Should We Regulate Big Tech?
Posted by $ AJAshinoff 4 years, 5 months ago to Culture
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I'm not a government regulation proponent because when government assumes any degree of control things generally turn to crap and we lose our freedom. Even so, this article makes for a good, and well thought out, argument for a degree of regulation. More, the insights given into Google, Facebook and the like gives one reason to pause to consider their hobbling.
The reference to 'owning' your phone number that you are renting from the company who owns it is misplaced control. Using the mob to demand that others cannot control the property they have is not adding to the free market but detracting from it and competition. Adding violence to the equation results in its abuse, restriction of competition, loss of value of property and destroys innovation. When builders have to work with invented rules instead of reality all suffer except those in charge of writing the rules. Then rulemaking becomes the place to earn money (not make it) and ruling becomes the vocation of choice.
The rampant hacking and intrusion into personal computers to facilitate surveillance, stealing personal information, selling it, and assembling it into dossiers with no accountability, violation of privacy, misrepresenting their own actions, and collaborating with government for illegal search and seizure of documents are violations of the rights of the individual which should be codified in law as such. Those who seek to regulate it want to control the crime while allowing it to persist.
Conservatives like the author of this Hillsdale article show no concern with the rights of the individual and therefore no concept of the difference between outlawing crime and regulating it. They are Pragmatist statists talking in terms of breaking up companies, their own opinions on economic "efficiency", and what degree of regulation to impose on innocent individuals and businesses while refusing to stop the abuse. They are the ones who are crossing the creepy line into statism.
WE should refuse to participate any way we can and certainly not play or pay into big techs coffers.
We older folks here remember when the phone was screwed fast onto the kitchen or hall way walls. If WE were not at home when it rang then life moved on and who ever called can call back later. The NOW generation will never accept this but I would be perfectly satisfied if we went right back to the slow life or at the very least make mobile phones to work only when you are standing in a spot and not walking down the street or driving down the road and that includes texting while moving. Big tech with all of their info gathering and how they use and abuse the intrusion into our basic privacy is way out of control but putting that Genie back in the bottle will never happen. They know where you are, when you were there and probably know where you are going. They know what toilet paper we all use and as far as I'm concerned they can use a big flush.
They were created by the CIA.
"Many technologies have been in part subsidized through research grants or paid by the military at some point in their progression. It doesn't mean that the technologies or the private companies were "created" by government, let alone the CIA."
Anyone searching for Ayn Rand on the Internet who has not read the books likely concludes they're about conspiracy theories and politics.
I agree completely.
I don't mean to be glib. Someone should get the word out. People who reject conspiracy theories should read Ayn Rand, even if only to figure out what putative conspiracy theorist think.
Besides, it left out the True ultimate source as "Agenda 21", the delivery of secret systems by black helicopter, and alien research captured at Area 51.
The previous "report" proclaiming that Mark Zuckerberg "is simply a figure head for Facebook, and nothing more" to "document" that the "CIA created google, facebook and twitter" is just as bizarre.
Some people gravitate to this nonsense, then lash out in anger when it is properly dismissed. Feeling it 'way down deep' is not objectivity, and dismissing fantasy concocted to replace reality is not "ignoring reality".
While Virtual Personal Network promoters sell the idea that you can protect your information from invasive searches, they all have signed agreements with law enforcement that requires them to provide a path to enable searches subject to a warrant. The DN is technically criminal, in the eyes of government snoopers, because it isn't the property of any tech company, and the dynamic nature of information passing makes searches next to impossible. Big tech providers don't like the DN either, as they can't control it or track the users.
The DN provides a protected way for "pamphleteering" of information that would get you thrown off of a regular internet site. Monetizing is the hard part for DN use, as advertisers can't track your data, which is what they use in deciding whether or not to support you. That's sort of why any monetizing of DN actors often comes from criminal sources, as they only care about results, not hit counts. Nonetheless, it's beginning to look like DN may be the way to develop and promote big tech alternatives, dodging control and providing a libertarian free market alternative.
VPN companies do not "all have signed agreements with with law enforcement that requires them to provide a path to enable searches subject to a warrant". Any government has the authority to seize records with a warrant, depending on the jurisdiction, and NSA often has the means to circumvent that restriction internationally.
VPN providers are located in different countries that limit jurisdiction. Some of them keep what you do encrypted in a way that even the VPN owner cannot get into it, including the connection logs, so warrants and other circumventions cannot get to it. The security of VPN companies varies dramatically, despite the hype from many of them. https://thatoneprivacysite.net/
You can use https://www.startpage.com/ to do google searches without google collecting your search history. startpage serves as a kind of VPN for searches that anyone can routinely connect to. The resulting security depends on how you use the search results.
VPN protects the identify of where you are coming from. You can also use an encrypted channel to a protected dns name server to translate website names to IP addresses you are going to, including a VPN connection, keeping your destination hidden from monitoring that is local to you, including by your own ISP.
If you use the same VPN IP address to connect to everything you do, inc ing logins, and/or your own PC is vulnerable to leaks and hacking such as through identifiable or otherwise unsecure browser plugins, then in principle everywhere you go will eventually be linked back to you anyway.
But you can't stop all of it, just like you can't prevent hacking of your financial information stored elsewhere. Insecurity is built into the internet. Microsoft and other big data companies have for years been developing means of tracking without IP addresses or cookies by identifying unique electrical "signatures" within your pc.
It never ends and they do what they can get away with. We have been repeatedly told that surveillance is the price we pay for 'free services' on the internet. It isn't true. They do it because they can, whether or not you are paying money. Buy something on the web and chances are the company you bought from is also selling your information.
When bad stuff happens, it is all due to a few who are manipulating others. The few can be, variously according to your taste, George Soros, bankers, capitalists, Maurice Strong, oil barons, Zionists, mullahs, media moguls, alt-right, far-right, extreme-right, and maybe more.
2. Proposition - not 1.
Bad stuff happens for all kinds of reasons, people are mixed, some are evil, some are good, or not, then there in incompetence and indifference.
Is 1. or 2. right? If you take view 2. events can be considered rationally, you do not have to drill down to get to your ultimate Soros/source.
Another advantage of taking view 2. it is easier to deal with the world.
When faced with the facts of real bad behavior by the big new monster tech companies, it is not helpful to say it is a conspiracy. That probably means you are helpless and just a moaner.
Better to be specific about the bad stuff.
Then ask, does it break any current law, should there be new laws to control or regulate, and especially for this forum, would such laws and regulations, existing or new, be compatible with Objectivism? Are specific contracts being broken? Are implied contracts being broken? Is there such a thing as an implied contract? Are rights and property being stolen and violated? Are company published policies part of a contract? Can there be a contract without 'consideration'? Does that have to be money?
The question put by AJA, maybe not a strict Objectivist, but a very fine thinker, is thus a good one.
"Another aspect of the Big Tech revolution that sets it apart is the quantity and precision of amassed data it makes possible. Businesses have always accumulated data on their clients, but the amount and detail of data concentrated in the hands of Big Tech companies are beyond anything previously imagined. And its value increases rather than decreases with quantity: consumption patterns of individuals are more valuable if linked to their location, more valuable still if linked to their health information, and so on. Not only does this data concentration represent an insurmountable barrier for new entrants into the market, it also represents a threat to individual privacy and can even be a threat—as recent data mining and censorship scandals suggest—to the functioning of our democracy."
By waiting for damage and allowing data to amass we are building an insurmountable foe when they choose to flex their power. As exceller wrote about, its may have already gone to far thwart. Think of the politicians and how much data could already be in big tech hands. How much influence can big tech wield with text, pictures, video, audio, and phone conversations on any person let alone a controlling block of congressmen?
Attempts to pass laws will not put the cow back in the barn, just attempt to limit where it goes. Each day, the cow has all day to defeat the limits placed on it, and the cow will eventually outwit those limits one by one.
They have become a country on their own, thanks to millions of gullible people who must spill the most intimate details of their lives on the net.
As long as they do that, no amount of regulation would be effective.
What do we want them to be?
Most of these co.s were CIA creations using (our money)
Enriching those that spread a statist agenda by censoring anti statist messages .They call it “hate speech”.
I am not on FB or any other social platform. Recently I switched off Google and purged it from all my searches. Still, I am sure they have a file on me.
Sanctions against North Korea. A number of countries and international bodies have imposed sanctions against North Korea. Currently, sanctions are largely concerned with North Korea's nuclear weapons program and were imposed after its first nuclear test in 2006.
This has nothing to do with North Korea.
Don’t use critical thinking. I am sure N Korea was just a new market opportunity for Google . Never mind the sanctions. Just think of the wealth that E Schmidt could extract from that prosperous country.
Your terms of Crackpot , bizarre , preposterous,
Rambling are very helpful.
Objectively observing evidence, connections and deriving a percentage of probability that there might be a connection does not "mean" causation. However, knowing these agencies like we do, and all their past fopas we begin to understand the likelihood that their actions serves some perverted purpose.
To work in one of the agencies one must surely have a very perverted sense of morality...likely one that is relatively subjective.
The FBI used to install its own systems (Carnivore) to eavesdrop on networks, but stopped: NSA is much more comprehensive. They still can't see what is being transmitted inside encrypted data that they eavesdrop on.
The agencies have not successfully lobbied for new laws requiring 'back doors" for them to circumvent encryption.
Sounds like the new post modernist way their activists “solve” their many targeted “systematic problems.”
I think really all they can be hit for is false advertising. They proclaim that they are non-biased, but then they are forced to admit that they are about as intellectually biased as one can be. Given that, I think all one can reasonably do is to force them to put on all their products and advertising that they are biased so that everyone has full disclosure.
Calling all moral and ethical value creators, maybe we could use the blockchain idea and recreate social media that can't get screwed up and corrupted.