A New York Times
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reveals how big companies have been manipulating public perceptions of surveillance technology article A new article from The New York The Times details how big tech companies have tried to influence public perceptions and even sway government policy through their political donations.
The article, by Eric Posner and Andrew Ross Sorkin, details the history of the technology giant Google and how the tech giant has been influencing public perceptions.
Posner writes, “As technology companies become more and more important to the government, the debate about the limits of government surveillance technology and whether it can be used in ways that undermine democracy has shifted.”
The article begins by describing how Google and other tech companies used “dark money” to influence elections in at least 12 states and the District of Columbia.
“In some cases, the companies even sought to use the money to advocate for their favored candidates,” Posner said.
“It’s a powerful form of coordination, but the extent to which Google and others have used it is not always clear.
And that’s what makes it particularly important to understand.”
Posner goes on to describe the relationship between tech companies and politicians, detailing how Google, Facebook, Apple, and Twitter, as well as other tech giants, lobbied lawmakers for legislation that increased the powers of the NSA.
In other words, the tech companies were able to influence how the public thought about the NSA, even though the technology companies themselves didn’t actually work to elect lawmakers.
The article also discusses how tech companies such as Google, Yahoo, Facebook and others also used “social media to amplify their message, making their social media presence more accessible to a broader audience.”
Posner explains, “Social media has become the primary vehicle by which these companies have communicated about their political positions, including their opposition to privacy laws, privacy for Internet users, and transparency on the surveillance state.”
Posners also discusses the way that tech companies like Facebook and Google used social media to “advance their political agendas, sometimes to the detriment of their own products and their users.”
“Tech companies have taken steps to silence critics and to silence others who question their actions and tactics,” he writes.
The piece also provides a look into how the technology industry has sought to influence the media, by using its platforms to “snowball” negative stories about tech companies.
Posners writes, “”The companies have also tried to silence criticism from the media about the surveillance program, which they often cite as an example of their success.
And while the companies have denied that they have engaged in this sort of behavior, their influence is clear.
“Posning concludes the article by detailing the history and impact of technology companies and their political influence on society.”
Read the full article here.”
They have been successful at doing that, and the public is more willing to accept their efforts.”
Read the full article here.
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