Bruce Schneier's latest Google talk expands -- very productively -- on his recent theme of "security feudalism" (roughly, the idea that we end up trusting companies like Facebook, Apple and Google to serve as our feudal lords, securing us from marauders in exchange for being locked into them and subject to their whims). This is… READ THE REST
companies like Facebook, Apple and Google
I would put Microsoft first and foremost with a global desktop OS market share at over 90%. While they free you to use a lot PC hardware you want (mostly after they use their power to turn the screws on manufacturers to not bundle Linux), their monopolistic control of the world's OS experience is as feudal as it gets. Malware spreads like crazy because of the lack of OS diversity in the PC market. With the flick of its wrist, Microsoft affects hundreds of millions worldwide.
This is not to say I don't think Facebook, Apple and Google belong on that list, but I found Microsoft to be a glaring omission considering it's the top feudal lord in the business. When Microsoft leaves holes wide open in your PC for others like the NSA (and God knows who else) to exploit your personal computer and business computers and that affects over 90% of all PCs in the world, that puts them at the top of this list.
I started working as a professional coder and unix/linux engineer in 1997. This is not the internet and OS that I or any of my colleges wanted. We cared about the users and we cared about their interests because they were our interests too. Power consolidation ruins everything. Every human being on the planet is required to use all their energy to pull this institutions apart. This is in all over our personal interests to do so.
Who cares about companies? Apple and Google may amass lots of personal data, but really, all they want to do is sell stuff. They do not care what's in the email and pictures they store, as long as their algorithms give the user helpful feedback and ads.
However, people could switch by the billions to self-hosted linux servers - as long as they cpmmunicate, the NSA and their ilk will tap their data and create full profiles. Combined with all that data only governments are supposed to have.
In the case of Google I'd have to disagree on this point. Google has always been good with providing users a way and enough time to export their stuff for the purposes of moving out.
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