The U.S. just celebrated Independence Day, when we pause to take stock of what the founders fought for: liberty and justice for the citizenry, which were not necessarily granted to them in the countries from whence they’d come.
There are always fireworks.
Wikipedia co-founder Larry Sanger recently published his proposed Declaration of Digital Independence, and it’s a must-read. “Humanity has been contemptuously used by vast digital empires. Thus it is now necessary to replace these empires with decentralized networks of independent individuals, as in the first decades of the Internet,” he begins, and he does delineate the many abuses of the tech oligarchs, including:
“They have data-mined user content and behavior in sophisticated and disturbing ways, learning sometimes more about their users than their users know about themselves; they have profited from this hidden but personal information.
They have avoided using strong, end-to-end encryption when users have a right to expect total privacy, in order to retain access to user data.”
The titans who came out of the internet age all went for wealth and control. Only one went for ethics and values – that was Sanger. Unlike the others, he went for open information and chose to create something that benefited everyone. He is in a unique place among the internet titans, setting up a structure by and for the people, rather than totalitarian dictatorships, like the others.
He is someone who acted on behalf of the people of the internet.
The socials have been taking a hit lately, and are coming under closer and closer long overdue scrutiny, not only due to their opaque data-tracking policies, but due to the fact that they’re now literally in our homes, collecting data and listening in. Just how invasive are they? Recently, Alexa Calls Man a “Shithead” After Cancelling Amazon Prime.
You do the math.
Then, as The Gateway Pundit reported, there was “longtime Google employee and Head of Responsible Innovation, Jen Gennai, saying Google has been working diligently to “prevent” the results of the 2016 election from repeating in 2020, meaning they are actively engaging in election meddling and working to elect someone from the Democratic Party.” Given the power, control and reach that Google/Alphabet has, and the company’s ability to skew search results and censor content, how does that not qualify as meddling? And who elected them to power?
The tech oligarchs have been overreaching and encroaching on our privacy for quite some time now, unchecked, as they operated outside of the rules that have applied to other private companies in similar verticals. As American Greatness observed. “we would do well to remember that roughly 20 years ago, Washington, D.C. created this problem by carving out the Section 230 exemption for neutral platforms online. Only a fool would think that the tech companies are neutral platforms today. They have, by their own distinct decisions, become publishers and telecommunications companies: if you are making publishing decisions, if you are deploying broadband, if you are creating and streaming live content, you are a publisher or a telecommunications company, and sometimes both.”
The socials overtly and flagrantly flaunt their power and control outside the rule of law, or as Sanger observed, “… banned, shadow-banned, throttled, and demonetized both users and content based on political considerations, exercising their enormous corporate power to influence elections globally.”
Then again, it’s summer
…that time when we all relax a bit more. We head to the beach, the mountains, the country, or just get together with friends and family and fire up the barbie. Yet tech never rests and one thing is certain: there will be a reckoning. Independence day is coming.
And there will be fireworks.
Onward and forward.