Pinkerton Looks for the Next Strategy in Big Tech

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    There are three options:

    Big Tech issues, such as shadow banning, censorship, the monopoly of power, Wokeness, and Chinese infiltration — are huge.

    What should we do? In general, there are three possible strategies; first, simply accept the status as is; secondly, dismantle Big Tech through antitrust litigation and third, more regulation.

    Let's take a look at each strategy individually:

    The first approach is to accept the status of the game. However, this isn't the best approach, since it entails following the guidelines for Big Tech owners–who include everyone from Mark Zuckerberg of Meta/Facebook (he is the one who helped Joe Biden in “Zuckbucks”) to Elon Musk (if the purchase of Twitter is successful). Yes, some libertarians, who aren't concerned about what's going on in the real world, have suggested that we simply let Big Tech do as it pleases. But we must remember that this is the exact same group of people that pushed Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) to relax on Disney.

    There is no doubt that Musk, as the owner of Twitter, can be a source of comfort for conservatives. As he stated in a tweet on April 25, “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.” In fact, conservative accounts have already gained followers on the site.

    But it's not certain that Musk will be able to pull off the Twitter deal. As we've learned, he's constantly criticized by the left, and it's likely that Woke capitalists could oppose his proposal. Actually, Musk has already accused large investors like Bill Gates of shorting Tesla stock, i.e. believing that prices will drop. If further shorting occurs, Musk could possibly be without the cash required to finish his purchase.

    Additionally, we are aware that even the most famous hero isn't going to be around for ever. It's only appropriate to ensure that Americans who want to see structural changes, over and above any individual. This year, The Wall Street Journal reported on a survey that showed an overwhelming majority of Americans (83 percent of Democrats and 78% of Republicans) agreed that the federal government “needs to do everything it can to curb the influence of big tech companies that have grown too powerful.” So a change is going to come.

    Another strategy is litigation against antitrust that could possibly break the monopoly of Big Tech. In the past two years, 38 attorneys general from state after state joined an antitrust lawsuit against Google and 48 state AGs have filed suits against Facebook. When it was discovered that the Facebook lawsuit was dismissed by a judge (the AGs are appealing), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) took over and amended the suit. While this is happening, small antitrust lawsuits are pending in the case against Amazon and Apple.

    Additionally, according to Vox, the Biden administration appointees at the FTC and Justice Department are aiming to take on additional things, “They have Big Tech in their sights.” Vox says, “We haven't seen this kind of test of the tech sector since the United States sued Microsoft for antitrust violations in 1998.”

    Uncle Sam's lawsuit against Microsoft was indeed an enormous deal. However, it did not leave Microsoft as an insignificant company and it's currently the second most valuable business in America and boasts a market capitalization of $2.17 trillion. The fact that MSFT remains so large and hasn't been the subject of much controversy is a testament to its leadership. The blue partisan coloring for its staff isn't that much different than the rest of Big Tech, and yet the business hasn't become snarky and strict. That's an issue to keep in mind; it's not impossible for a business to be well-run and large.

    One last thought about antitrust as a method of achieving this, in the event that Facebook was broken up could any of the fragments that were created be less woke and less censorious? It's possible that competition could cause some Little Facebooks to be less unjust. However, you can also imagine that these Little Facebooks will just collaborate with one another. If we do find an issue, perhaps we should take action to fix the issue, and not fudge around.

    The third option is to regulate. We've seen that the public is overwhelmingly in favor of actions, and it is likely to get what it would like. However, on the way, we'll be able to see if we are willing to look — some legislative sausage is being made.

    The most popular proposal can be described as the American Innovation and Choice Online Act that is backed by Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) According to her own words,

    “This law prohibits large internet platforms from taking part in specific actions, such as giving preference for their products that are available on the platform, restricting access to the platform of rival products offered by other businesses, or making discriminatory decisions when it comes to the enforcement of their terms of service to users from similar locations.”

    It's clear that the bill contains antitrust elements to it; however, it also has an enormous amount of regulation. According to The Washington Post, “The bill…has become the epicenter of a massive power struggle between Washington and Silicon Valley.” The Post obviously is owned by Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon. So yeah, the Post is a part of the epicenter. As this writer can confirm, ads on TV by the Computer and Communications Industry Association that proclaim, “Don't Break Our Prime”–as in Amazon Prime — have been filling D.C. airwaves.

    The bill that Klobuchar has introduced has gathered 12 co-sponsors within the Senate, equally split between Democrats and Republicans. But it's worth noting that a co-sponsor's signature isn't necessarily the same as being a staunch supporter. It has been reported that co-sponsors sign on just to be able to claim “standing,” which is the capacity to be right next to it any time it is moving through the meatpacking facility. One among the sponsors is Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) an ex-multimillionaire tech executive who has said about the bill “It needs some work, it's not perfect by any means.” In another way, Warner is at the ready with his cutting knife.

    The prospects for Klobuchar's bill are uncertain. The Post declares the bill “may survive,” and Punchbowl News, an insider publication, says that the bill's passage can be “a possibility.” On the other hand, Politico suggests that not much will happen regarding anything during the remaining weeks of the 117th Congress.

    However, after the 117th Congress, comes the 118th Congress that Republicans could discover that they have regained their majority of. If so, Republican leaders will have to think about how to govern rather than simply opposing. Of course, the partisanship of politics will never go away, but people are likely to be looking to leaders to solve their pressing issues. The most pressing issue that always comes up is security for the nation.

    National Security Concerns and Big Tech:

    It's worth noting that there's another Big Tech bill currently in the works, specifically, The Open App Markets Act that was authored by Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT). This bill would have app stores, like the ones run by Apple and Google — open themselves to new competition. Similar to Klobuchar's legislation, this bill was also met with fierce opposition.

    On April 18, seven former national security officials from both parties, and from both executive and legislative branches–issued an open letter in which they cautioned against games in Big Tech:

    Legislation passed by both House and Senate giving equal access to all business users (broadly identified to encompass foreign competitors) in U.S. digital platforms would allow enemies from abroad to have access to the hardware and software used by American technology firms. Unhindered access to hardware and software could create significant cyber-attacks, information leaks, access to information from U.S. persons, and theft of intellectual property.

    The letter was criticized and accused of being the work of hired gunmen. However, it's true that our world is filled with spammers, hackers, spoofers, and phishers, and that's not even including advanced foreign governments. It's therefore risky and possibly even fatal to ignore such national security issues in such a rash manner.

    It also requires knowledge and resources to combat these dangers. Therefore, perhaps it is time to get more money so that businesses can afford to defend themselves and us and their clients. The letter goes on to say:

    Russia's incursion into Ukraine will mark the beginning of an entirely new chapter in world history, one where the principles that define democracy are tested. It is expected that the United States will need to depend on the strength of its technology industry to ensure the safety of its citizens as well as the way in which events are reported continue in the direction of truth.

    This point was further hammered into the omnipresent web advertisements by a brand new technology group called The Chamber of Progress; it is portrayed as soft and liberal, yet nonetheless, it conveys a sharp-edged, hawkish National Security message. For example the Chamber of Progress mentions Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) as saying, “I'm concerned that this is going to be very dangerous legislation.” Is Feinstein promoting the safety of her Silicon Valley constituents? Is she articulating valid concerns? Perhaps both? It's crucial to take the time to determine this.

    Additionally, the rise of cloud computing as well as the potential of warfighting in the metaverse place the highest value in secure computing. In February, War on the Rocks went deep:

    Although a defense metaverse may allow for a variety of distinct advantages in warfighting and society, its true value should be realized through the interconnection between the different virtual defense worlds when interoperability is considered a top priority when designing these virtual worlds from the beginning. The integration of virtual activities throughout the Department of Defense should create an iterative feedback loop that requires no human effort which means that the lessons gained from training, education, or recruitment are utilized during testing and experimentation and reversed.

    The article went on to say, “In some ways this mirrors the benefits that platforms–from Google to Amazon, YouTube, or Pinterest–provide.” A skeptic would be quick to say, “That's convenient for Big Tech!” It could be. But, maybe it is true. In the end, the People's Liberation Army is on the lookout for terrorists in the same area.

    We should be enlightened by the dire warnings issued by Breitbart News' senior reporter Peter Schweizer in his 2022 book, Red-Handed: How American Elites Make Money while Helping China wWn. Schweizer makes Big Tech appear awful, but he makes all in the American elite look bad, and he supports his argument. The solution is to address the issue by tightening the screws on China as well as on American collaboration with China. Pronto. And for that we will no doubt need a serious program of counter-intelligence, the type we had in World War Two and the Cold War. Do we have the capability to do this? Let's hope. Since if we don't or we can't, there's no way forward.

    Every patriot must at least take note of the arguments of MIDC, the Military Industrial Digital Complex. As we will see, build on them, so that we can keep the entire nation, and our individual rights protected.

    How Republicans Should Do

    If Republicans succeed in 2022 and are in a position of shared power with president Joe Biden in 2023, they need to be cognizant of Big Tech. We need Big Tech as part of our national defense. However, the liberal inclination of Big Tech within the country is unjustifiable. Let's come up with a strategy to preserve what we need and address the rest.

    Republicans must begin with removing the liberal fog of “disinformation,” The grim joke for Republicans has been that Democrats would like to label anything they disagree with to be either “disinformation” or “hate speech.” If the GOP gets back in power and the Democrats are defeated, goodbye, Big Brother. With him and the other Orwellian horrors gone, what else can Republicans do? What can they do to advance the cause of Conservatives?

    The GOP could take a cue from the pro-Trump radical conservative Scott Presler, who argued in a tweet from April 25 that regardless of what happens to Musk or Twitter, “We must still legislate an Internet Bill of Rights,” which would state that “It is illegal & unconstitutional for social media companies to work w/ the White House to silence political opposition.”

    There's an important lesson to be learned here that says: If you wish to safeguard a right and guarantee its protection, make it a permanent law. This is the case with The First Amendment and the Second Amendment, both of which (along with the other amendments that make up the Bill of Rights) were crucial enough to be woven in the Constitution.

    We can now discern the way ahead to secure our gains. An Internet Bill of Rights would provide protections as well as due process for platforms that should be legal by the Senate, as Senator Hawley and others have suggested.

    The term “common carrier” is actually a legal term that dates far back Roman times, which calls for certain public infrastructures (roads, bridges, and phone lines) to be fair to all customers. Let's now update the concept for the digital age to ensure that digital rights also are secured. This could include protections for privacy and also against censorship and shadow banning.

    How can we secure these rights? To do that, we'll need an enforcement mechanism of some sort, which could be a kind regulator. Certainly, those who are on the right will be horrified at the thought of a brand new state-run agency. However, what else can we do to safeguard ourselves? Because we cannot be sure of the reliability of Big Tech–and the Bible tells us to “put the faith of God in princes”–then we need to be sure ourselves, all 32 million of us. It's as simple as that to remember: ordinary people will only gain the power they need if they are organized, which means forming an organization that will act as a watchdog of our rights.

    The author of an article wrote on January 24, 2021 “There's an old joke: If you're not at the table, you're on the menu. That is, if you aren't a player in the process, you're the one being played.” In addition, “One possible answer is a Federal Platform Commission (FPC), overseeing Big Tech's common-carrier responsibilities; and this FPC could be an outgrowth of the existing Federal Communications Commission (FCC).”

    It's worth noting that according to law the FCC must give, at minimum, two Commissioner slots to the Republican Party. It has two more places on this table than the GOP currently has in the FCC or any Big Tech company. Additionally, the entire FCC is about transparency and due process. It's not perfect, it's filled with lobbyists and bureaucrats; however, at the very least, the American citizens will have a voice.

    An FPC may not be a reality in a single day. It's likely to develop gradually as a result of the realization of the fact that Big Tech needs supervision–for the security of our privacy, for the benefit of economic growth, as well also for the protection of our national security. Thus, a sequence of benchmarks that are clearly defined will in time transform into a structure, an FPC.

    A FPC could not only safeguard our privacy–ensuring that sure that all tech companies are equally well-behaved as Microsoft, but it could additionally be charged with considering the security implications for our nation from Big Tech. What policies are needed to protect the privacy of our data as well as our physical security from threats of all kinds and threats, including the risk of dangerous Big Tech cooperation with Beijing? The FPC will, therefore, do work just as the law enforcement officials do.

    It is true that the concept of an FPC is a huge idea. But as we've observed, the issues associated with Big Tech are huge. While it's wonderful to see that Elon Musk seems poised to take over Twitter, it would be even better to have Americans take full control over their own digital freedoms.

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