Whose side are they on?

This is an interview in Wired with the principal deputy director of national intelligence (of the US). It’s all about how the tech industry should work closer with the goverment (US). It starts out in classic paranoid fashion:

“SUE GORDON, THE principal deputy director of national intelligence, wakes up every day at 3 am, jumps on a Peloton, and reads up on all the ways the world is trying to destroy the United States.1

…and goes on to:

“I think there’s a lot of misconception about those of us who work in national security and intelligence,” she says. “We swear to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States. That means we believe in and swear to uphold privacy and civil liberties.”

Not once is there a mention in the text that “the” government is actually just one government. Not once does Gordon or the reporter reflect on that working closely with the (US) government means taking sides against the rest of the world. There is less and less common interest between the US government and the rest of the western world, not to mention the non-western world, so any initiative the tech companies join in with the US government is a big red flag for the market outside the US. Think Huawei.

I’m pretty certain the major tech companies do realize that the majority of their customers are not US patriots, and that being too cozy with the US intelligence services may not be good for business. Increasingly so.

I’m amazed, though, that this wasn’t even considered when interviewing for and writing that article. Maybe it would be a good idea not to distribute arguments like this beyond the US. Why do they even let us read “patriotic” claptrap like this? I can’t imagine the tech companies liking it much.

  1. I know it seems unlikely to Americans, but some of us out here in the rest of the world have better things to do and aren’t trying to think up ways to destroy the United States. Who would have thought?

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