Monday, June 10, 2019

The anti-tech coalition

Big (internet) tech is under attack. Alexis Madrigal lists the players in The Atlantic, The Coalition Out to Kill Tech as We Know It. He observes:
At a broad ideological level, two things have happened. First, the idea of cyberspace, a transnational, individualistic, largely unregulated, and free place that was not exactly located in any governmental domain, has completely collapsed. Second, the mythology of tech as the carrier of progress has imploded, just as it did for the robber barons of the late 19th century, ushering in the trust-busting era. While Big Tech companies try to establish a new reason for their privileged treatment and existence (hint: screaming “CHINA!”), they are vulnerable to attacks on their business practices that suddenly make sense.

But these changes did not occur in the ether among particles of discourse. Over the past three years, an ecosystem of tech opponents has emerged and gained strength. Here’s a catalog of the coalition that has pulled tech from the South Lawn into the trenches.
He organizes the coalition under these headings:

  • Angry Conservatives
  • Disillusioned Liberal Tech Luminaries
  • Antitrust Theoreticians
  • Democratic Presidential Candidates
  • Rank-and-File Tech Workers
  • Traditional Democratic Corporate Reformers
  • Privacy Advocates
  • European Regulators
  • The Media Industry
  • The Telecom Industry
  • Scholarly Tech Critics
  • Apple
  • Oracle and Other Business-Software Companies
  • Yelp and Other Consumer-Protection Organizations
  • The Chinese Internet Industry

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