Skip to comments.An Epic Power Struggle: Government Fights Tech Industry
Posted on 04/12/2018 5:23:22 AM PDT by Kaslin
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's testimony on Capitol Hill is merely the latest round in an ongoing power struggle between official Washington and the tech industry.
It's a struggle that stems from a core reality identified years ago by Harvard's Nicco Mele. "The devices and connectivity so essential to modern life put unprecedented power in the hands of every individual." Empowering individuals is great for everyone except for those elite officials who used to wield more power over the rest of us. "Radical connectivity is toxic to traditional power structures."
As Mele describes it, smartphones and other tech innovations have led to "a radical redistribution of power that our traditional institutions don't and perhaps can't understand." That failure to understand is clearly on display in the Zuckerberg matter.
Millions of Americans are understandably upset about Facebook's failure to protect private information. Those who place their faith in traditional governmental institutions believe this should lead to regulation protecting individual privacy rights. But the notion of the federal government protecting our privacy is laughable to millions.
Rather than believing that the feds will protect our privacy, most Americans (53 percent) believe the federal government is engaged in widespread spying on American citizens. Another 29 percent believe the spying goes on but is not all that widespread. A Monmouth University poll found only 14 percent believe the government does not engage in such behavior.
This is not just an abstract fear. A majority of Americans are specifically concerned that the federal government has invaded their own privacy. Despite the mistakes made by Facebook, the company's behavior is widely perceived to be the lesser of two evils.
Another misunderstanding is the belief held by some that the tech industry should be regulated to eliminate the scourge of "Fake News." As viewed by official Washington, real news comes from traditional media sources like newspapers and major TV outlets. In this worldview, "Fake News" refers to information that is circulated on social media without official blessing from traditional news outlets.
The problem with this view, however, is that 77 percent of Americans believe such traditional news outlets report "Fake News." And they don't think it happens by accident. Most believe that such false reports are released intentionally to push an agenda. Just 13 percent of Americans believe that the media does a very good job covering both sides of political issues fairly.
While those who place their trust in traditional journalists see social media as the purveyor of "Fake News," a much larger number view social media as an antidote to the "Fake News" peddled by traditional journalists. It gives people a way to learn about issues ignored by the elite media and hear a wider variety of perspectives on things that matter. It may not be perfect, but relying upon social media is seen by many as a lesser evil than relying solely upon traditional journalists.
There are certainly legitimate concerns about tech companies and some of their products. It's also reasonable to ask whether tech companies are too big and should be broken up. But, we should never lose sight of the fact that digital technologies have empowered individuals at the expense of traditional power structures.
For those in power, that's a cause for concern. For the rest of us, it's a reason to celebrate.
Working to free the internet!
Is the government fighting the tech industry? Or is much of the tech industry basically the government operating covertly?
Epic power struggle my butt.
One side is a hapless group of liars and grifters, hoping to look tough on tv shows no one watches, and also hoping for campaign contributions from the very man they are trying to look tough in front of.
The other side is a data-gathering and information-managing leviathon that will carry on as it wishes with barely a swipe of one of its innumerable arms.
A transfer of cash here, a favorable story there, a bit of delicate information here, there, and everywhere...and so it goes.
Since many of these tech industry people are leftists, it makes me wonder.
“...struggle my butt...”
Exactly correct. If any on them (including Ryan) were honest, they’d issue PO’s to farcebook.
Facebook has resulted in the targeting of conservatives with criminal intent too many times to even count. FB sells personal information that has resulted in an uncountable number of identity thefts. FB and Google are robbing citizens of their privacy. Either shutdown or never join FB because their is a huge price to pay.
The real danger is not fake news.
The real danger is politically biased censorship masquerading as protection from hate speech or any speech these biased censors with the Orwellian name of fact checkers deem unsafe for the community by which they mean they disagree with it.
re: “But the notion of the federal government protecting our privacy is laughable to millions”
Remember, folks!! The Office of Personnel Management was hacked by the Chinese a few years ago, and they took EVERYBODY’S INFORMATION AND FINGERPRINTS BACK TO 1980.
The Veterans Administration was hacked by the Chinese years ago, and they took EVERYBODY’S INFORMATION AND FINGERPRINTS, and the V.A. could not determine how far back.
So, now that President Xi knows all about me, this facebook garbage ain’t even worth anything else, except to publicly exonerate Diamond and Silk, to the ire of leftists.
No celebration. Concern. Things (government & internet) are trending totalitarian.
IMO this was all scripted.
Schmuckerberg is not afraid of these people. Why would he be? He probably has naked pictures of most of them.
Until this year, a persons social security number was used as the Medicare number. So much for the government protecting privacy.
I’d wager government took over the all the social media outlets years ago.
Here is uber-liberal Facebook’s censorship up close....and its not pretty.
A Michigan House of Representatives and state lottery commissioner submitted his reelection announcement to Facebook........
Facebook Nazis rejected his ad because it doesnt follow Facebook Advertising Policies.”
“Facebook does not allow ads that contain shocking, disrespectful or sensational content, including ads that depict violence or threats of violence.
So what was the reelections ad’s content that made Facebook go ballistic?
In its entirety: Im proud to announce my candidacy for State Senate. Lansing needs conservative, West Michigan values, and as our next State Senator, I will work to strengthen our economy, limit government, lower our auto insurance rates, balance the budget, stop sanctuary cities, pay down government debt and be a Pro-Life, Pro-Second Amendment leader for the people. Find out more at www.VoteNesbitt.com.
(hat tip dailycaller.com)
As of July 17, 1970, I can tell you that “your service number” was no longer a separate number but has been a body’s social security number, with ‘prefixes’ and ‘suffixes”.
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