can't yet know for sure the true limits and potential of AI, but that won't stop governments and corporations from doing all they can to be the first across the finish line. The United States and China are considered frontrunners, but revolving door politics and lobbying in the U.S. might allow other interests to pull ahead. Although AI does have its justifiable applications (the United Nations uses AI to investigate child abuse) it also poses threats to privacy and human rights. I wrote for Shadowproof about how an AI-based surveillance system developed by Anduril industries could increase mortality rates among migrants at the southern U.S. border. The interactive map below illustrates the web of corporate and government interests I uncovered in my investigation. Going forward, I'm interested in writing about tech companies developing AI systems for authoritarian and undemocratic governments. If you have any tips or ideas, please do not hesitate to get in touch. (Web powered by LittleSis. Image credit: Anduril Industries)