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[liberationtech] Shoshanna Zuboff: Dark Google

carlo von lynX lynX at
Fri May 2 01:21:56 PDT 2014

Benjamin Bratton has posted a reply that hardly says anything
concrete and does not question any of the facts. Let's look at
this intelligent article again, knowing that Germany-based news
has the privilege of freedom to tell the truth when necesary
and still pay their authors for it. From a hacker's point of
view this all makes sense, while Mr Brattons blabber doesn't.
But for anyone who doesn't like to hear, Mr Bratton just
perfectly doesn't even challenge the facts provided here.
It's a classic example of a straw-man argumentation strategy.
Something very normal to do in PR and lobbyism.. or when you
honestly do not understand what the counterpart is saying.

On Thu, May 01, 2014 at 08:40:50AM -0700, Yosem Companys wrote:
> 30.04.2014
> Dark Google
> We witness the rise of a new absolute power. Google transfers its
> radical politics from cyberspace to reality. It will earn its money by
> knowing, manipulating, controlling the reality and cutting it into the
> tiniest pieces.

What does it mean, when a conservative mainstream media newspaper
sends such a dramatic message? You better should get started thinking
about it, if you haven't already. FAZ does not play on alarmism, it
sells newspapers for decades and doesn't need to go cheap.

> Recall those fabled frogs happy in the magic pond. Playful.
> Distracted. The water temperature slowly rises, but the frogs don???t
> notice. By the time it reaches the boiling point, it???s too late to
> leap to safety.  We are as frogs in the digital waters, and Springer
> CEO Mathias Dopfner has just become our frog town crier.  Mr.
> Dopfner???s "Why We Fear Google" (a
> response to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt???s open letter, "A
> Chance for Growth" warns of danger on
> the move: "The temperatures are rising fast.???  If his cry of alarm
> scares you, that???s good. Why?
> First, because there is a dawning awareness that Google is forging a
> new kingdom on the strength of a different kind of power ??????
> ubiquitous, hidden, and unaccountable. If successful, the dominion of
> this kingdom will exceed anything the world has known. The water is
> close to boiling, because Google understands this statement more
> profoundly than we do.

>From a hacker's perspective, ubiquitous isn't just that everybody is
currently using Google Search, but that there hardly are any relevant
web sites out that that do not make use of any embedded Google features.
Scripts, fonts, analytics, you name it. The Internet is soaked in
Google and gladly conveys all its usage patterns to the network's
central intelligence agency. Interestingly, this aspect hasn't been
discussed much anywhere. Even political websites frequently contain
Google wiretaps. No surprise, the NSA's search engines make intense
use of the pervasive presence of Google cookies to connect the dots
between websurfing activities, even when using Tor.

> Second, because accessing the Web and the wider Internet have become
> essential for effective social participation across much of the world.
> A BBC poll conducted in 2010 found that 79% of people in 26 countries
> considered access to the Internet to be a fundamental human right. We
> rely on Google???s tools as we search, learn, connect, communicate, and
> transact. The chilling irony is that we???ve become dependent on the
> Internet to enhance our lives, but the very tools we use there
> threaten to remake society in ways that we do not understand and have
> not chosen.

By moving on from paper to electronic they gave up the fundamental
right for Secrecy of Correspondence, just there.. by mistake. In the
beginning at least it wasn't all going to a single monitoring entity.
But that is over twenty years ago.

> Something new and dangerous
> If there is a single word to describe Google, it is "absolute." The
> Britannica defines absolutism as a system in which "the ruling power
> is not subject to regularized challenge or check by any other agency."
>  In ordinary affairs, absolutism is a moral attitude in which values
> and principles are regarded as unchallengeable and universal. There is
> no relativism, context-dependence, or openness to change.
> Six years ago I asked Eric Schmidt what corporate innovations Google
> was putting in place to ensure that its interests were aligned with
> its end users. Would it betray their trust?  Back then his answer

Which is funny to even try, since CEOs usually only have as much
political power as they are able to drive the dividends up. All
politically correct action they can take is counter-balanced by
the damage they make by driving in revenue. So the possible
political correctness is always inferior to the needs of making
a business, which is never for free. Society always pays for it
in one way or another. It's in the architecture, so no-one is to
blame for this.

> stunned me. He and Google???s founders control the super-voting class B
> stock. This allows them, he explained, to make decisions without
> regard to short-term pressure from Wall Street. Of course, it also
> insulates them from every other kind of influence. There was no
> wrestling with the creation of an inclusive, trustworthy, and
> transparent governance system.  There was no struggle to
> institutionalize scrutiny and feedback.  Instead Schmidt???s answer was
> the quintessence of absolutism: "trust me; I know best." At that
> moment I knew I was in the presence of something new and dangerous
> whose effects reached beyond narrow economic contests and into the
> heart of everyday life.

Well, the alternative would possibly be worse: If a company is in
the hands of dispersed shareholders it becomes a deus ex machina, a
machinery solely devised to drive income, since there are no tools
for the shareholders to come to any other political consensus (time
to introduce some liquid democracy voting technology!)

Whereas these super-voting share control techniques can allow for a
human mind to apply morals and limit the damage the company makes.
Although I can't recall any case where this has been put to use for
the sake of humanity.

> Google kills Innovation
> Mr. Schmidt???s open letter to Europe shows evidence of such absolutism.
> Democratic oversight is characterized as "heavy-handed regulation."

I love this phrase. Politics is totally missing out on pretty much any
kind of Internet regulation, leaving it in a state of wild west, where
unlawfulness is the default (or would you call mass surveillance lawful?),
and there comes this person in charge of the greatest profiteur of the
net's broken conditions, and purports this ridiculous claim that resonates
well with popular thinking of the net community from ten years ago.
If you think he is right, you are manipulated. Politics has completely
failed to regulate much of anything, leaving us with 24/7 bulk surveillance
and other everyday abuses. And Google plays a major role in most of them.

> The "Internet", "Web", and "Google" are referenced interchangeably, as
> if Goggle???s interests stand for the entire Web and Internet. That???s a
> magician???s sleight of hand intended to distract from the real issue.
> Google???s absolutist pursuit of its interests is now regarded by many
> as responsible for the Web???s fading prospects as an open information
> platform in which participants can agree on rules, rights, and choice.
> Schmidt warns that were the E.U. to oppose Google???s practices, Europe
> risks becoming "an innovation desert."  Just the opposite is more
> likely true. Thanks in part to Google???s exquisite genius in the
> science of surveillance,  the audacity with which it has expropriated
> users??? rights to privacy, and the aggressive tactics of the NSA,
> people are losing trust in the entire digital medium. It is this loss

Yes, that is a shame, considering that a sane digital medium is
conceivable. But right now it only exists in darknet bubbles,
giving privacy only to those who understand they need it - and
even then you're never sure if it works.

> of trust that stands to kill innovation. To make some sense of our
> predicament, let???s take a fresh look at how we got here, the nature of
> the threats we face, and the stakes for the future.
> Google Colonizes a Blank Area and the NSA Follows
> In his extended essay, "The Loneliness of the Dying", the sociologist
> Norbert Elias observes that "dying is at present a largely unformed
> situation, a blank area on the social map."  Such "blanks" occur when
> earlier meanings and practices no longer apply, but new ones have yet
> to be created.  Google???s rapid rise to power was possible because it
> ventured into this kind of blank area. It colonized the blank space at
> high speed without challenge or impediment. Google did not ask
> permission, seek consensus,  elicit opinion, or even make visible its
> rules and ramparts. How did this occur?

It convinced web-developing nerds that it was a good idea to get their
scripts, fonts, maps and analytics from the Google content delivery
networks, because it's fast, neat and nifty... if you ask me. That is
the thing that makes Google unique, while Facebook ranges second with
its not as pervasive presence of Like buttons.

It's technology, stupid. Don't forget that the economic relevance of
these companies boils down to what happens in the HTML+JS code. Anyone
who can read the source could figure out how the cookie crumbles.
By the way, what an ingenious name for a surveillance device.. cookie.
Netscape built the road to hell.

> Breaking the Rules of the "Old World"
> The first key ingredient was demand. During the second half of the
> twentieth century, more education and complex social experience
> produced a new kind of individual. No longer content to conform to the
> mass, more people sought their own unique paths to self-determination.
> It was a period of growing frustration with existing institutions that
> were still oriented toward the mass society of an earlier time. People
> wanted to reinvent social experiences in ways that expressed their new
> sensibilities. They wanted information on their own terms, not
> controlled by the old norms, professional fortresses, and business
> models.
> The arrival of the Internet provided a new way forward. As web
> browsers and search tools became available, the new individuals rushed
> onto the Web with their pent up demands for genuine voice and
> connection. Information access and communication could bypass old
> boundaries and be reconfigured to suit any need.  Here finally was
> experience  how I want it, where I want it, when I want it. There was
> a presumption that the adversarial rules from the "old world" of 20th
> century commerce did not apply. This was a new "networked public
> sphere," as legal scholar Yochai Benkler called it. There was no
> looking back.
> Google and other companies rushed into the new space too, and for a
> while it seemed that they were aligned with the popular expectations
> of trust and collaboration. But as pressures for profit increased,
> Google, Facebook, and others shifted to an advertising model that
> required the covert capture of user data as the currency for ad sales.
> Profits rapidly materialized and motivated ever more ruthless and
> determined data collection. The new science of data mining exploded,
> driven in part by Google???s spectacular success.

In Google's defense I could say that it is just playing by the most broken
rules of the game in human history, and that the criticism against Google
is probably applicable to most of the industry.. but then Mr Schmidt should
ask for the opposite: Only if heavy-handed regulation is introduced on all
democracy-relevant matters on the Internet (that includes virtual Freedom
of Assembly and more), companies have a chance of being successful in the
face of competition without harshly betraying their users and humanity as
a whole, which has indeed become a necessity for competitivity.

> Fighting the Law
> The whole topography of cyberspace then began to morph as Google and
> Facebook shifted away from the ethos of the public web, while
> carefully retaining its rhetoric. They began to develop a new logic of
> operations in what had until then been a blank area. The new zone
> didn???t resemble the bricks and mortar world of commerce, but neither
> did it follow the norms of the open web. This confused and distracted
> users.  In fact, the firms were developing a wholly new business logic
> that incorporated elements of the conventional logic  of corporate
> capitalism ???especially its adversarialism toward end consumers ??? along
> with  elements from the new Internet world ??? especially its intimacy.
> The outcome was the elaboration of  a new commercial logic based on
> hidden surveillance. Most people did not understand that they and
> their friends were being tracked, parsed, and mined without their
> knowledge or consent.
> A steady stream of eruptions from the new zone provides evidence of
> this new logic of operations. For example, Google faces a series of
> contentious lawsuits over its secret scanning of all Gmail, including
> mail from non-Gmail accounts.  It first tried to conceal the scanning
> procedures in 2010 and only fully acknowledged them after four years
> of public outcry. In one ???potentially explosive??? lawsuit Google
> acknowledged that it unilaterally scans millions of email messages
> sent or received by  the 30 million student users of the the company???s
> Apps for Education tools. In 2012 Google face more outrage and
> lawsuits when it announced  that it would consolidate data about its
> users from all its services without any mechanism of consent.

It is so surreal that a company can openly break the constitutional
principle of Secrecy of Correspondence, and politics just stands there 
in awe. Even the GDR didn't openly admit it was doing that. I don't
know which approach is worse. Just because we can still freely buy
marshmellows in the supermarket doesn't mean we are living in

> Google Street View launched in 2007 is another example of the
> company???s absolutism. It didn???t ask if it could photograph  homes for
> public consumption, it just took what it wanted and waited for any
> resistance to exhaust itself in defeat. Ultimately Street View would
> face protests and restrictions in many countries across the EU as well
> as Japan, Greece, and Canada.

And even then politicians only dared to go as far as giving citizen
the right to tell Google to obfuscate the image of their house, which
implies that such interests are exposed to everyone involved, mapping
out who is privacy-aware versus who isn't. And then the NSA probably
owns the access to the unobfuscated variant of Google Maps, with all
previously blurred houses highlighted...

> The Shared Interest of NSA and Google
> By 2010 the German Federal Commissioner for Data Protection announced
> that Google???s Street View operation also camouflaged a covert data
> sweep from users of private Wi-Fi networks. He called for an immediate
> halt to Street View in Germany and erasure of all illegally captured
> data. Other countries followed with their own investigations and
> prosecutions.

Really? By now private-Wi-Fi-network-based location services are
activated by default in all Google Android devices, Germany included.
Each time you need to find out where you are, Google tells you, but
that means that Google knows it, too. Data retention my ashtray.
But it's oh so convenient!

> The Electronic Privacy and Information Center has consistently pressed
> the case. It maintains a detailed overview of the worldwide outrage,
> protests, investigations, litigation, and settlements in response to
> Google Street View and its secret data gathering tactics.
> In 2010, Google established a partnership with the NSA that added to
> the complexity and opacity of operations in the new zone. The
> ostensible trigger for this public-private alliance was Google???s
> discovery that the Chinese had hacked its infrastructure. However, the
> NSA already had a keen interest in all things Google. It struggled
> with the demands of tracking objects and discerning patterns in
> Internet time. The NSA was actively developing  the same tools and
> capabilities that allowed Google to search and analyze masses of data
> at warp speed.
> A New Business Model
> The U.S. Justice Department kept the partnership secret,  but news
> reports, court documents, and eventually the Snowden leaks reveals a
> picture of interdependence and  collaboration. As former director of
> the NSA Mike McConnell put it, "Recent reports of possible partnership
> between Google and the government point to the kind of joint efforts
> -- and shared challenges -- that we are likely to see in the
> future...Cyberspace knows no borders, and our defensive efforts must
> be similarly seamless."  The NSA developed its own software to mimic
> the Google infrastructure, uses Google ???cookies??? to identify targets
> for hacking, and widely accesses emails and other data through the
> PRISM program, the costs of which it covered for Google and other
> Internet firms.

So funny that leading systems administrators at Google claim there
can't be such a collusion because they would know. Well, apart from
doubting their independence, no - you can count on it that NSA can
infiltrate Google business without being noticeable, making any GMail
intrusion look just like a totally regular GMail login procedure...
and so on.

> Google and Facebook had led the way in colonizing the new zone with a
> commercial logic based on surveillance. Now the Google-NSA alliance
> added new layers and capabilities, as well as a complex public-private
> dimension that remains poorly understood.  Whatever the details might
> be, the new logic spread to other companies and applications, driving
> the growth and success of operations in the new zone.

Although the term "public-private" has a very odd opposite meaning here
to what it sounds like. It's actually neither public nor private.
It's just absolute.

> Despite this growth, it???s been difficult to grasp the changing social
> relations that are produced in the new zone. associated with Google???s
> new commercial logic.  There are two reasons for this. First, the
> companies move faster than individuals or democratic public
> institutions can follow.  Second, its operations are designed to be
> undetectable.  It???s this later point that I want to focus on for a
> moment.
> Google???s Radical Politics
> We often hear that our privacy rights have been eroded and secrecy has
> grown. But that way of framing things obscures what???s really at stake.
> Privacy hasn???t been eroded. It???s been expropriated.  The difference in
> framing provides new ways to define the problem and consider
> solutions.
> In the conventional telling, privacy and secrecy are treated as
> opposites. In fact, one is a cause and the other is an effect.
> Exercising our right to privacy leads to choice. We can choose to keep
> something secret or to share it, but we only have that choice when we
> first have privacy.  Privacy rights confer decision rights.  Privacy
> lets us decide where we want to be on the spectrum between secrecy and
> transparency in each situation.  Secrecy is the effect; privacy is the
> cause.
> I suggest that privacy rights have not been eroded, if anything
> they???ve multiplied.  The difference now is how these rights are
> distributed. Instead of many people having some privacy rights, nearly
> all the rights have been concentrated in the hands of a few.  On the
> one hand, we have lost the ability to choose what we keep secret, and
> what we share. On the other, Google, the NSA, and others in the new
> zone have accumulated privacy rights. How?  Most of their rights have
> come from taking ours without asking.  But they also manufactured new
> rights for themselves, the way a forger might print currency.  They
> assert a right to privacy with respect to their surveillance tactics
> and then exercise their choice to keep those tactics secret.

The ability to blackmail anyone in modern society, because no-one has
nothing to hide and everyone has exposed a secret to the agency at some
point in life. Not talking of the odd incidents of life that could
happen to you.

> A pre-modern absolutism
> Finally - and this is key - the new concentration of privacy rights is
> institutionalized in the automatic undetectable functions of a global
> infrastructure that most of the world???s people also happen to think is
> essential for basic social participation. This turns ordinary life
> into the daily renewal of a 21st century Faustian pact.
> It is difficult to appreciate the global reach and implications of
> this rights grab.  Leaving aside whether or not it crosses the
> threshold of "revolution," it is a form of radical politics that has
> engineered a significant redistribution of power in just a few years
> based on the. Expropriation of widely held privacy rights and the
> choices they entail. This has been accomplished through a unique
> assembly of public and private actors and interests that operate
> outside the auspices of legitimate democratic mechanisms. In some
> respects, the social relations that emerge from this rights grab are
> best compared to that of  a pre-modern absolutism.
> We have been caught off guard. Neither we as individuals nor our
> public institutions have a clear grasp of these new relationships,
> their implications, the relevant paths to action, or the goals to
> achieve. There are good reasons for so much confusion and dismay. The
> dynamics I describe have occurred in a blank area that is not easily
> captured by our existing social, economic, and political categories.
> They extend far beyond the realm of economics and the old debates
> about business monopolies and competitive practices. The new business
> operations reach beyond our wallets into the very essence of our
> lives. They elude our mental models and defy our rational expectations
> to such an extent that we end up questioning our own witness and
> powers of evaluation. Unfortunately, the situation is about to get
> worse as Google???s radical politics spread from cyberspace to the real
> world.
> Reality is the Next Big Thing
> What is Google up to next?  We know it???s secret, but here is how it
> looks to me. Google is no longer content with the data business.  It???s
> next step is to build an even more radical "reality business."  Google
> sees "reality??? as the next big thing that it can carve up and sell. In
> the data business, the payoff is in data patterns that help target
> ads. In the reality business, the payoff is in shaping and
> communicating real life behaviors of people and things in millions of
> ways that drive revenue to Google. The business model is expanding to
> encompass the digital you as well as the actual you. The scene is
> changing from virtual reality to, well, reality. Unsurprisingly, the
> two entities at the vanguard of this new wave are Google and the NSA.
> The "reality business??? reflects a shift in the frontier of data
> science from data mining to "reality mining.???  This new approach was
> pioneered over the last decade at the MIT Media Lab. Now its migrating
> to military intelligence and commercial applications.  In a 2011
> paper,  MIT Professor Alex Pentland explains the value of reality
> mining. "We must reinvent societies??? systems within a control
> framework.??? He notes that this will require exponential growth in data
> about human behavior.??? In another paper, Pentland explains that the
> proliferation of sensors, mobile phones, and other data capture
> devices will provide the "eyes and ears??? of a "world-spanning living
> organism.???  Where do people eat? Work? Hang out???? - Distributed sensor
> networks,??? he observes, "will provide a God???s eye view of ourselves.
> For the first time, we can precisely map the behavior of large numbers
> of people as they go about their daily lives.???

Which, as I learned in school, is equivalent to totalitarianism.
This time around, the majority of people isn't even aware - that
makes it worse than ever before - because in the past only the
stupid and naive didn't get it. Now they are openly getting the
news, and still move forward in a "what could i possibly do?" manner.

"What could I possibly do?" is the new "I've got nothing to hide."

I tell you something, you could get your hands dirty and help
implement secushare - or something similar. And you can vote for
a different political movement, next time you're in the cabin.
At least those who have a choice.. soon, in Europe. Pirates are
on the ballot in most countries. They are the only political
movement that doesn't just say it understands the issues. Pirates
are the only ones who take hacktivists into parliaments.

> The NSA and other intelligence agencies are already  using ???pattern of
> life analysis??? to identify threats, including those that might
> originate within the organization as they hope to head off the next
> Edward Snowden.  A range of software companies, some spun off from or
> funded by the intelligence agencies, provide capabilities in
> patterns-of-life activity and activity-based intelligence analysis.
> Reality is the new product
> Google???s ambitions in this new arena appear to be limitless. In 2012
> Brin/Page/Schmidt hired computer scientist Ray Kurzweil to lead
> engineering. Kurzweil, a brilliant inventor,  is a proselytizer for
> the idea that computers can develop consciousness. "Future machines
> will be human,??? he wrote, "Most of the intelligence of our
> civilization will ultimately be nonbiological."  Kurzweil wants to
> turn ???the next decade???s ???unrealistic??? visions into reality??? at Google.
>  The firm has purchased most of the top machine learning and robotics
> companies to build what has been described as the "greatest artificial
> intelligence laboratory on earth.??? It paid richly for a company that
> produces high altitude drones as well as Nest Labs, a firm at the
> forefront of smart devices for the home and considered essential in
> the new Internet of Things.
> All this suggests that Google is building capabilities even more
> ambitious than reality "mining???. The aim is not merely the God???s eye
> view, but the God???s eye power to shape and control reality. Google???s
> glasses, wearables, or self-driving cars have a clear purpose: to
> inform on where you???ve been, and where you are, and to influence where
> you???re going. As one expert has suggested, third parties could pay for
> programming that drives the car sends you to their restaurant,  store
> or political rally .

It'll certainly happen more subtly than that.  ;)

> There are vast opportunities for similar reality mining and shaping
> through the Internet of Things. This refers to the growing network of
> smart sensors and Internet enabled devices intended as an intelligent
> infrastructure for all objects and even bodies. From your baby???s
> diapers, to your refrigerator, heating system, mattress, lights,
> walls,coffee mug, and artificial knee ??????this will be the smart neural
> network in which you breathe, eat, sleep, travel, and work.  It will
> perform infinite configurations of actions, observations, suggestions,
> communications, and interventions all geared to a new product
> category: reality. Google and others will make money knowing,
> manipulating, controlling, slicing, and dicing all of it.
> Is Reality for Sale?
> To make sense of this big puzzle, it helps to have some historical
> perspective. There are two useful ideas for us in the work of
> historian Karl Polanyi. He described the rise of a new human
> conception: the self-regulating market economy.  He saw that the
> market economies of the 19th and 20th centuries depended upon three
> astonishing mental inventions.  He called them "fictions". The first
> was that human life can be subordinated to market dynamics and be
> reborn as ???labor.??? Second,  nature can be subordinated and reborn as
> "real estate." Third, that purchasing power can be reborn as "money.???
> The very possibility of industrial capitalism depended upon the
> creation of  these  three critical  "fictional commodities.??? Life,
> nature, and exchange had to be turned into things that could be
> profitably bought and sold.


> Google brings us to the precipice of a new development in the scope of
> the market economy. A fourth fictional commodity is emerging as a
> dominant characteristic of market dynamics in the 21st century.
> "Reality" is about to undergo the same kind of fictional
> transformation and be reborn as "behavior."  This includes the
> behavior of  creatures, their bodies, and their things. It includes
> actual behavior and data about behavior. It is the world-spanning
> organism and all the tiniest elements within it.
> Polanyi understood that the pure unimpeded operations of  a
> self-regulating of the market were profoundly destructive. Society
> required    countermeasures to avoid such danger. He called this the
> "double movement":  "a network of measures and policies...integrated
> into powerful institutions designed to check the action of the market
> relative to labor, land, and money." Regulation, legislation,
> democratic oversight...these are the critical responses necessary to
> protect society from  a downward spiral. Anticipating the century to
> come,  he urged the strengthening of the double movement, that "every
> increase in integration in society should thus be accompanied by an
> increase of freedom...the strengthening of the rights of the
> individual in society.???
> Europe???s Task
> This returns us to our starting point. Eric Schmidt and Mathias
> Döpfners controversy in the F.A.Z.  is only the beginning of a
> disruption that will shake industry, society and citizens. It is a
> plea for the primacy, urgency, and necessity of a new double movement.
> It must be stronger, more confident, and more deeply principled than
> we have yet seen. It must provide a counterweight to a dangerous new
> absolutism that relies on pervasive, secret, unaccountable power.

Technology is making humanity perform a political shift to the right.
It doesn't need any rise of "conservatism" which is in fact completely
failing at conserving anything. We have so-called conservative rulers
in most countries, and they are only sleepwalking. Their actual
achievement is to distract from their utmost failure. If only this
was just some exreme opinion, but it's the state of things.

> We are beyond the realm of economics here. This is not merely a
> conversation about free  markets; it???s a conversation about free
> people.
> It???s an urgent new public conversation that can???t be reduced to 20th
> century technical debates about Google???s monopoly status or
> competitive practices. We tend to revert to these old categories in
> the absence of ready language and law that can help us discern the
> full implications of what is taking shape. But such specialized
> professional arguments shift the Google debate from the realm of
> everyday life and ordinary people to the arcane interests of
> economists and bureaucrats. They obscure the fact that the issues have
> shifted from monopolies of products or services to monopolies of
> rights: rights to privacy and rights to reality.  These new forms of
> power, poorly understood except by their own practitioners, threaten
> the sovereignty of the democratic social contract.


> We are powerful too. Our demands for self-determination are not easily
> extinguished.  We made Google, perhaps by loving it too much.  We can
> unmake it, if we must. The challenge is to understand what is at stake
> and how quickly things are moving. The need is to come together in our
> diversity to preserve a future in which many visions can thrive, not
> just one ?????? Where many rights can flourish, not just some.

Not a single company is the problem. Legislation must handle all the
future Googles and NSAs as well.

> Things are moving fast. This is why the world now looks to the E.U. -
> not to Google - to reverse the growing menace of absolutism and the
> monopoly of rights. The EU can stand for the double movement. It can
> represent the future and assert the dominion of  democratic rights and
> the principles of a fair marketplace. These are the precious victories
> of a centuries-long struggle, and we dare not abandon them now.
> The author
> Shoshana Zuboff is the author of The Summons: Our Fight for the Soul
> of an Information Civilization(forthcoming, 2015). She is the Charles
> Edward Wilson Professor of Business Administration (retired) at the
> Harvard Business School and a Faculty Associate at the Berkman Center
> for Internet and Society at the Harvard Law School. @shoshanazuboff

Excellent article. Hopefully Mr Bratton's contribution mostly has the
effect of spreading the original news.


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