Polycentric Wanderings

Keith's random and sundry thoughts on the challenges of working together.

Month: March, 2014

Google’s Larry Pages says government spying is a threat to American democracy.

Google’s Larry Pages says government spying is a threat to American democracy.

Ok, I certainly nod my head with ’em.  But what about Google?  Note that Page goes on to say:

It is sad that Google is in the position of protecting you and our users from the government doing secret things nobody knows about. It doesn’t make any sense.

Google is your protector from all things covert, by the government?  Not so fast.

Google is one of the world’s wealthiest, largest, and most influential corporations (market cap? $400 billion).  Googles takes on about 67% of global online search traffic, and is constantly integrating its services to links users to their data.  Further, Google has an aggressive acquisitions strategy which promises to reduce the field of competitors and -what’s worse- encourage startups to develop new products and services for the purposes of being bought out for big bucks.

Couple this with Google’s documented coordination with the NSA (it’s not as if Google has been kicking and screaming against the NSA; Google -to my mind- has remained complicit to aspects of the US’s spying program).  You have a major corporate that is centralizing products and services, stymieing entrepreneurship, and granting access to what may be an oppressive spy regime.  

Can we honestly say that government is the only threat to democracy?  Corporate power seems pretty alarming, too.

Fox is outraged about the debt!

Fox is outraged about the debt!

…so cut foodstamps.  

FoxNews desperately wants to avoid being seen as attacking the poor.  Yet where is the discussion of big, more bloated government programs?  Foreign policy (State and Defense Departments)?  Bailing out the banks (trillions)?  Or if you believe in civil liberties, why not gut the security/spy state?

Foodstamps.  Priority one.  Everything else that takes a serious bite out of the budget is off the table.  

This demonstrates the it isn’t about the debt.  It’s ideology.