As if we needed more reasons to intensify our calls to break up Google and other tech monopolies, this week the search-and-advertising giant announced that in the second quarter of 2019 it had removed 500 million comments, more than 100,000 videos, and over 17,000 channels from YouTube. Clearly, this private corporation has decided, while our elected officials dither, it will become the arbiter of free speech.
Perhaps our elected officials are fools. Perhaps they’ve been bought off. About the only thing we can be sure of in this instance is that this is pure idiocy.
Consider that in July, Dr. Robert Epstein testified that Google’s search-engine manipulation effect likely swung 2.6 million votes to Hillary Clinton in 2016. Epstein estimated that in 2020, if the big tech companies are in sync, and they likely will be in backing the Democratic candidate, they might be able to swing 15 million votes. Apparently, we’ve just decided that leftist corporations can, almost without consequence, decide what our speech standards should be. This makes even the most fever-dreamed speculations about Russia’s election meddling efforts of 2016 look like utter child’s play, to say nothing of the actual pitiful effort.
Social Credit Is Coming
But it’s not just voting and information manipulation that should concern us. There are now reports coming out of Silicon Valley that social credit score systems are being developed and implemented, much like in China.
One such report by Mike Elgan in Fast Company explains that these social credit scores are meant to manipulate behavior and to achieve a desired end. Think of social credit score systems as tech companies and corporations creating their own system of right and wrong, their own moral code, that they will implement to achieve the behavior they want based on their worldview and faith system.
“The most disturbing attribute of a social credit system is not that it’s invasive, but that it’s extralegal,” Elgan writes. “Crimes are punished outside the legal system, which means no presumption of innocence, no legal representation, no judge, no jury, and often no appeal. In other words, it’s an alternative legal system where the accused have fewer rights.”
If this is allowed to hold in the United States, it will have serious implications for many things we take for granted; if you can travel and where; where you can stay; where you can eat. Those who refuse to conform will be stigmatized, ostracized from society. Don’t believe me? It’s happening in China right now.
At the risk of sounding old fashioned, when did we decide that our republic was going to be run by corporations with a leftist worldview and statist bent? When did we decide that those private companies were going to create a new Constitution and a new Bill of Rights? Because that’s where we’re headed: if you don’t think that we are slipping into a tech oligarchy, you’re a fool. There will be vestiges of our old constitutional republic on paper, but that will only be the facade of the new world order.
Google Sides With Beijing
As if this were not troubling enough, there’s more behavior coming out of Google that should trouble us.
In an op-ed published in the New York Times in August, Peter Thiel issued a strong warning regarding Google and its relationship with China, especially in regards to artificial intelligence.
As Thiel points out, Google in 2017 opened an AI lab in Beijing, and in 2018, decided to end its Project Maven contract with the Pentagon. What could go wrong when a supposedly “American” company at the forefront of artificial intelligence research decides to get into bed with the world’s largest authoritarian police state? “Everything” is a wild understatement.
Far be it from me to suggest such behavior is treasonous, but the word does come to mind. Who do you think in China will be using Google’s AI? The Chinese military. Anyone who thinks otherwise is dangerously naïve.
All one need do is consider what Xi Jinping added to the Communist Party’s Constitution in 2017: the principle of “civil-military fusion” that mandates that all research done in China must be shared with the People’s Liberation Army. So rest assured, some of the primary users of any AI Google develops in Beijing will be Chinese generals. Needless to say, those guys aren’t working on behalf of your interests.
As Thiel notes, the “AI tools are . . . valuable to any army, to gain an intelligence advantage, for example, or to penetrate defenses in the relatively new theater of cyberwarfare, where we are already living amid the equivalent of a multinational shooting war.”
The leaders of Google have decided that it’s “evil” to do work with the United States military, but perfectly acceptable to do business with the Chinese Communists and their military. Let that sink in.
With every passing week, these companies are allowed to proceed unchecked in their blatant attempts to become the power in this country, to be the arbiters of speech and information flow, to be the deciders in national elections, while working with the Communists, we are tolerating ourselves to death. If we the people do not wake up, our republic will be over—and over much sooner than we think.
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