The view from within the electronics industry – individual comment pieces from people working in the technology sector.

Big Business vs Big Brother

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg meets the US President and then declares the government’s actions on surveillance practices are “simply not enough”. It’s shaping up for a battle between Big Business and Big Brother, says David Manners.

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US National Security Agency

Interesting to see that Mark Zuckerberg wears a white shirt, a suit and a tie when he goes to see the US President.

That reveals the respect which Zuckerberg accords the Presidency.

Also interesting that he has the clout to get a meeting at the White House set up within a week of making a complaint to the President about spying.

That reveals the respect which the Presidency accords Zuckerberg.

Finally, it’s interesting that he can follow up the meeting with the statement: “While the U.S. government has taken helpful steps to reform its surveillance practices, these are simply not enough.”

That reveals the extent to which Big Business is worried about spying’s effect on the bottom line.

The US Technology & Innovation Foundation estimates the cost in lost revenues to US companies by the spies’ activities will be $35 billion by the end of 2016.

However the spies, like the bankers, do not concede that they have done anything wrong or that they should change their ways.

But, for a country whose declared business is business, the government has to take seriously anything which affects business.

Already the bulk collection of phone call and Internet data is being reviewed and the extent to which companies can reveal government requests for customer information has been increased.

So now it’s a turf war between Big Business and Big Brother.

The USA can always be relied on to get on with things that need to be sorted, while the rest of the world dithers.

Good old Yanks.

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