Tech companies could force NSA reform if they wanted to. Why haven't they?


#1

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#2

Because they like to present dramatic theater as much as politicians do, while actually doing nothing. It keeps them all fat and happy, while they throw symbolic crumbs to the pigeons.


#3
The CEOs of the major tech companies came out of the gate swinging made the requisite placating noises 10 months ago...

Fixed that for him.


#4

Why would they?

The corporate and the state have the world by the short and curlies.  When has that kind of coercive relationship  ever led to giving a fuck?

Do you know who is going to quit using the internet if Google/Twitter/Baidu doesn't "do the right thing"?

No one.


#5

The best way to describe what we have is a not so nationalistic fascism. Serious socialism for big business as well as protection (edit)from(/edit) upcoming small players. In exchange they bankroll or hire the individual regulators and elected executive/legislative and permit the state to infest the business cherry picking what it wants. A symbiosis which in the end is a parasite on the populace. The unfortunate outcome is that while the government is supposed to be a sovereign representative of the people from who it draws legitimacy it instead too often is a representative of those who permit the elected to run for office by financing adverts and backing in Rep/Dem pre-primary/caucus decisions.
A single vote is worth little anymore.


#6

There is a carefully maintained illusion going on, where authentic freedom must appear to be just barely out of our reach. and if we pull the cart forward just a little further, that luscious fruit will touch our fingers and we will grasp it once and for all. Keep on voting, campaigning, and above all, contributing money to your cause! Tell yourself that the reason you haven't gotten what you want is because you haven't tried hard enough. The alternative explanation is just too painful to consider.


#7

I feel like, at this point, the money I send to the ACLU counts more than a vote.


#8

Because the NSA's activities are largely orthogonal to the bottom line. Money is the only thing that matters, and specifically capital.


#9

#10

A single vote is worth little anymore.

Voting en masse is worth more than ever. If voting was worthless against the status quo, they'd never spend so much time, effort and money disenfranchising and discouraging people from doing it.

In exchange they bankroll or hire the individual regulators and elected executive/legislative and permit the state to infest the business cherry picking what it wants. A symbiosis which in the end is a parasite on the populace.

Agreed.

Serious socialism for big business as well as protection (edit)from(/edit) upcoming small players.

I see what you did there, but I think the better term is corporatism, not socialism. Socialism implies it does something for society, which it doesn't (overall).

My trite semantics aside, all in all, I agree with you except I do think voting is vital. A piss poor amount of the public votes as is and look where we are today.

That said, whenever I say this, I often get a knee-jerk reaction that voting alone isn't all that's needed. So, I'll just go ahead and preemptively say that while voting is vital, much more than voting itself is needed as well.

Things like this, for example: http://www.rootstrikers.org/take_action

I'd also like to see a much more concerted effort by boingboing to start ferreting out candidates and supporting them. I appreciate all that boingboing does, but I've never seen the site really get involved in that process.


#11

I think you are more politically vocal, and motivated, than any of the current editors here. Many seem to be issue-specific activists, which is good, but no one is aggregating those issue-specific planks into a BB-style political platform.

Given that the BBS is a more open-ended forum than before, I'd nominate you to create a b/politics branch of the BBS to start growing the idea.

Don't try to think of it as herding cats, inasmuch as it's gonna be more like herding mutant cats.


#12

Given that the BBS is a more open-ended forum than before, I'd nominate you to create a b/politics branch of the BBS to start growing the idea.

I was thinking of doing that. What should it be titled?


#13

He already told you - Herding Mutant Cats.


#14

Looks like "wrath" is the category for it (for now, until we prove to the proprietors that we can make constructive progress and need a higher level).

In there, I'd suggest "Activism" over "Politics." Or even a less burdened phrase such as "Change Agenda."


#15

Why don't they do anything? Because it would cost money. It costs nothing to just let the gov. do what they want. Fighting comes at a cost, and makes you a target for regulations and gov. intrusion. The average tech company doesn't "care" about you any more than some other more vilified genre.


#16

You aren't wrong if you view every corporate entity as a for-profit org.

However, as we've seen with Dropbox this week, there are other considerations that can be more powerful than the traditional bottom line.

And such organizations that focus on more than ROI are on the leading edge of merging the interests of private equity with public good.

B-corps are less than 4 years old, in law. But some old-school non-profits have been putting civic-benefit first for a long, long time.


#17

Herding Mutant Cats.

Does one of their mutations make them herd-able or is this to be a frivolous enterprise? wink


#18

All cats are mutants. I'm convinced of this, and yes, they can be herded, but always with respect.


#19

"Herding cats is easy. All you need is a can-opener."


#20

The answer to your question requires a lot of time and money being spent and will end up with two equally wrong conclusions being fought over until Big Herding and the Sheltie Lobby tells us which way to go.

Just like real politics.