A report by the New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo warns that the frightful big-tech corporations such as Amazon, Google, Apple Microsoft, and Facebook – are collectively more powerful than most governments. In this article, we look at some of the moves made by megacorporation organizations that threaten our internet freedom.
The FCC lied to give away internet freedom to Big Techs
A couple of years back, a high number of people weighed in with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to protect net neutrality – the baseline of internet freedom. However, since the 2016 US presidential elections, and the Republican takeover of the government – including the installation of Ajit Pai as the leader of the FCC, the anti-net neutrality forces seem to have sprouted. Consequently, the numerous anti-net neutrality comments the FCC received in that year were most certainly faked.
During the time, hundreds of thousands of actual Americans’ identities were compromised – stolen – according to New York Attorney Gen. Eric Schneiderman, and that the FCC is fighting not to admit the deeds.
Ajit Pai chose to ignore what the US citizens wanted, and instead gave the internet away to selected players such as Comcast and Verizon. The FCC chairman is doing this through fraudulent means – ignoring, lying, and cheating. And that explains why Republicans always get what they push for.
Alphabet (Google’s parent) wants to run cities without being elected
Alphabet, the parent of Google has been pushing to run cities in a false cover of development. The corporation is yet to lack ambition given the various projects carried out by its subsidiaries, including Autonomous vehicles, smart homes, AI, and biotech life extension.
In 2016, rumors began making headlines about the company’s plans to build smart-cities all over the US. The company aspired to plan, build and run the cities. However, we were not surprised at how a major city was willing to hand over sections of its city to be run by big techs.
The project which was announced in 2017, when Alphabet entered a partnership with Sidewalk Labs – an Alphabet subsidiary aimed at urban technology and Toronto. Sidewalk Labs was to be in charge of renovating a waterfront district called Quayside. According to reports published at the time, the initiative was to amass at least 3.3m square feet of residential, office and commercial factions. The headquarters for Google Canada were to be in the district – an outright test for the combination of technology and urbanism.
The actual objective of Alphabet as we came to realize, the district meant the company now have its own “urban living laboratory.” They planned to use the district to experiment with its new smart systems and other planning techniques, before introducing them to the market. They were to study how systems and techniques work in an actual world and how people are affected – lab-rats they say.
The success of the project will mean that Alphabet and its counterparts will collect user data at will, and privacy as we know it will no longer exist. The company began its construction thereafter, and we’re yet to confirm our fears.
Record companies want control over what we can and cannot post online
The internet is currently one of the greatest tools to practice freedom, social equality, and justice. Never before was it a hard task for anyone to publish or share their mind to the whole world at no cost – without seeking approval. Disappointing how some corporations want to change that.
The open and equalized internet was once made by regulations, which protect ISPs and online platforms from liability. However, it’s not the duty of these platforms to monitor all activities of its users. It is not their fault if users choose to infringe copyrights either. Reacting fast when notified of such illegal deeds is enough – nothing more. This is because, without these laws, then we wouldn’t be having YouTube and SoundCloud to this day. It’ll mean that for most, the internet will be like any other cable TV – which you just consume content, but can never partake.
An expose published by a watchdog site – Statewatch, reports how France, Spain, and Portugal are pushing to redesign the web away from its openness and towards the censored cable TV – where big techs filter what’s to be aired. The new laws will require every internet platform to have a censorship tool in place to survey all uploads, to try and prevent copyright infringement. According to them, a platform should be able to automatically remove media that has been marked as an infringement, regardless of the context in which it’s uploaded.
It gets worse; the three governments want to do away with the crucial liability protection from internet platforms. Every app, site or startup organization that will allow its users to upload media and offers – suggestions for categories, playlists, etc. – will be sued outright, for allowing copyright infringement.
This dictated move will kill a lot of internet platforms in Europe, Julia Reda reports.