Trevor Timm and Jillian York of EFF name names and kick some butt about how the almighty dollar seems to be winning out over human rights and decency – and why western technology firms may need greater regulation or accountability as to how their technology is used or misused:
For all the evil of Syria’s regime, it’s hard to ignore the role and often the complicity of Western technology companies that can sometimes act as dictator’s little helper. While Syria’s use of surveillance has been particularly egregious and well-documented, this problem goes far beyond just one country. For years, Western firms have been selling surveillance equipment to the most brutal regimes. And while sales to Syria often violate sanctions policy, such companies can sell to many other authoritarian countries — many of them U.S. and E.U. allies — without repercussions.
Read more on The Atlantic.
Of course, it might be somewhat hypocritical of our government to try to clamp down on such exports, given our own sordid history of renditions and claims that our government can kill its own citizens without any trial or conviction, but America has gone off the rails on surveillance and we need to get this all back in check.