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[liberationtech] Shoshanna Zuboff: Dark Google

carlo von lynX lynX at
Fri May 2 01:56:46 PDT 2014

I'll answer to the author as if he was reading this.
It's his problem if he doesn't.

On Thu, May 01, 2014 at 06:14:16PM +0200, hc voigt wrote:
> (1) Taking what Eric Schmidt says in Op-Ed's at face value as
> representing Google's strategy, or worse as representing Google's
> geopolitical and geoeconomic significance, power, or danger.

Does she? Or are you just claiming she does?
She just puts it in perspective and it fits.

> (2) Insisting that the author's self-pronounced confusion as to the
> history or mutability of the Internet is proof of its insidiousness,
> unaccountability and over-determination by current actors.


> (3) Using a mish-mash of trigger words like 'colonize' and
> 'self-determination' without any need to link these to the presumed
> contexts, and one assumes, giving no real thought to how (quote) ???the
> whole topography of cyberspace??? does and does not resemble other kinds
> of social, political, economic or cultural geography, let alone their
> contentious histories.

You must be reading the article from your perspective which is biased.

> (4) Utter misrepresentation of the relationship between Google and the
> USA Federal Gov't, especially the NSA, including taking quotes out of
> context to ventriloquize inverted meaning (the McConnell quote here was
> about China hacking Google's servers to track dissidents, not PRISM).

Which is an absolutely legitimate context to take from. It exactly
describes the sort of collusion which is a topic of the article.

> Including patently absurd links between disparate events (such as Street
> View inadvertent capture of public wi-fi addresses = NSA hacking patrol

Inadvertent? This says all about your independence on the issue.

> because Google reported Chinese hacking to the NSA in 2010). Or how
> about this one: NSA tracked users with some insidious new secret
> technique called ???cookies,??? a weird new trick they learned in conspiracy
> with Google.

HA HA HA very funny. Like EVERYONE KNEW before Snowden how pervasive
the Google cookies operate and that it makes sense for the NSA to
attach analysis to them. No, NOBODY KNEW. Only the so-called paranoid
had a gut feeling about it.

Just because a technology such as Google API script includes is well
known doesn't mean the general public has understood the privacy
implications. Why did all airways in 2010 suddenly introduce Google
dependencies into their websites, although they had been happily
operating without them for about a decade? Am I seeing pink elephants
in the sky? Am I just paranoid? Still?

> (5) Blaming the disillusionment and disenchantment of their own earlier
> naive and shallow presumptions about some intrinsically liberating
> nature of the Internet on Google's data and advertising business model.

Which is a totally correct sentiment.

> (6) Conflating Google with all other Cloud platforms, especially
> Facebook, as one big entity with apparently deliberate ignorance of or
> disinterest in significant distinctions.

That is not of primary relevance to the article. In fact the cloud
architecture as such is the problem, but to mobilize the crowds
that isn't exactly easy thinking to promote.

> (7) Insisting that things we do know about Google and PRISM (such as
> their continuing pushback and resistance to court orders, their
> subsidized development of user tools to directly circumvent government
> surveillance, such as uproxy and google dns) are meaningless, but
> indicating the opacity of all things we don???t know about any possible
> dirty dealings is demonstrable proof of their abyssal darkness.

The good actions and good beliefs of Google employees are irrelevant
to the final result. It just shows how the deus ex machina is
further out of control than you like to admit.

> (8) Conflating user feedback and pushback regarding strange and
> disturbing new forms of data transparency with some deliberate and
> explicitly criminal mischief on Google???s part. Including
> misrepresentation of what practices were and are secret and which are
> merely unusual and controversial.

The use of a terminology such as "data transparency" demonstrates
your clear lobbyist interests. There can be no socially acceptable
such thing beyond "open data" of Governments and companies.

> (9) Demanding that the author???s confusion about the ambiguous social

Your insisting use of the word "confusion" which the article only
mentions as a description of the agressor's tactics, while you are
trying to convey the idea of the author being confused.. that alone
is a naked exposition of your special interests on the matter.

> logics of secrecy and privacy in a network society is proof of an
> innocence not merely disenchanted but one deliberately stolen by bad
> actors. Demanding that the author???s inability to articulate a coherent a
> political description of Cloud-based social systems is demonstrable
> proof, not just of a general confusion, but once again of Google???s
> willful violence.


> (10) Offering laughably obvious predictions about Google???s future
> intensions, including ???data mining??? (whoa, no way) and linking ???online???
> services with ???offline??? physical systems (like cars, robotics, and
> houses) ???(um, no shit). Demanding that because the exact terms of the
> future are not known, then it must prove ???secrecy??? (in this case ???bad
> secrecy???) darkness and danger.

Yes, since that is the proven pattern of the past.
But some people never learn anything from past.

> (11) Conflating Google with all of neoliberalism.

Actually there was quite a precise analysis that happily needed
no reference to any ideology to fully make sense. You can
understand it without having to adhere to any political school.

> (12) Demanding that the only way to adjudicate these new Googly
> conundrums is with new language and analytical tools. Next 5 sentences
> then repeat the oldest and most conventional calls for general
> well-being through measured oversight.

"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."

Language? Analytical tools? To me this sounds like a recommendation
to use that impressive new tool called a voting ballot.

This reminds me of those experts who would question the risks
of smoking or climate change. Apparently this person is even trying
to look like being on the side of the privacy advocates, while at
the same time trying to make companies like his former employees
look like they're totally innocent and the problem is elsewhere.
Nobody knows where, but surely elsewhere.

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