Thank you for writing this article. It makes sense that government intelligence agencies like the CIA and NSA would want to control the internet. It makes even more sense that these intelligence agencies would seek out talent at leading universities like Stanford to work on government-funded research and development projects.
Although all this makes perfect sense, I believe these are truths that many people take for granted. Thus, this is definitely a starting point for many important discussions. For example, how safe are we online? Are the rich exerting their authority over the internet to maintain their power?
Is the rising cost of tuition at both private and public universities really a government tax? After all, these universities, the faculty, and the students do government work — and tuition contributes to the running of all University projects, whether or not those initiatives also receive direct government funding.
The Huawei security fears are real, but so too are the threat of U.S. companies posing a risk for private citizens in the United States. It also makes you wonder about what is really the best predictor of success: innovation or willingness to cooperate with the government?
Take Shopify for example. How does a company with negative margins, negative return on assets, and a negative return on equity, hit a market capitalization of $54 billion in the stock market? Other web hosting platforms like Wix and GoDaddy have experienced similar surges in investment. The private data to which all three companies own access are their most valuable assets. Who has access to that data and how do they use this data?
Imagine the number of sales and customer data these web hosting platforms could provide to wealthy corporations to give them an edge over emerging competitors. The rich and powerful will continue trying to maintain control over the world’s resources and wealth through data, which is only part of the reason why our privacy is so valuable.
You might also find my recent article on the Iran-Contra Controversy and the connection to today’s sanctions on Iran and Venezuela interesting.