A tech investor views the carnage the NSA disclosures are causing in Silicon Valley and ponders what to do. As Hunter Thompson once said, “lie down with the pigs, they’ll call you swine every time.” For years, Silicon Valley has done whatever NSA wanted, in exchange for money, government contracts, insider contracts, and more. And now it’s blowback time.
The NSA’s version of patriotism is corroding Silicon Valley. Integrity of our products, creative freedom of talented people, and trust with our users are the casualties. The dolphin in the tuna net is us — our industry, our work, and the social fabric of our community.
The heads of NSA may proclaim they are patriots. However, sometimes “patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Patriotism can be a convenient cover for all sorts of nastiness and self-enrichment. Huge budgets that are never questioned and never audited in a transparent manner generally lead to massive internal corruption as does unlimited access to personal and private data.
NSA has corrupted Silicon Valley. The hard truth for Silicon Valley to now accept is, at the very least, they were willing victims and profited from the corruption too.
If all of Big Tech banded together and said we will no longer deal with NSA and we will make public what has happened, then NSA might howl and the government might threaten but in the end they simply wouldn’t dare prosecute.
So, if Silicon Valley really wants to atone, I suggest they start now. Loudly and publicly. Anything else means the corrosion will continue and worsen.
Look at RSA, it looks like a boycott is forming. I hope they go bankrupt. Boeing just lost a huge piece of business to the Brazil military. Both are due toNSA and companies overtly or suspected of being in bed with them.
Silicon Valley: Which side are you on?