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Destroy America! Destroy America!

The governments comprising the Five Eyes alliance, which would be the the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, all united in the holy name of tradecraft for permitting their respective intelligence agencies to swap surveillance tech and/or information gathered from said surveillance tech with one another and nobody else, are now calling on the tech mega-corporations comprising Big Data to build encryption backdoors for existing and impending technologies, or else.

I think this is all smokescreen, with the tech firms having quietly obligied years ago in exchange for the crazy tax breaks and government contracts. Such as how the CIA and the Pentagon each very likely paid Amazon those astronomical figures for the special cloud storage because of advance knowledge of the Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities. Or what about the more recent 0-day exploit found in Microsoft’s goodies about a week back? I’m even convinced the big switch from analogue to digital was entirely about putting the two-way mirrors into our private spaces. The same San Franciscan millionaires and billionaires raising rents on their properties while underpaying the people who make money for them see the homeless as a threat because the homeless have no TVs to watch them back. So now money is being spent to track the homeless, by the same parties who could not care less about shoving people into homelessness in the first place. None of these companies would even exist without Uncle Sam’s generously lucrative grants and corporate subsidies.

Google keeps weekly meetings within the White House. Nothing can prevent Google from tracking all online actions. These two statements are not remotely disassociated. What’s more, they’re emblematic.

So when the heads of Facebook and Twitter claim that the US intelligence agencies could have helped more in protecting against election interference, they are pretending that they have not always been in bed together. And when the US Justice Department claims that the tech companies are intentionally stifling free speech, it actually speaks from experience because the US federal government gave the fucking orders itself. Or rather, the billionaires which both the US federal government and the heads of these tech companies answer to, they signed the papers.

I’ve a fun theory for that, too, which I’ve written about before but bears repeating. What if Ed Snowden was neither a hero or traitor, but a vessel. What if there was a division between kindred business interests of the deep state and intelligence community and military industrial complex or whatever, of the traditionalist nuke spooks vs this new class of digital spooks. But outside of Israeli tech and the Five Eyes crew the rest of the world lacked the toys to play the new game, so our side arranged for sensitive information to hit the black market, like a virtual edition of the Iran Contra Affair, arming all sides of a conflict to grow the conflict. It’d explain why the Silk Road got FBI’d as well, to help with the dispersal. And explain the Shadow Brokers as thus equal parts shadows and brokers. The US “loses” drones in the Middle East by the same reasoning, for them to reverse-engineer to their heart’s content. Of course it sounds crazy but the CIA had exploding cigars at one point for fucksakes.

But as long as the social media platforms proffered by these tech companies are publicly accessible and free of charge, then saying their conductors are free to inhibit free speech rights for everybody else is talking semantics, regardless if they do it to stroke their own egos or because Uncle Sam ordered them to under threat of additional tax sheltering or because billionaires paid them to guarantee such twisted things. If they are owned and operated by US citizens and acting on US soil then they should be susceptible to each and every law on the books, including no obstructions of the constitutional rights of citizens or the basic human rights of anybody else, because THAT would be traitorous. Especially when “corporations are people too”. This proves another solid example for the stone-cold fact that Libertarianism is the adolescent form of Feudalism, because deregulation only leads to bullies. If “might makes right” then rapists and murderers are never in the wrong. Which isn’t very democratic at all.

Ethically, when these companies ignore their own ToS agreements (hello, PRISM) then the agreement “contract” should be rendered null and void automatically. And the customers/producers should at the utmost least be granted immunity. If individuals cannot infringe on free speech rights then there really is no moral or rational reason for companies to get out of jail free. Instead, infringement of anyone’s freedom of speech as well as violation of their privacy is all legally permissible, provided it’s only done for profit. How is that normal. No matter if the end beneficiary are the feds or elitist trillionaires or shareholders of the tech firms themselves, all of whom are on the same page nonetheless because even while possessing all the power of the modern world none of them ever truly fuck shit up for the others. When the author of the TekWar novels recently described a virtual reality experience simulating a walk on Mars as a “screaming nightmare” he had no forking idea. Our technologies are no safe-haven. Neither is the society enabling them, or its government.