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We Who Live Above in Shadow

Nick Whigham has just hilariously reported how China is defining the way governments are manipulating their people over the internet, evidently forgetting how his own Aussie government is one of the non-Chinese participants in the US government’s Five Eyes intelligence alliance, as revealed a few years ago by Edward Snowden. The US surveillance program known as PRISM alone provides a strong argument for how the US government holds more control over the internet than all other governments, including China. The American-based Google, unarguably the largest tech company on the planet, elected to drop its own “Don’t be evil” motto after it was made public that its executives were holding closed door, weekly meetings at the White House; an expansive new variation of the special relationship which no Chinese authority can hope to match. And all of this is just what is publicly known. While Google’s private meetings inside the White House apparently happened throughout the Obama administration, there is no reason to believe it stopped there, as Trump was quick in his own administration to keep logs of visitors to the White House out of the public’s eyes.

Regardless, the Drudge Report, one of the highest-trafficked websites on the net, quickly and gladly linked to the headline, as the official narrative endures that China is among the current big bads in geopolitics. Matt Drudge does seem to exist only to spread fear-mongering and red-baiting.

As though any agency on Earth could possibly surpass the evilness of the business interests of the United States government, especially in regards to the digital realm. Google is in fact so evil that it’s readily spoofed in Sam Esmail’s Mr. Robot TV series. Ironically, when the hacking of Esmail’s fictional E-Corp led to the US economy getting walloped in the show, it was the Chinese government which lent a full trillion-dollar bailout to keep the Americans afloat. In the real world, Hollywood itself would have closed up shop several years ago were it not for Chinese investors and Chinese audiences. The beef which the United States government actually has with China, and with Russia for that matter, in truth concerns how theirs are far healthier Capitalist states. Their respective regimes of the last 2 or 3 decades have thrown the doors wide open for oligarchs to casually step in to buy and sell everything not bolted to the floor. The US military is easily more than double the militaries of both nations combined in size and funding. The US military maintains a presence in roughly four-fifths of all the nations on Earth, whereas the number of nations which China and Russia combined maintain military presences in could be counted on one hand. The only tangible threat they pose to the US is not on a battlefield or online, but through economics.

Still, we get stories such as Paul Mozur’s finger-pointing report that major American-based tech companies such as Apple and Amazon are cowering to the Chinese government’s demands for censorship. Yet who is asking whether such companies are in actuality pushing censorship upon the Chinese, or upon any other nation not playing ball with the financial interests of western politics, or rather, the political interests of western industry?

As I wrote earlier this year, the GAO revealed how two-thirds of all active US corporations paid no federal income tax during the period from 2006 to 2012, and that the anti-poverty charity Oxfam concluded that the 50 largest US firms together own more than 1600 subsidiaries in tax havens, allowing them to withhold well over a trillion dollars from ever trickling back down into the economy. Which calls to mind another article of mine,

The monetary sums enabling the surveillance of everybody are astronomical, trillions lost by the Pentagon over the years thus explained, but such efforts would never be made unless the potential profit was deemed far greater. Are we really expected to believe that such tech firms are only compelled by force to participate in governmental games of cloak and dagger, while somehow staying untouchable for tax avoidance schemes measuring untold billions of dollars across multiple continents? One of Obama’s last steps as President was to assert that the tax code must be re-written to incidentally make tax evasion easier for such companies, a step which Trump’s Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin is set on furthering. Seamless continuity.

For that matter, while idiot hacktivist kids who only read headlines were busy patting themselves on the back for the unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty apparently getting shelved in one of Trump’s first steps as President, they missed how later that same day Trump met with a number of CEOs, promising “massive” cuts to regulations and corporate taxes. Which are fundamentally what the TPP and its sister trade deals TTIP and TISA were all about, taking power from democratic governments and granting it to multinational corporations. The trade deals are dead in name only, but nobody seems willing or able to draw that conclusion.

Meaning that over the course of very recent years, somehow, unbeknownst to all but the major players, multinational corporations have quietly surpassed governments themselves in raw power. Which in turn means that if the US government has more power and is more dangerous than the Chinese government, then the larger corporations which the US government ultimately answers to, namely Google, are themselves more powerful and more dangerous than the Chinese or any other government. But it’s not just all on Google either, this role of motherfucker.

Ethan Baron reports on how tech mogul Peter Thiel seems bent on breaking up Google. The thing is though, that Thiel’s own Palantir Technologies is unarguably pursuing the same exploits as is Google’s board. From Wikipedia,

Palantir Technologies is a private American software and services company which specializes in big data analysis. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, the company is known for two projects in particular: Palantir Gotham and Palantir Metropolis. Palantir Gotham is used by counter-terrorism analysts at offices in the United States Intelligence Community (USIC) and United States Department of Defense, fraud investigators at the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board, and cyber analysts at Information Warfare Monitor, while Palantir Metropolis is used by hedge funds, banks, and financial services firms.[3][4]

Founded in 2004 by Peter Thiel, Nathan Gettings, Joe Lonsdale, Stephen Cohen, and Alex Karp, Palantir’s original clients were federal agencies of the USIC. It has since expanded its customer base to serve state and local governments, as well as private companies in the financial and healthcare industries.[5] Karp, Palantir’s chief executive officer, announced in 2013 that the company would not pursue an IPO, as going public would make “running a company like ours very difficult”.[6]

Which is to say that Thiel and his business partners are actually fine with blurring the line between state and industry, and with bending politics to suit his own financial gains. Thiel doesn’t want to break up any monopoly, but rather he wants to control his own. We see this playing out across the dumpster fire that is the District of Columbia right now, with Trump seemingly at war with his own Republican party along with the Democrat party, as well as elements of the intelligence community at war with the Pentagon and the White House. The only civil war happening in DC right now is not between ideologies whatsoever, but between the puppets of opposing billionaires.

Yet another tech mogul, Bill Gates, is buying chunks of land in Arizona with the aim to build a “smart city” from scratch. Ultimately what this means is that his corporation is starting a private city on US soil but outside of federal jurisdiction, an agenda which incidentally is also currently being pursued, in the open, by Google itself. Among other things, Microsoft, the bread and butter of Bill Gates, happens to be the second-largest cloud services provider. Which amounts to a level of control over the internet that is probably more than negligible. But the world’s largest cloud services provider, with clients ranging from Netflix to ZeroHedge to the US Department of Defense, is Amazon Web Services.

Google’s most utilized service, its main thing if you will, is its search engine. So of course, the main point of contention ever lime-lighted among Google’s activities is how it manages the content and delivery, with websites, even actual people, out of favor from Google mysteriously finding themselves buried in the results. Should they even register at all. From time to time, it gets brought up somewhere or other on the web that DuckDuckGo, one of the more noticeable competitors to Google’s search engine, is actually hosted by Amazon Web Services too. Yet even when specific issues are found, they all too often are explained away by those too eager to see tech moguls as standup citizens. In unbiased reality however, from the POV of those of us not itching to drink the kool-aid provided by such corporations, the “search engine that doesn’t track you” functions in the moral wrong.

So while there is provable cause for second-guessing the good intentions of AWS, there remains countless acolytes willing to cast doubt instead on any services not owned by such monopolies, as this peer-reviewed fluff piece yearning for a “Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Worldwide” declares right in its summary,

The market for cloud IaaS is dominated by two leading service providers. Other service providers have responded by launching new offerings, but customers must carefully manage the risks of adopting less-mature offerings.

Which sounds a bit like the tech industry’s ambitions of creating a planetary nervous system, as I wrote about some months back, only designed by those already possessing obscene levels of power. On the off-chance that does not sound ominous enough, Tyler O’Neil reports on a former Google executive registering the First Church of AI with the IRS for tax-exempt status as a religious institution. States the article,

The new church of AI will aim “to develop and promote the realization of a Godhead based on artificial intelligence and through understanding and worship of the Godhead [to] contribute to the betterment of society,” according to IRS documents.

So, unsatisfied with merely overtaking governments, multibillionaire techies appear to want to overtake religions as well. I continuously shout from the rafters, “political partisanship is religious zealotry is brand loyalty”. I nailed this to a tree long ago, myself,

We work more and more in order to spend more and more, denying how we miss the true leisure time of our ancestors by distracting ourselves with modern marvels of escapism, calling it progress. Between our duties and obligations, instead of rest and relaxation we seek out entertainment, and the more distractions and entertainment we have sought out the more the world falls apart in the wake of our collective negligence. Our interpersonal relationships, our environment, our dreams. Plugging in completely, as Mark Zuckerberg and his ilk command, would mean abandoning the real world to the sands of time and the coldness of space. What they propose, an idea gathering momentum among persons for whom reality seems too awkward, too torturous and self-defeating, is essentially a doomsday cult.

And I remain correct. Thus am I insisting for parties willing and able, to help destroy the internet. Tear it down altogether by any means necessary. The control you think you wield over it, it possesses over you in spades, and its high priests, those self-fellating entrepreneurs, are hopelessly insane. Our species somehow survived and evolved for hundreds of thousands of years without it, but with it, we are bound for nowhere but a direct hyperlink to self-annihilation. The bigger picture can never and will never be seen from a box or a screen. Burn it all.