Cold War

A Silicon Curtain Descends

Trump escalated America's war against Huawei and China. Biden should beware burgeoning technonationalism.


In a speech delivered almost exactly one year before the 2020 election, Vice President Mike Pence outlined the stakes of a potential tech cold war between the United States and China.

China had "smashed the barriers between civilian and military technological domains," Pence said at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, just around the corner from the White House. "By law and presidential fiat, companies in China—whether private, state-owned, or foreign—must share their technologies with the Chinese military," Pence said. Those technologies, in turn, were being weaponized by the Communist regime in Beijing to hone its authoritarian conduct at home—and, Pence added ominously, were being increasingly exported "to countries in Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East."

Pence went on to say that America did not seek a technological "decoupling" from China. But other parts of that speech—and some of the actions taken by the Trump administration in the months since—conjure images of a silicon curtain descending across the world.

The Trump administration's conflict with China was dominated by a trade war focused on industrial and agricultural goods, and by an unexpected pandemic that appears to have originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan. But the most lasting and significant aspect of how President Donald Trump has reshaped the U.S.-China relationship may prove to be the White House's efforts to cut off China's telecom industry from its global supply chains. At the center of that effort lies a single company, Huawei, which has become the boogeyman for Americans fearful of Chinese technological superiority—fears that are unlikely to subside when the Trump era passes.

China hawks and Trumpian nationalists see Huawei as a symbol of the rising threat posed by the Middle Kingdom or as evidence of America's waning technological superiority. Having already banned Huawei equipment from being used in America's next-generation cellphone networks, the Trump administration spent 2020 bullying allied nations to take similar steps. In September and again in November, the conflict escalated when the White House issued orders that effectively banned foreign companies from doing business with Huawei if they also want to do business with American firms.

Both Beijing and Washington are now pursuing what Evan Feigenbaum, vice president for Asian studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, calls "technonationalism." That is, they view private-sector technological developments through the lens of national security. A cellphone isn't just a cellphone; it's a potential weakness that could be exploited by an enemy. The supply chains for semiconductors and other bits of equipment are sprawling and multinational, but governments on both sides of the Pacific are eyeing each other warily and threatening to choke off innovation for fear of losing the so-called "race to 5G."

"Technonationalism everywhere threatens to disrupt flows of technology and talent that have enabled decades of innovation," says Feigenbaum. "If every commercial technology is now viewed as central to national security, it will re-entrench past patterns of technonationalism that many believed to be relics in an era of supposedly 'borderless' innovation."

Put more starkly, the rapid pace of global technological innovation that we have come to take for granted—which has made people all over the world healthier, longer-lived, more productive, and happier—could be brought to a halt by a combination of paranoia and cronyism. It could presage a more dramatic economic disruption that would be a crushing blow for American businesses, and not just those already doing bus-iness in China.

Trump may be on his way out of the Oval Office, but American anxiety about Huawei—and, more broadly, about the nation's status as the world's technological superpower—both predate and almost certainly will outlast him. President-elect Joe Biden has criticized Trump's handling of the trade war with China, but he has also made clear that he plans to adjust Trump's strategies rather than reverse them. Technonationalism could be here to stay.

When Subsidies for Chinese Equipment Backfire

The idea that Huawei tech is a sort of sleeper cell within America's communications infrastructure is one that many in Washington take seriously. "Wherever Huawei poses a national security threat—which we believe is everywhere—that equipment comes out of our system," says Brendan Carr, one of the five commissioners charged with setting policy for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Under orders from Congress, the FCC is currently engaged in what Carr refers to as a "rip-and-replace" process that seeks to excise the Chinese-made equipment from cell towers all over the country. It's the last and most difficult step in a process that kicked off last year when Trump signed an executive order that largely blacklisted Huawei gear from the U.S. (with some exceptions). In November 2019, the FCC followed up by passing a rule prohibiting American cellphone carriers from purchasing Huawei gear if they receive federal subsidies. In February, Congress escalated things with a new law requiring that all cellphone carriers rip out Huawei tech and replace it—and ordering the FCC to come up with $1 billion to help facilitate the process.

More interesting, however, is the story of how much of that Huawei gear got there in the first place. As it turns out, the federal government spent years subsidizing its purchase as part of an effort to expand cellphone service into the more remote parts of the country, even as other parts of the government warned about the possible risks. Huawei's biggest selling point is that its equipment is cheap—thanks in part to heavy subsidies from the Chinese government. So purchasing it allowed carriers to make their federal subsidies stretch further.

Until the FCC banned the practice last November, cellphone carriers were free to buy Huawei equipment with the federal dollars they receive through the Universal Service Fund—an $8 billion-a-year program intended to bring cellphone service to poor and rural areas. Union Wireless, a small carrier that operates in Wyoming and Montana, for example, has spent more than $34 million on Huawei gear installed in 418 cell towers across a network that covers more than 90,000 square miles, according to FCC filings.

More than half the member companies of the Rural Wireless Association, a trade group that represents Union and other small carriers, have used Huawei tech in some capacity. That means equipment that was purchased, in many cases, using federal subsidies will now be removed at significant cost to both taxpayers and American businesses. Union Wireless told the FCC last year that it would cost $110 million to rebuild its network and replace the Huawei gear. In September, the FCC estimated that it would cost about $1.8 billion to complete the rip-and-replace effort.

Ordering American companies to stop using Huawei equipment—or even to remove what's already in use—is one thing. But in summer 2020, the Trump administration turned its attention to disrupting Huawei's supply chain as well.

Under pressure from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp. (TSMC), the world's largest computer chip manufacturer, announced in May that it would stop fulfilling orders from Huawei. Shortly afterward, TSMC struck a deal to build a heavily subsidized new manufacturing center in Arizona. Previously, TSMC had been a major supplier to both Apple and Huawei, but the company has been effectively forced to pick sides by a combination of carrots and sticks from the U.S. federal government.

In August, the Commerce Department announced further plans to prohibit American companies from doing business with foreign manufacturers that supply semiconductors to Huawei. One of the primary targets of the new rules seems to be the Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC), China's largest semiconductor manufacturer, which currently uses American-made tools in its manufacturing process.

But banning American companies from selling chip-making equipment to SMIC is a self-inflicted wound. These new export restrictions will "ultimately undermine U.S. national security interests by harming the semiconductor industry in the U.S. and creating substantial uncertainty and disruption in the semiconductor supply chain," Semiconductor Equipment and Materials International, an industry group with more than 2,400 members around the world (including SMCI), warned shortly after the new rules were announced. The Trump administration's policies, the group said, would "fuel a perception that the supply of U.S. technology is unreliable" and would "further incentivize efforts to supplant these U.S. technologies."

Indeed, China has responded to the latest American attempts to target Huawei's supply chain by announcing that it would invest more heavily in developing its own chip-making technology so it would be less dependent on American tools that may be withheld in the future.

Companies that aren't directly involved in the U.S.-China technology trade war are becoming collateral damage. ASML, a Dutch company that is one of the world's only manufacturers of the powerful ultraviolet lithography equipment used to make advanced semiconductors, canceled a planned sale of heavy machinery to SMIC after the U.S. government intervened, Reuters reported in January 2020. Pete Hoekstra, a former Republican congressman who now serves as U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands, told a Dutch newspaper that ASML's technology "doesn't belong in certain places."

Under Trump, the administration's view seemed to be that any company doing business with Huawei—or even doing business with a company that does business with Huawei—is a fair target in an escalating economic and technological conflict. That should raise questions about the appropriateness of using American power against private companies in countries all around the world.

"As we have restricted its access to U.S. technology, Huawei and its affiliates have worked through third parties to harness U.S. technology in a manner that undermines U.S. national security and foreign policy interests," Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said in August when the department announced the new rules targeting Huawei's supply chain. "This multi-pronged action demonstrates our continuing commitment to impede Huawei's ability to do so."

Clearly, the Trump administration was willing to take major steps to confront what it perceived as a serious threat posed by Huawei's telecom equipment. But Trump's White House spent four years rejecting establishment views on trade, citing mostly vacuous "national security" arguments.

Ross has overseen a Commerce Department that's declared everything from German-made cars to Canadian aluminum to be a threat to American security. If banning Huawei is simply an extension of those policies, it could safely be ignored, laughed off, and expected to be quickly overturned by the next administration.

We've Always Been In a Cold War With China

Unfortunately, the U.S. government's conflict with Huawei predates the Trump administration and is likely to continue into the Biden era. Evaluating the seriousness of the potential threat posed by Huawei requires that we examine that yearslong, bipartisan consensus that the Chinese tech firm might be up to no good. But it also requires turning a skeptical eye to some of the assumptions underlying the case against Huawei—and an understanding of the possible costs if the United States continues on its current course of intermittent escalation of a tech cold war.

First, the case against Huawei.

"We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world," U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien told The Wall Street Journal in an explosive report published in February. Intelligence officials told the Journal they believe Huawei has had those capabilities for more than a decade—and indeed, there is evidence that Huawei technicians have worked with governments in Uganda and Zambia to spy on political opponents.

Complaints from U.S. intelligence officials about foreign governments spying on cellphones should come with a disclaimer: America does this too. Amid the trove of information about the National Security Agency (NSA) that whistleblower Edward Snowden brought to light in 2013 was evidence that America's intelligence agencies had hacked into Huawei's own systems. Snowden also revealed that the NSA had intercepted shipments of telecom equipment bound for foreign countries and inserted their own secret "back doors." As far back as the 1940s, when the CIA and West German intelligence founded a Swiss-based communications equipment firm named Crypto AG to sneak bugs into tech used by foreign countries, the U.S. has always tried to be on the cutting edge of technological espionage.

Furthermore, whatever vulnerabilities might exist within Huawei gear have to be understood in the context of how poorly secured most mobile networks are to begin with. Even when there's no Huawei equipment in the mix, cellphones remain vulnerable to foreign governments and individual rogue actors who want to steal information.

Still, these fears of so-called back doors into Huawei equipment manifest in many different ways. China hawks point to a 2012 House Intelligence Committee report that warned that Huawei (along with fellow Chinese tech giant ZTE) "could undermine core U.S. national security interests" if its equipment was incorporated into America's telecom networks. Secret back doors built into Huawei gear could, in theory, allow China to launch cyberattacks against American infrastructure—targeting everything from financial systems to public utilities, all of which will be increasingly online as the world transitions to 5G, the next generation of wireless technology.

Carr, the FCC commissioner, recalls a recent trip to Montana where he realized there was Huawei gear in the cell towers located directly above some of America's buried nuclear silos. He wonders whether China could gain an intelligence advantage from even something as simple as tracking the location of people in and around those nuclear bases as they come and go, phones pinging away. In a crisis, could a key hack or system outage delay an American military response?

Others worry about cyber-espionage on a grand scale.

"For years this has been a mechanism where you just kind of hoover up information and hope that you're able to use it one day," says Klon Kitchen, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation who views Huawei as an extension of the Chinese government—part of "Beijing's explicit 'civil-military fusion' strategy, where government and industry work together."

In either case, much of the anti-Huawei sentiment is rooted in the company's history—and its founder's ties to the Chinese military.

Huawei entered the global telecom marketplace in 1998 by pitching itself to poor, rural markets across Asia that hadn't gained wireless connectivity from American or European carriers. By 2005, the company was also building telecom infrastructure for France and Russia. Founder and CEO Ren Zhengfei, a veteran of the Chinese military, was named one of Time magazine's most influential people the same year. In the time since, Huawei effectively cornered the Chinese market for smartphones and tablets, which exploded in popularity as the country underwent a period of economic growth and a massive expansion of its middle class.

The first skirmish in the U.S.-Huawei conflict took place in 2007 when, according to Wired, FBI agents interviewed Ren during a visit to New York City. The issue was Huawei's work in Iran, which the FBI felt may violate international sanctions imposed by the United States. This charge would reemerge later.

Over the next decade, tensions mounted. A $2.2 billion deal that would have seen Huawei purchase 3Com, an American company that manufactured anti-hacking software used by the U.S. military, was blocked by the Bush administration in 2008. "The concern in Washington was that the Chinese company would be able to alter the electronic equipment and computer software sold to the military in a way that could make it less than 100 percent effective," The New York Times reported at the time.

The first effort at excluding Huawei from the United States was taken by the Obama administration, which in 2014 banned the company from bidding on government contracts. That administration also filed nine separate cases at the World Trade Organization (WTO) accusing China of unfairly subsidizing several key industries and engaging in other practices outlawed by the WTO. Trump had little regard for those official channels meant to settle disputes, but a Biden administration is likely to swing back toward a more measured approach—though circumstances have certainly changed since 2014.

As the Obama administration passed into the Trump administration, the Justice Department was building a case against Meng Wanzhou, Huawei's chief financial officer and Ren Zhengfei's daughter, after it learned that Huawei was secretly providing telecom equipment to Iran in circumvention of sanctions.

In December 2018, Meng was detained by customs agents in Canada at the behest of the U.S. government. After lengthy delays involving a variety of complex legal issues, her extradition hearing finally began in January 2020; no decision has been made yet, and the 48-year-old executive remains in Canadian custody. In February, Meng was separately charged in absentia by U.S. prosecutors who accused her of participating in a "decades-long" scheme to steal American companies' intellectual property. Meng "believes that she's a pawn in a global game of chess," a Huawei spokesperson told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation in December 2020.

Through it all, Huawei continued to grow. By the end of the decade, the company boasted telecom equipment operating in 170 countries around the world, serving about 40 percent of the world's cellphone-using population. In 2019, Huawei sold 238 million smartphones globally, surpassing Apple as the world's second-largest phone vendor and trailing only Samsung, which sold 296 million phones last year. That Huawei accomplished those feats while facing intense political and economic pressure from the United States, where its phones are almost nonexistent, is even more impressive.

A high-level view of the decade-plus that the United States has been locked in combat against Huawei—running through multiple presidential administrations that otherwise had very diverse approaches to China—does leave the impression of a technological cold war. America has pursued a strategy of containment, has fought proxy wars, and even targeted its adversary's leaders—using tactics like Meng's arrest, thankfully, instead of Cold War–style assassinations. When those strategies failed to stop Huawei's expansion, the conflict escalated into a more dangerous phase, with no clear end in sight.

"Imagine letting the KGB run the American phone network in, say, 1980, and you can see what is at stake here," wrote George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen in a column for Bloomberg. In Cowen's view, the real point of the U.S.-China trade war—though perhaps not the point Trump had in mind when he launched it—was to establish America's willingness to push back in meaningful ways against China's growing might. And that might is arguably best embodied by Huawei.

If the stakes are truly that high, then there could be a strong argument for aggressive government action against Huawei—one that is convincing even to people, like Cowen, who are generally somewhat skeptical of federal power.

But it isn't clear that the stakes are that high, in large part because the federal government hasn't been as transparent as it could be about the specifics of the Huawei threat. There is plenty of circumstantial evidence—Ren's ties to Beijing, leaked details of classified reports, and the rest—but no smoking gun.

Dan Ikenson, director of trade policy studies for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, has been closely following the Huawei issue since the Obama years. He stresses that it would be imprudent to dismiss the potential security issues surrounding Huawei and the broader implications for freedom as China increasingly challenges American technological supremacy. But it would be helpful, he says, if the federal government were more transparent about the exact nature of these threats.

Indeed, there are a lot of unknowns. Can China use Huawei equipment as a launching pad for cyberattacks against America and its allies? If so, there's been no evidence of it. And while there are obvious reasons to be skeptical about the corporate independence of any company based in China and run by a former Chinese military officer, even a single instance of China pressuring Huawei to sabotage a foreign adversary would likely cost China much more than it would gain. Overnight, Huawei would be blacklisted globally.

Accurately assessing the prudence of the countermeasures the Trump administration has taken against Huawei is, for now, impossible, says Ikenson. "We don't have the tools to measure the costs and benefits," he says.

The Price of a Hard Line Against China

The case against Huawei lacks crucial details. Its American critics have been able to paint a scary picture, but it's a picture that remains murky at best. That's one reason to be skeptical about the portrayal of Huawei as a grave national security threat. Another is that the aggressive stance against the company favored by America's China hawks comes with clear costs the hawks would rather ignore.

Despite what Pence promised in 2019, the blacklisting of Huawei and the expansion of American power to apply pressure to companies doing business with the Chinese tech firm should raise real alarms about a potentially catastrophic decoupling of the U.S. and Chinese economies. That's an outcome that would make the world poorer while increasing the chances of armed conflict. It is a future reality that policy makers should be keen to avoid.

The major actions taken this year to target Huawei's supply chains have their root in a May 2019 executive order signed by Trump that gave Secretary Ross the authority to "determine that particular countries or persons are foreign adversaries for the purposes of this order." It also authorized Ross to unilaterally decide which "particular technologies or particular participants in the market" would be subject to the new restrictions.

The order was issued to ban Huawei hardware from being deployed in the United States, but its broad language creates a legal regime that could be used—as it now has been, in the case of Dutch-based ASML—to reach beyond America's own borders. It is, in short, a vast expansion of federal authority into the market for communications technology in the name of national security.

Similarly, the Trump administration's diplomatic row with Great Britain earlier this year demonstrates the extent to which Washington's war against Huawei has expanded beyond America's borders—as well as some of the limitations to that approach.

In January, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the United Kingdom would allow telecom providers to use the cheaper Huawei gear in their networks as part of an overall strategy for 5G phone service. That did not sit well with America, which was by then in the process of eliminating Huawei from its own networks.

At the time, Johnson said the country would not let Huawei equipment be used in sensitive parts of the network and that Britain would keep military and intelligence channels secure. But the very nature of 5G networks makes such assurances difficult to implement. In addition to promising faster speeds and better connectivity, the major feature of 5G networks is their decentralization—a blurring of old-school distinctions between the "edge" of the network (devices and the equipment they communicate within in cell towers, for example) and the "core" of the network (servers and other data-processing gear). While that's a boon for many aspects of the new networks, it creates new opportunities for security weaknesses to be exploited.

The issue boiled over during a January phone call between the two leaders—one unnamed official told the Financial Times that Trump was "apoplectic"—and Johnson's government reversed its position on Huawei soon after. (Officially, Britain says the reversal had nothing to do with America's opposition.)

"What the U.S. government is asking of our trading partners, our allies, the American public, and developing countries who rely on Huawei as a source of low-cost telecom equipment," Ikenson says, "is to believe that the risks associated with Huawei are serious enough to offset the benefits that come from fast, cheap mobile internet service."

That equation might play differently in different places, too. It's one thing to say that residents of relatively wealthy places like the U.K. or Germany should have to pony up for more expensive equipment in response to America's national security concerns. But how can the U.S. make that same pitch to Eastern Europe—or Africa, where Chinese investment in 5G could be an economic boost that lifts millions of people out of poverty?

"You can't expect allies to willingly become casualties in a unilateral trade war," says Adam Weinstein, a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank that advocates for a humbler American foreign policy. The technonationalism that has defined the Trump administration's approach to Huawei, he says, is rooted in an outdated understanding of the relationship between technology and security.

Even though the development of new technology has always been seen through the lens of national security, most of those developments in the 20th century occurred within government and military structures. Telecom technology is the purview of private sector companies, which have constructed vast supply chains to manufacture equipment with little regard for national borders. Undoing all of that isn't as simple as leaning on an allied nation's leaders.

"It's almost a schizophrenic policy," Weinstein says, referring to Trump's attempt to stuff globe-spanning telecom supply chains onto a technonationalist policy that says anything supplied to or imported from a potential adversary should be treated as a threat. "I don't know how you get there without massive disruptions."

Those disruptions would come with significant costs, even if they can be limited to the telecom sphere. The Congressional Research Service (CRS), a think tank housed inside Congress, estimates that the development of 5G infrastructure and 5G-enabled products will generate $12.3 trillion in global economic activity by 2035. National governments intent on chopping up the supply chains for which that economic growth depends will, for starters, deprive the market of economies of scale and necessarily reduce expected growth.

The losses of potential future gains could be quite significant, but the calculus gets worse. The American and Chinese technology sectors are closely linked. Despite what Pence argues, there's no way to effectively disentangle tech from the rest of the U.S.-China trade relationship.

If non-cooperation on technology becomes the strategic norm, Ikenson wonders if the world's two largest economies will be able to continue trading other goods at all. A full-fledged economic decoupling would be a major shock for the global economy, disrupting or rerouting more than $500 billion in annual trade flows between the two countries.

The Trump administration has focused on semiconductor manufacturing. But it is an industry that illustrates how deeply intertwined the U.S. and China already are. The CRS reports that 91 percent of the semiconductors used in Chinese-based tech manufacturing are produced abroad, while China's own suppliers account for just 10 percent of domestic needs.

So while America and the rest of the world rely on China for much of its tech manufacturing, China is dependent on the rest of the world for crucial components. Indeed, the Chinese government views this shortfall as its own national security concern, and has invested heavily in ramping up semiconductor production at home.

As if there aren't enough worrying geopolitical concerns at play, the nexus for the semiconductor cold war is Taiwan, the island territory that China still regards as its own, though it is effectively independent. More than 70 percent of the semiconductors that power the world's supply of smartphones are either made in Taiwan or rely on components produced there. Trade, technology, and international diplomacy can't be put in separate silos.

The deal struck between the Trump administration and TSMC will result in more chips being manufactured in America. But the $12 billion plant scheduled to be built in Arizona won't open until 2024 and will produce only a fraction of what TSMC produces in Taiwan.

China's own attempts to ramp up semiconductor production will take years to be realized. If the current technonationalist trajectory on both sides of the Pacific continues, expect the U.S. and China to continue playing this game of chicken, with much of the rest of the world caught in the crosshairs.

A Serious Competitor?

"I view China as a competitor. A serious competitor," Biden told CNN during a town hall event in September. "That's why I think we have to strengthen our relationships and our alliances in Asia."

That was one noteworthy example of how Biden's tone has shifted over the last year. In 2019, he was criticized after apparently dismissing the Chinese threat at a campaign event in Iowa. "China is going to eat our lunch? Come on, man," he'd said, awkwardly trying to frame Trump's anti-China politics as overblown. By the time the general election rolled around, Biden was critiquing Trump's execution of China policy but no longer making the case that Trump was entirely wrong.

The Trump administration chose to be brash and aggressive in confronting China. That paid domestic political dividends, but at the expense of driving a wedge deeper between the world's two largest economies.

A Biden administration is also likely to recognize the political benefits of demagoguing against China, even as it tries to apply a softer touch and more measured approach to Beijing. Notably, Biden has refused to commit to walking back Trump's tariffs on Chinese-made goods and has said that he supports the Obama-era prohibition on giving government contracts to tech companies with ties to the Chinese government. He's been noncommittal on other key issues, such as the question of whether he'd continue Trump's blacklisting of firms that do business with Huawei.

"The issues that remain between the U.S. and China's commercial relationship don't change with [the] change of administration," Greg Gilligan, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, a Beijing-based trade association for companies that operate in both countries, told CNBC in an interview six days after the 2020 election. "There's pressure on both sides to remain fairly hawkish, simply because domestic politics don't allow for yielding the hawkish ground to someone else."

In the end, Trump's approach, which might be described as "go it alone but bully everyone else into coming too," leaves much to be desired. It focused America's attention on China, a true authoritarian regime. But it also jeopardized valuable relationships and threatened to tear down international institutions that could have been used to his benefit.

If U.S. policy is going to be that American telecom networks and networks operating in allied nations must not contain Huawei gear, then that comes with huge costs for the global economy, for American semiconductor manufacturing, and for America's diplomatic power.

Mitigating the risks posed by foreign technologies requires both transparency and diplomacy. Transparency so American policy makers and America's allies around the globe can be confident that a trade war against Huawei is driven by legitimate national security concerns rather than nationalist cronyism on behalf of American companies. And diplomacy so that the real threats of an increasingly powerful Communist regime in Beijing can be countered effectively. Unfortunately, at a time when strong allies would be particularly helpful, America has traded away its ability to win friends and influence people for an "America First" approach that's ill-equipped to address high-tech 21st century problems.

Trump amplified that debate in new ways, but it will be left to Biden to settle it—or at least to turn the volume down a bit. When you take two steps back from the supposed national security threats posed by Huawei, much of the anxiety appears to be driven not by the actual capabilities of Chinese technology but rather by worries about America's place in the world. The debate over Huawei is really a debate about American technological superiority—or rather, about how America should respond to a changing world in which its technological superiority is no longer guaranteed.

"A technonationalist view of the world and the reality of global supply chains are simply incompatible," says Weinstein. "That's the root of the tension."

NEXT: West Virginia Lawmaker and Man Photographed at Pelosi's Desk Among Those Arrested for Capitol Riot

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  1. Don’t worry Boehm. America is already importing CCP like censorship practices for you. Soft fascism/corporatism is alive and well here. You can sleep peacefully.

    You honestly could have stopped the article here:

    “We have evidence that Huawei has the capability secretly to access sensitive and personal information in systems it maintains and sells around the world,” U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien told The Wall Street Journal in an explosive report published in February. Intelligence officials told the Journal they believe Huawei has had those capabilities for more than a decade—and indeed, there is evidence that Huawei technicians have worked with governments in Uganda and Zambia to spy on political opponents.

    Instead you essentially hand waive away the state/corporation collaboration as not a huge deal.

    1. “CCP like censorship practices for you” Anymore the writers at Reason seem to be okay with that if its directed at someone they dont like

      1. Let’s review what’s happened since Wednesday with our Tech and Media overlords with Roger Simon:

        “Josh Hawley’s forthcoming book… on Big Tech, no less… is “canceled” by Simon & Schuster. Senator Hawley had been among the most outspoken about investigating the possibility of election fraud.

        Twitter permanently blocks General Flynn. I guess they don’t think he has had enough already.

        Twitter permanently blocks Lin Wood, the attorney working to unmask possible fraud. Ditto for Sidney Powell.

        Not to be outdone, Facebook blocks President Trump’s account. (Not sure who was first—Facebook or Twitter—not that it matters.)

        More insidiously, Facebook starts to delete groups or forums of people who publicly stepped away from the Democratic Party because of its scandals.

        It’s revealed that Facebook actually banned accounts at the behest of Hunter Biden.

        YouTube announces it will no longer distribute videos investigating election fraud and that producers of such videos will be punished if they do.

        All this in a couple of days, the excuse being, in almost all cases, that the conservatives involved were instigating violence, the “outrage” that occurred at the Capitol.

        This from the people who ignored exponentially more violence and destruction for months all across urban America.

        Sense a strategy here? A plan?

        I know—I’m one of those conspiracy mongers. Everything has been “debunked.” Indeed, it was “debunked” before it even happened.

        Only I’m not a conspiracy monger, my friends. I’m one of those guys who is perfectly willing to admit it was Lee Harvey Oswald working alone from the Texas Schoolbook Depository.

        I’m the opposite. I’m a Occam’s Razor guy—what you see is what you get.

        And Occam’s Razor tells me the United States is turning into a near clone of the People’s Republic of China.”

        Even the precedent of half the country thinking the election was stolen, is bad.
        If someone thinks it wasn’t stolen, they should be eager to set this to rest. Instead they’re all acting exactly like guilty people.
        When they act like this in response, everyone should be suspicious.

        Even if they genuinely believe America had the freest and fairest election ever, then they should want illumination. How they’re behaving now is stupid and dangerous and doesn’t pass the sniff test.

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        2. I know this much. Ill never believe Joe Biden got 81+ million votes. The left doing everything they are right is just them feeling confident since the election. The election supposedly told them that america wants left leaning policies. But if Trump won that meant they rejected them. Clearly alot of people are pissed about this whole thing. The left should be treading lightly. Alot of people with guns out there that dont want to deal with their commie bullshit.

          1. “everything to the right”

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          2. “The left should be treading lightly.”

            Should be, but see:

            The text, from everyone’s favorite barista-who-made-good:

            Since it appears GOP leaders need a reminder:

            There is no “healing” from this without accountability.

            And there is no “unity” with white supremacists.

            You know the President’s state has devolved dangerously. If you’re too weak to do anything about it, you’re too weak to serve.

            I am feeling the unity all throughout that statement.

            1. Well probably be wearing orange stars on our clothes unless we pledge allegiance to the Democratic party. Thats the way it seems to be going with these nutjobs.

              1. Gather people near you that you can trust.

                It’s about to get a lot worse. Do what you can.

                God, but our descendants will judge us harshly.

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          3. “Ill never believe Joe Biden got 81+ million votes.”

            No. No you won’t.

          4. Ill never believe Joe Biden got 81+ million votes.

            Bingo. Biden outdrawing Obama? Bullshit.


            1. And doing it while winning a record low amount of counties.

        3. Well said. I agree on all points.

          Enacting policies to muzzle and crush anybody who doesn’t accept the party line cannot end well.

        4. What they are acting like, is (1) people who don’t want to unintentionally be a part of inciting the next insurrection, and/or (2) people who have frankly had enough of conspiracy theory nonsense that will never be disproved.

          1. people who don’t want to unintentionally be a part of inciting the next insurrection

            Promoting, supporting, or otherwise turning a blind eye toward insurrections all summer and fall notwithstanding.

            1. Chaz was just an idea. The people that live and work in the part of the country that was taken over by anarchists that installed their own government? Well, they’re not members of Congress, so fuck em.

              1. It’s very ironic that the “radical individualist” is more concerned about Congress being interrupted for a few hours than he is about individual citizens having their lives ruined.

                1. R Mac….chemjeff’s priorities are confused.

          2. What insurrection Jeff.

            Let’s break down what happened on Wednesday and over the last four years in DC and on capitol hill.
            But first here’s a length of rope, why don’t you tell me what made Wednesday special and so much worse than all the other instances?

            A lot more damage happened in just the last two years at other important events, like at the recent Supreme Court Justice confirmation, or the May BLM protests. Pelousi’s rhetoric in May was also far more inflammatory.
            So what made Wednesday different?

            1. We all know the answer…

              1. If Jeff wants to call out people for fomenting insurrection, he should look at what Pelosi got her hands slapped for on Thursday.

                Trying to have the military remove Trump from office, is a fuck of a lot more serious than 4chan taking selfies in the rotunda.

                1. But all is cool in Vancouver

                  So you got that right?

          3. What insurrection? It was a protest that got out of hand. Insurrections usually involve guns. If this was an insurrection, then what do you call all the Antifa and BLM activities this summer?

    2. “America is already importing CCP like censorship practices for you.”

      Bullshit, liar! In the mind of JesseBahnFuhrer, Government Almighty “allowing” web site owners to use THEIR web site as they please, comprises “censorship” on the part of the web site owner!

      Refute the below, lying authoritarian Wonder Child, Ideological Spawn of Der TrumpfenFuhrer!

      A prime argument of enemies of Section 230 is, since the government does such a HUGE favor for owners of web sites, by PROTECTING web site owners from being sued (in the courts of Government Almighty) as a “publisher”, then this is an unfair treatment of web site owners! Who SHOULD (lacking “unfair” section 230 provisions) be able to get SUED for the writings of OTHER PEOPLE! And punished by Government Almighty, for disobeying any and all decrees from Government Almighty’s courts, after getting sued!

      In a nutshell: Government Almighty should be able to boss around your uses of your web site, because, after all, Government Almighty is “protecting” you… From Government Almighty!!!

      Wow, just THINK of what we could do with this logic! Government Almighty is “protecting” you from getting sued in matters concerning who you chose to date or marry… In matters concerning what line of work you chose… What you eat and drink… What you read… What you think… Therefore, Government Almighty should be able to boss you around on ALL of these matters, and more! The only limits are the imaginations and power-lusts of politicians!

      1. Look sarcasmic, you’re not a complete idiot. But TDS turned you into an ideologue. So ill say this to you once and it goes for chipper and sarcasmic as well.

        Authoritarianism doesn’t come only from the government. It comes when any major power exploits its position to keep others down or limit their rights. And we see this. China uses corporations and national banks to keep opponents down. Same with Venezuela. That is what happened in Italy and Germany. The government funded, paid. And organized with corporations.

        We now have silicon valley corroborating to take down Parler for doing nothing less than Twitter does. Twitter has never banned a BLM account despite 25 dead, 2 billion in damage, 200 riots, and thousands of business lost. Yet the first time a riot on the right happens they ban parler from the major platforms. They even banned Straka’s Walk Away campaign which never participated in violence of any kind, but was just calling people to leave the Democrat party. Yet antifa and BLM freely use Instagram, wattsapp, etc to organize hundreds of violent events and threats to politicians. Antifa literally assaulted Ted Wheeler 2 days ago.

        But you support this. And it isnt because you’re ignorant. Possibly because you are naive. But honestly because you are political.

        You have no problem deplatforming or removing the voice of those you disagree with. These are authoritarian acts. Imagining Britain buying up every major printing press and disallowing this nation’s voice to be utilized. Yet that is what you argue. You’ve said they can form their own Twitter. They did. And SV has used their power to shut them down at the cries of the DNC. Just look at how many high level SV people are in Joe’s cabinet and transition teams. They are the same. They have the same politics and they are using their power to decrease the voices of their political opponents. This is half a step away from CCP arresting political opposition last week, and you are applauding it.

        It is sad to see. But you are broken. You are not a libertarian. Youre watching the destruction of free speech and open exchange of ideas. Cory Bush is literally trying to expel 100 duly elected representatives and a half dozen senators over their beliefs. This is out of the Venezuelan and China playbook. And you dont bat an eye.

        I see you, jeff, chipper all rationalize your impulses under the guise of “private companies.” But authoritarianism disguised as soft fascism is still authoritarianism.

        Hopefully you let go of your blatant TDS and at last act like a libertarian like you used to. Right now you’re applauding the open formation of a media/state alliance and the shutting down of political thought.

        1. The only authoritarians I see are those demanding that the government have more power over speech because they got their feelings hurt, and the only derangement I see is from the nutters believing outlandish conspiracy theories put forth by a narcissist who can’t stand losing.

          1. Do you read all that and that was your response.

            The government has the power over speech. DNC and democrats called for trump to be banned and larler to be taken down. It took less than 24 hours to comply.

            There are calls to ban OAN and Fox. You have governments and the media actively attacking people over their speech. An LA reporter just got a guy fired yesterday as a racist even though the black woman in the picture used called the guy her hero for protecting her from the violence.

            You have active political actors constantly trying to get their opponents fired, muted, etc.

            Yet you dont care.

            This is called soft fascism. A wink wink that the government is not the one enforcing these attacks, just political partners elsewhere doing it. We have seen this. We saw it with the SS, the red guard, and we see it in China.

            What do you think Operation Chokepoint was?

            Youre not this stupid sarcasmic. So stop acting like it. Stop cheering this on with the rationalization that it is a private company (who gets billions of dollars from the government).
            Youre not this naive man.

            1. You don’t know what I think or what I care about. So until you stop attacking the voices in your head there is no point in anyone having a conversation with you. Fuck off, strawman slayer.

              1. wow. Sarcasmic got destroyed

              2. You got owned

              3. strawman slayer

                He gave you real world examples, stop being so dishonest.

                1. “Yet you dont care.”

                  “Stop cheering this on…”

                  That’s strawmanning, and I’m not going to acknowledge it with anything more than “fuck you.”

                  1. But you’ve done those things, and if you hadn’t, that would be slandering, defaming or libeling you, not strawmanning.

                    Would you like me to buy you a “Word a Day” calendar?

                  2. Youre pathetic. This is your response to what I wrote. All you bad to say was “I disagree with all those examples to destroy liberties” and you couldn’t.

                    1. Fuck you.

                    2. No, fuck you, sarcasmic, you tyranny-plumping shitposter.

                    3. Jesus, maybe he actually is TWK and others? Same sort of circuit-burning. Needless response too.

                      Though if he is—and I still doubt that—Fuck…I thought I spent a lot of time here…


                    4. Now you’ve done it Jay, you’re a Trump cultist. Or maybe you already were?

            2. So knock it off with the performative outrage theater.

              What is your proposed solution?

              Should private companies be forced by the state to host content that they don’t want?

              1. Jeff you know damn well these are political actors even if they’re not officially on the payroll.

                What’s going on right now should frighten the shit out of genuine libertarians no matter where you sit on the political spectrum.

                1. The CEO of Google does not have the authority to throw me in jail, so no.

                  Do you have any evidence that Google removed Parler from its app store under orders from the government?

                2. And let me ask you, since Jesse doesn’t seem to want to answer the difficult questions:

                  Should private companies be forced by the state to host content that they don’t want?

                  1. Nope. Unless their on the public dole.

                  2. Not if they aren’t corporatist. If they are political actors and corporatist then they should be held to the same standards.

                    It’s time not just to get the government out of business, but business out of government.

                    1. Random leftist: Corporations are evil! Until corporations become GOOD, and, of their own free will, provide me with “free access” to food, clothes, medical care, etc., Government Almighty must step in, and assure us of free access to these things!

                      Momma: Corporations are evil! Until corporations become GOOD, and, of their own free will, provide me with “free access” to “free speech”, Government Almighty must step in, and assure us of free speech!

                      Now… WHAT is the big difference between Momma and a leftist?

                    2. Sarcasmic, you need to look up what “corporatism” means. It isn’t remotely the same thing as “Corporations”.

                      I’m really going to have to buy you that “Word a Day” calendar.

                    3. the control of a state or organization by large interest groups.
                      “roughly one hundred years ago, the free market began to be replaced with corporatism”

                      So both Government Almighty and corporations are subjected to control by special-interest groups. It is known. It has been known for a LONG time!

                      Riddle me THIS, Oh Stable Genius Junior: Between the 2 of them, Government Almighty and corporations, WHICH ONE has the authority to jail, fine, or shoot you? Then WHICH one should we worry about? PS, WHERE do you get better service, at the privately-owned grocery store, or at Government Almighty’s DMV, AKA, Department of Motor Vehicles?

                    4. If you weren’t so blind and willfully stupid you’d realize both.
                      Corporatists cooperating with politicians, to block your voice from being heard, delist you, and remove your ability to earn an income, effectively beggaring you, is just as traumatic as prison or exile.

                      It amazes me how you can squawk about “Gvernment Almighty” and ignore the fact that the this shit IS being done by government almighty, albeit wearing a corporation skin suit to pretend and trick you.

                  3. Still a stupid argument.

                    The libertarian argument is that Google is wrong. Full stop. Twitter is wrong. Full stop. Facebook is wrong. Full stop.

                    We do not support censoring ideas. Full stop.

                    That is what a libertarian is.

                    That should be evident for anyone of any political stripe except for an authoritarian statist.

                    If you are more worried about what mechanisms might come in response to the fact that people complain about being censored, you are on the wrong side. That is just stupid. Call out these tech censors and be done with it. They are wrong. That is all you need to say.

                  4. I have answered sweetie. The irony is you are fine with government and corporate collusion as mentioned above. The reason they can do it is they were granted legal protections. You treat extra government benefits as a solemn right, but only for SV for some odd fuckong reason.

                    Attaching these legal protections to an ask of neutral political protections is not forcing companies to be run by the government.

                    Youre just dishonest. Youre rationalizing your authoritarianism.

                    1. No you have never answered the question Jesse that I repeatedly pose.

                      Should the government force Google to host the Parler app in its app store against Google’s wishes? Yes or no?

                    2. Answer this question first Jeff.

                      Are Google executives working with the offices of elected politicians to remove Parler, in order to silence said politicians political adversaries?

                      Yes or no?

                      If no, why do you think Google wants Parler silenced?

                    3. Are Google executives working with the offices of elected politicians to remove Parler, in order to silence said politicians political adversaries?

                      I have seen no evidence that this is the case.

                      If no, why do you think Google wants Parler silenced?

                      IMO they are covering their asses. They don’t want to be held responsible, either directly or indirectly, unintentionally or not, of being a part of fomenting the next seditious mob.

                      Now, would you be so kind as to answer my question?

                      Should the government force Google to host the Parler app in its app store against Google’s wishes? Yes or no?

                    4. Google should be allowed to delist Parler, contingent on an investigation into whether or not its actions were coordinated by, or in response to, requests by elected government officials.

                    5. Also, just like you, they know the “seditious” bit is bullshit.

                      Big Tech did not remove House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s accounts when she called for “uprisings” against the Trump administration. Facebook and Twitter did not target Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez when she claimed that allegedly marginalized groups have “no choice but to riot.” These platforms did not act against Kamala Harris when she said the riots “should not” stop.

                      You know what is going on is an authoritarian (In the real sense) putsch.

                      I imagine you dream of being one of the nomenklatura for all your work here, but you’re just going to end up on a gibbet with the rest of us. Continually mumbling that I it was all a mistake and that you weren’t one of them.

              2. Only if they recieve money from the government. If facebook twitter etc are receiving money in any sort of payment, loan grant etc from the government then they fall under the same rules any public entity will. No discrimination and equal treatment. People and corporations should be free to interact with whom they please in their private capacities. People have no right to force others to interact with them.

                1. Reply to chemjeff ended up here. Whatever.

                2. I think that is fair, with a few caveats.

                  1. Does money from Goldman Sachs, who is given extra support from the Federal Reserve (and also money to Biden’s campaign) count?

                    1. Nope.


                Apple is demanding that Parler be held responsible for the content posted by its users OR it will take it off iOS

                So basically Apple is demanding that Parler waive its section 230 protections while lobbying to maintain its own 230 privileges

                1. No Nardz that isn’t it at all. Apple is not demanding that Parler be held LEGALLY responsible for the content on its forum. THAT is what Section 230 is about. Not some moral culpability, but LEGAL liability. Sheesh. Can’t you even argue your position honestly?

                  1. Yes. It is what they are doing. Apple is demanding that a private company submit to its own moderation standards. Parler already has moderation standards, they remove all illegal content. But Apple wants more. Apple does not apply the same to entities like Twitter. Twitter has hundreds of videos up that foment violent. Many from BLM and the left. So the decision by Apple is political.

                    Youre not this dumb. Youre just political.

                    1. Jeff’s position seems clear. If you’re not being arrested, or silenced directly by the government, he doesn’t care if your rights are violated. You can just go somewhere else, and your rights won’t be violated anymore.

                      Until that place has its banking shut down. And it’s kicked off all the money raising sites. And it’s app won’t work on millions of phones. And if you support it, the corporate media will dox you and try to get you fired and ruin your life.

                      Start your own banking system and internet!

                    2. No, R Mac. It is entirely possible for private institutions to violate people’s rights, and that is just as wrong as when the government does it. Both are wrong. But private institutions ALSO have private property rights that must be respected. It would be wrong for Google to use coercive force to use their software. That would be a violation of your rights. But it would ALSO be wrong for you to use the coercive force of government to put software on Google’s property without their permission. That is a violation of THEIR property rights.

                      And I get it there is a lot of performative outrage theater about Big Tech. “Build your own Internet” indeed! So instead of more theater, why not propose an idea that is respectful of everyone’s property rights as well as their civil rights.

                    3. But it would ALSO be wrong for you to use the coercive force of government to put software on Google’s property without their permission. That is a violation of THEIR property rights.

                      Hey sarc, this is a straw man.

              4. They should be nationalized as the monopolies that they are.

          2. “nutters believing outlandish conspiracy theories put forth by a narcissist who can’t stand losing”

            Even the precedent of half the country thinking the election was stolen, is bad. If you think it wasn’t stolen, you should be eager to set this to rest.

            You set it to rest through openness and illumination.

            You don’t set it to rest through heavy censorship and restricting speech. You don’t set it to rest by acting exactly like you just stole the election.

            1. Even the precedent of half the country thinking the election was stolen, is bad. If you think it wasn’t stolen, you should be eager to set this to rest.

              You set it to rest through openness and illumination.

              Conspiracy theories, by their very nature, are non-falsifiable and cannot be “set to rest” through openness and illumination. Because when the next bit of evidence that comes forth that purports to disprove the conspiracy theory, the theorists just move the goalposts down the line to the next non-falsifiable claim.

              There is no way to prove that the election was NOT stolen (because no negative claim can ever be proven), so there is always some glimmer of probability that the claim might be true, regardless of what all the evidence says.

              A “forensic audit” or Hawley’s “10 day audit” or wherever the current goalposts are now won’t change anything. If this audit is completed, then the goalposts would then just be moved to “that wasn’t a REAL audit!” or “the Democrats participating in the audit are lying!” or some such thing.

              At some point you just have to say “I’m done listening to your insane theories, go away”. And that’s where I am at right now frankly and that’s where a lot of people are at.

              1. “Conspiracy theories, by their very nature, are non-falsifiable and cannot be “set to rest” through openness and illumination.”

                Never ever fucking pretend to be a libertarian here again, because you’re not.

                Although they may or may not personally condone behaviors associated with these issues, civil libertarians hold that the advantages of unfettered public discourse outweigh all disadvantages.

                You are a fucking fascist using phony predictions of your political enemies behavior to deny openness and free speech.

                Does anyone else reading this now have any doubt that Jeff and his pal are Media Matters fifty-centers on the job?

                1. Everything jeff said was correct. Conspiracy theories are textbook examples of the fallacy of shifting the burden of proof, and that’s what makes them non-falsifiable.

                  1. What makes something a conspiracy theory vs an actual conspiracy? And who gets to judge them as conspiracy theories and judge that they should be banned from public discourse?

                    Should the majority of posters here get to judge? I don’t think that you’d like that. Or were you hoping for “experts” and “top men”?

                    Doesn’t it ever occur to you that what’s going down right now might eventually burn you too?

                    1. What makes something a conspiracy theory vs an actual conspiracy?

                      To start with, the presence or absence of actual conspirators.

                      And who gets to judge them as conspiracy theories and judge that they should be banned from public discourse?

                      AGAIN you keep conflating government censorship with private censorship. NO ONE should decide that any topic is forbidden from “public discourse”. THE PROPERTY OWNER should decide about any topic that is allowed or forbidden ON HIS/HER OWN PROPERTY. Get it now?

                    2. “To start with, the presence or absence of actual conspirators

                      Umm, did you even think before you typed that?
                      That’s like saying your house wasn’t broken into unless you know who the robbers were.

                      I’ve seen you make some stupid arguments, Jeff, but that one’s extraordinary.

                      “AGAIN you keep conflating government censorship with private censorship”

                      Alphabet et al. are corporatist as fuck, and you know it.

                    3. That’s like saying your house wasn’t broken into unless you know who the robbers were.

                      No, that’s like saying “since robbers exist, I know that robbery is a possible crime.”

                      If the conspiracy theory is true, there has to be an actual conspiracy, with actual conspirators.

                    4. Jeff, what your argument is actually closer to is claiming there is no Jaywalking because there are virtually no arrests for jaywalking.

                      Because you refuse to look into something it must not have happened. Youre no better than a flat earther.

                    5. Youre no better than a flat earther.

                      You mean people who the election was stolen believe the world is flat and won’t every believe anything to the contrary?

                    6. Aw crap, could have edited that better.

                    7. “‘If the conspiracy theory is true, there has to be an actual conspiracy, with actual conspirators”

                      So explain why you and the Democrats spent the last four years pushing the Russia conspiracy theory, and screaming about stolen elections; if you need to know who did it before you’re allowed to investigate.

                      Are you now saying that the Mueller investigation should never have been allowed?

                      You really love your double standards don’t you Jeff.

                  2. Youre just sad at this point. You’ve gone full fascist sarcasmic.

                2. civil libertarians hold that the advantages of unfettered public discourse outweigh all disadvantages.

                  I would not say “ALL” disadvantages, but as a broad principle, I agree with this. HOWEVER, I am not going to force private property owners to obey MY opinion on these matters. If I invite you on my property, and you try to convince me that the moon landing was faked, and I do my best, using persuasion and discourse to convince you otherwise, but you refuse to accept this and continue spouting your nonsense, then at some point I WILL kick you out and shut you up ON MY PROPERTY. Because I will just grow tired of hearing your nonsense. See how this works? Free speech as an ethos of open inquiry is a terrific idea. I’m all for it. But I’m not in favor of COERCING everyone else to engage in this same ethos if they don’t want to. Are you?

                  1. Explain how your private property grew enourmous by lobbying for favorable political regulations, and is as tied up with government as Alphabet and Apple are.

                    Your analogy doesn’t hold because your property isn’t a corporatist political actor.

                    1. First, do you have any evidence that the government directly ordered Google to take Parler off its app store? I think we both know that the answer to this question is “no”.

                      So because the answer is “no”, you have to try to invent some other reason to try to insinuate that Google’s decisions are not really its own, but they are really proxies for the state. Can you provide some concrete evidence of why specifically you think Google is a “corporatist political actor” and therefore its decisions over its own property should be overruled by the demands of the state?

                    2. First, do you have any evidence that the government directly ordered Google to take Parler off its app store? I think we both know that the answer to this question is “no”.”

                      There is no doubt in my mind that prominent politicians with government offices made that request, so no, we don’t agree.
                      Do you honestly believe Google and Apple just up and censored Parler out of personal intrest?
                      Are you on drugs?

                      And the rest of your argument is ridiculous because of your fallacious assumption as to the first.

                    3. 400+ people rotated jobs back and forth between Google exec suite and the Obama administration.

                    4. You just keep handwaving and making broad accusation that Google is “corporatist as fuck”. Okay, fine. Give some concrete evidence to back up the claim that you are making here. What SPECIFICALLY are you referring to? I’m willing to entertain the idea but you have to give us more than just “everyone knows it’s true” handwaving bullshit.

                    5. Jeff, you ask for direct evidence. Would you even allow an investigation or just claim it is a conspiracy without one? This is pathetic man.

                    6. Nardz just did right before your post, Jeff you dishonest fuck.

              2. Theres direct evidence of fraud in Georgia. Yet everyone keeps trying to ignore it and they dont want to investigate anything there or anywhere else. So the best thing to do is just shut it all down and run with it. I wonder why people are so pissed?

                1. I think they found like 2 dead people voted in Georgia. So yeah let’s storm the Capitol over that!

                  1. 2 or 2000. Or is it 20,000? But Again they choose to ignore it in a state that is only separated by what 11000 or 12000 votes. Nothing insidious there. But please ignore my point.

                    1. It wasn’t “ignored”. There was a recount, then a hand recount, the GBI investigated the whole “suitcases full of ballots” baloney…

                      Here is yet another example of investigating claims of fraud in Georgia:


                      These claims WERE looked into. But the goalposts keep moving. When one claim is debunked, then two more pop up, and since it is impossible to prove that the election WASN’T stolen, there are an infinite number of possible voter fraud claims that can be levied.

                      At some point, a rational person just has to make a judgment call and say “well, I am not 100% certain, but the evidence is heavily weighted in a certain direction, so that is what I will go with”. Yes it is possible that there was a sophisticated scheme that eluded everyone that stole the election from Trump. But the huge weight of evidence suggests otherwise.

                      My question is, though, what would be a standard that you would accept for an election that is properly run, regardless of who wins? What standards would you require?

                    2. Typical Jeff. Your cite admits that people were sent home, and then ballot counting resumed, with the monitor from the Secretary of State showing up an hour later.

                      So what was debunked? The election workers were told that they were done for the night, but weren’t “forced” to leave.

                      “Election workers unpacked absentee ballots from their containers, which were ballot storage containers, not “suitcases.”” Yeah, being in containers, not suitcases, isn’t really the issue.

                      But hey, the Secretary of State, said nothing happened, even though they weren’t there for an hour.

                    3. There is video of people counting ballots multiple times. So they tell us one thing and bvb were supposed to believe it but when we catch them in a lie people defend it. Why are people so angry, i just dont understand? Voting procedure.Every person must register at least six months or more ahead of time with verifiable identification. When you register you get a form that you must return and you get a copy of registration. All botes must have a paper copy of the vote with the voters iddntification on it for the voter to keep intheir possession. A cooy is also filed with the government. All voting information is public. All voting location are watched by various observers and with cameras.. I can see who voted for who. Why. Youre vote affects me, so i get to know whos voting and what their voting. Yourr vote is your true participation in government. Why is it treated so flippantly Guarantee we wouldnt have anymore fraud after these procedures were implemented.

                    4. Why the lie about the “water main break”?
                      It’s extremely significant that a lie was used to send people home, as confirmed by multiple contemporary reports.

                    5. Jesus fucking christ jeff, the recount isn’t an audit. They simply rescan the ballots including already adjudicated ballots. And they found thousands of votes. God damn youre such a pathetic liar.

                    6. What do you hope to get out of an audit, Jesse? “What really happened”? WE KNOW WHAT FUCKING HAPPENED, JESSE. BIDEN WON. JUST DROP IT.

                    7. The fuck he did, Jeff. And you know it.
                      That’s why you’re so desperate to not have an investigation and for the DNC’s corporate partners to silence everyone who questions it.

                    8. What do you hope to get out of an audit, ML? “To get to the bottom of things”? And when that doesn’t happen, then what?

                    9. And then a lot of people will end up going to jail, or, if by the faintest chance you’re not lying and gaslighting us, the investigation shows that the fraud ultimately didn’t affect the outcome.

                    10. See, there you go. You will not be satisfied until you see a perp walk of Democrats going to prison. And then when that doesn’t happen, you will continue to demand more and more audits and commissions and recounts and whatnot until you see your desired result. Commissions won’t change that. Just go away.

                  2. They found hundreds of double voters. They found thousands of missing ballots on droves. They have 100k adjudicated ballots where the originals were destroyed. They moved a signature audit from the county it was suspected to one where it wasn’t. They kept counting after telling poll watchers they were done.

                    Just stop.

                    1. I’m not going to take your word for it Jesse.
                      The whole “100k adjudicated ballots” thing was already debunked. In Georgia, ALL the absentee ballots go through an adjudication process. Here:


                      This is different than the version of this clip that was edited and circulated on right-wing media which just cut it off when he said “100k ballots were adjudicated”, leaving the viewer with an incomplete picture of what’s going on. Why do you think that is, Jesse?

              3. chemjeff…I don’t think it is a wise move = At some point you just have to say “I’m done listening to your insane theories, go away”. And that’s where I am at right now frankly and that’s where a lot of people are at. You are contemptuously dismissing the concerns of 33% of the electorate. Perhaps you don’t appreciate the seriousness of the current situation.

                You are talking about 50,000,000 people who believe the 2020 election was tainted and question it’s legitimacy. Not 500. Not 500,000. Not even 5,000,000. They will be heard, chemjeff. The only question is how they will be heard. The Capitol Building ‘Mostly’ peaceful protest was one way. I would be much more concerned about what happened in the PA legislature that day as well.

                The smart move is for Congressional leadership to jointly announce a commission (like the 9/11 one) that will be established immediately after Joseph Biden is sworn in whose mandate is simple: what is the definitive final story of what happened in the 2020 election, which would include a nationwide forensic vote audit. That would help cool a very contentious situation and directly address the concerns of 50MM Americans. In a year, maybe 16 months…we’ll have a report.

                Defuse this group of 50MM Americans, do not dismiss them with contempt. We saw earlier this week what happens when you do that.

                1. What part of “which were ballot storage containers, not “suitcases.”” don’t you understand? The case is closed, now move on.

                2. Yea, a commission to put lipstick on the pig isn’t going to satisfy many people.
                  The time to address concerns was in the last two months, but that would’ve ruined their plans.
                  Now whether they come back and say “yea, Trump actually won all 50 states” or “yea, Biden won totally legitimately, and here’s why” nothing changes.
                  Evidence has been destroyed, the die is cast, and our Republic is no more.
                  Now they will persecute dissenters, cut us off from services, confiscate bank accounts, put people in camps, and murder them.
                  They are following the Nazi playbook to a T, only they have much greater reach and power… and fewer ethical, moral, or rational principles.
                  We’re about to be fucking liquidated, and goosesteppers like chemjeff will justify while dogmatists full of resentment like sarcasmic will pretend it’s just a conspiracy theory up until his name pops up on the next list.

                  1. Nardz….Easy. Let’s see where we are by April Fools Day.

                    Passions are high. We had a pandemic and a shutdown and a contentious election all in the same year. We have had to absorb a lot as a Republic. Give it a little time. Our Republic has survived much more severe times. It is not ‘over’, Nardz.

                    In the meantime, we should insist on an Electoral Integrity Commission, along the lines proposed by Senator Tim Scott. The electoral process is over, but the truth of what happened in the 2020 election is not fully known. If anything, we owe future historians an account of what actually happened.

                    I am very troubled by what I have seen from Twitter, Google, Apple, and Amazon in the last 48 hours.

                3. Yes.

                  The people will be heard. That’s for sure.

                  And if private companies, whether at the behest of government or not, continue to outright censor speech and/or block the ability to use platforms that don’t censor speech (as per Google and perhaps Apple if they follow through with their threat), those voices will be heard in increasingly unwanted (read: violent/destructive) ways, AND WITH GOOD REASON. If you disallow speech, you’re forcing people to use other means to get their point across, because people will be heard. Even if private companies banning speech and platforms aren’t acting on behalf of government actors, they are still acting AGAINST a massive segment of the population in ways that will have devastating consequences for everyone. And when things start turning sideways because the voices of people have been stomped on, those private corporations will be responsible for it.

                4. For once Nardz is right. A commission will not change anything, because – as I said – even unlimited transparency cannot disprove a conspiracy theory. NOTHING can. People like Nardz are going to believe to their dying day that the election was stolen no matter what. Lack of transparency is not the real problem here. The real problems are, IMO: (1) people who prefer to ensconce themselves in media bubbles in which the only “news” stories that they read are articles that make them feel good, not stories that keep them broadly informed; and (2) irresponsible politicians and media personalities that take advantage of these media bubbles and spread dangerous lies and rumors for their own benefit, without regards to the consequences or costs of those lies. THOSE are the real problems here. Not the lack of one more commission.

                  1. Very specific election laws were broken, in ways that have been scrupulously recorded by the very people who violated the laws.

                  2. No, the problem is you’re a totalitarian piece of shit who refuses to let people who disagree with you live in peace, and who you’re taking away all options but violence.
                    You have a fucking death wish.

                    1. the problem is you’re a totalitarian piece of shit who refuses to let people who disagree with you live in peace

                      You have called for commenters on this board and writers at this magazine to be murdered by lynch mobs for saying things you disagree with.

                      Eat shit, fascist twerp.

              4. Again more rationalization to hide the truth. What the fuck is this shit? Why are you so against an open and public audit? What is the fucking harm?

                1. What is the point? IT WON’T CHANGE YOUR MIND. We have already seen how this plays out! “Wait for the recount.” “Wait for the statistical analysis.” “Wait for the court rulings.” You won’t be satisfied until some audit produces a perp walk of Democrats going to prison. That’s it. Since that is very likely NOT going to happen, you are going to continue to bitch and moan and demand audit after audit until everyone just relents, perhaps threatening more violence along the way. You need to shut up and accept reality. The election was not “the cleanest ever”, that is true, but neither was there MASSIVE FRAUD that STOLE THE ELECTION. You need to stop listening to right-wing media that LIES to you INTENTIONALLY in order to generate outrage and clicks and power for them. You need to stop making lazy historical comparisons where everything that happens is somehow some harbinger of fascist Italy or Nazi Germany or Red China. If you want to go to your own state board of elections or local board of elections and propose changes to make elections better in your area, GO RIGHT AHEAD. That is a GREAT idea. That is actually a CONSTRUCTIVE idea. But none of us should have to sit through any more whining about MASSIVE FRAUD or audits. The election is over. As flawed as it was, the result isn’t going to change. Please accept that.

                  1. chemjeff…If you are correct, and an Electoral Integrity Commission finds after 16 months that although there were isolated instances of fraud and other instances of not following the law, Joseph Biden won the election anyway because he got more legal votes….what has been lost? And what has been gained?

                    Lost: Maybe 1B dollars. BFD. We piss away more money studying the sex lives of insects annually
                    Gain: You will have directly addressed the concerns of 50MM people and neutralized their main contention.

                    I repeat: If you summarily dismiss the concerns of ~50MM people and treat them with contempt, they will make themselves heard. This is not a case of 500 people, or even 5 million. It is ~50 million people and different rules apply here.

                    1. What has been lost? It means that you will have legitimized the seditionist’s veto. That a mob can storm the Capitol and force the government to do its bidding. Sure you want to endorse that precedent?

                2. “IT WON’T CHANGE YOUR MIND”

                  So what? At least then you could point to the investigation and say “See”. So wouldn’t a congressional investigation be a good thing to clear that up?

                  But of course you don’t want that because you’re actually pretty sure that it was fraudulent too.
                  The Democrats and their tech and media properties are all acting guilty as fuck, and so are you.

          3. States violating their own election laws is not conspiracy, it is recorded fact.

        2. “You have no problem deplatforming or removing the voice of those you disagree with.”

          Oh bullshit once more! Divorce is bad… Shall we have Government Almighty outlaw divorce? Ditto suicide… You can’t prevent self-hating people from killing themselves, short of installing mind-control or utterly draconian controls of some sort or other. The PRICES of having Government Almighty ATTEMPT to do things that it can NOT actually accomplish, are FAR to great!

          People should let each other talk. Plain and simple. Having Government Almighty FORCE private parties to let each other talk? On forums OWNED by private parties? It can NOT work, and it WILL not work, without a too-great cost!

          Next time you have a private social gathering, are you OK with me coming in there, armed by the forces of Government Almighty, which will FORCE you to let me stay there? And FORCE everyone at your gathering, to stay quiet, while I blather on and on? That’s a pretty apt analogy for those of you who want to butcher Section 230, which for ONCE, actually LIMITS the powers of Government Almighty! You don’t know a good thing when you see it, imagining a “perfect” replacement, which cannot and will not exist!

          1. Youre rationalization is duly noted. But you are still applauding it.

          2. By the way, even the ACLU thinks this has gone too far…

            But not you.


            Youre more broken than the ACLU is.

          3. It’s neet how Sqrlsy/sarcasmic is still pretending that Google et al. are less tied up with the government than the State Department is.

            Google and Twitter are political actors in your corporatist government Sqrls.

            1. What’s your fix, what’s your cure? One that’s not worse than the disease, that is? Google and Twitter aren’t Properly Obeying the Will of the Momma? Go talk to them and persuade them, go right ahead, I’m all in favor! But… The FORCE of Government Almighty? Have you studied history? USA alcohol prohibition, for example? Do you know HOW MANY nasty side effects the non-essential use of Government Almighty FORCE can cause?

              My patient is suffering some pains… A bullet to his head will end the pain! But now I caused pain to his loved ones, who will miss him terribly… You see how this works? We need solutions or cures that are NOT worse than the disease! Using Government Almighty FORCE to satisfy your punishment boner has some VERY nasty side effects!

              1. start by removing their 230 protections. They want to censor content, fine. Now they lose protection.

                1. “Removing their 230 protections” in a nutshell: Government Almighty should be able to boss around your uses of your web site, because, after all, Government Almighty is “protecting” you… From Government Almighty!!!

                  Wow! I could have Government Almighty take over EVERYTHING using this “logic”!

                  1. no idea what fantasies in your head you are rebutting here. If Google and Apple want to moderate content on their platforms, they are no longer just distributors of content, they are now publishers. The law should treat them accordingly.

                    1. Earlier post of mine, in more detail. Refute it, if you can!

                      A prime argument of enemies of Section 230 is, since the government does such a HUGE favor for owners of web sites, by PROTECTING web site owners from being sued (in the courts of Government Almighty) as a “publisher”, then this is an unfair treatment of web site owners! Who SHOULD (lacking “unfair” section 230 provisions) be able to get SUED for the writings of OTHER PEOPLE! And punished by Government Almighty, for disobeying any and all decrees from Government Almighty’s courts, after getting sued!

                      In a nutshell: Government Almighty should be able to boss around your uses of your web site, because, after all, Government Almighty is “protecting” you… From Government Almighty!!!

                      Wow, just THINK of what we could do with this logic! Government Almighty is “protecting” you from getting sued in matters concerning who you chose to date or marry… In matters concerning what line of work you chose… What you eat and drink… What you read… What you think… Therefore, Government Almighty should be able to boss you around on ALL of these matters, and more! The only limits are the imaginations and power-lusts of politicians!

                    2. I hear this a LOT: Either you’re a publisher, or an impartial conduit of posts; you can NOT be both! Well, this is an authoritarian power-pig stance, no matter if you persuade 51% or 97% of your fellow authoritarians, or not! NO inflexible law of physics, chemistry, or yada-yada prohibits Section 230 to straddle the middle!

                      Let me draw an analogy to this black-and-white empty-headedness: Because I (and 51% of the voters) say that your teeth bacteria are either utterly evil, or are pure-white good and have souls, you must either: ‘1) Nuke your mouth once a day with ionizing radiation, or ‘2) you may brush your teeth, but if you do, you MUST find a good home for EVERY bacteria that you put out on the streets!

                      Colgate MUST decide, are they ruthless killers of ALL mouth bacteria, or are they enablers of goodness and kindness for good, soul-bearing bacteria! They may NOT straddle the middle, as enablers of free-will choices of the consumers, because I, and 51% or more of the voters, have said so!

                      Alternately, it can NOT, and dare NOT, be both a dessert topping, AND a floor wax… Because I said so!

                      Power-pig authoritarians all of ye!

            2. PS, Mamma, did you NOT notice that Der TrumpfenFuhrer LOST the election? For conservaturds to imagine that THEY can have THEIR way, and push liberals around, when Government Almighty takes over privately owned web sites… And that liberals will not get ANYTHING that THEY ask for, in this orgy of Government Almighty taking over… Is TOTAL delusion!

              This below is a re-run, but it illustrates that particular HUGE problem!


              The day after tomorrow, you get a jury summons. You will be asked to rule in the following case: A poster posted the following to social media: “Government Almighty LOVES US ALL, FAR more than we can EVER know!”

              This attracted protests from liberals, who thought that they may have detected hints of sarcasm, which was hurtful, and invalidated the personhoods of a few Sensitive Souls. It ALSO attracted protests from conservatives, who were miffed that this was a PARTIAL truth only (thereby being at least partially a lie), with the REAL, full TRUTH AND ONLY THE TRUTH being, “Government Almighty of Der TrumpfenFuhrer ONLY, LOVES US ALL, FAR more than we can EVER know! Thou shalt have NO Government Almighty without Der TrumpfenFuhrer, for Our TrumpfenFuhrer is a jealous Government Almighty!”

              Ministry of Truth, and Ministry of Hurt Baby Feelings, officials were consulted. Now there are charges!


              “Government Almighty LOVES US ALL”, true or false?

              “Government Almighty LOVES US ALL”, hurtful sarcasm or not?

              Will you be utterly delighted to serve on this jury? Keep in mind that OJ Simpson got an 11-month criminal trial! And a 4-month civil trial!

              1. Sarcasmic, what the hell was the point of all that blather?

                1. The point seems to be, you’re too lazy and stupid to comprehend a thought with ANY complexity at ALL… ESPECIALLY if it doesn’t align with your ideological blindness!

                  Once again, you can NOT refute what I say!

                  1. No, it’s got nothing to do with refuting. You didn’t make any sense. It’s like reading a Tamil spambot.
                    Maybe you can ask your mom to edit your posts for clarity, before you hit “submit”.

                    1. Momma claims to win the argument, because Momma can’t comprehend what I write! Clever trick, that is! Who taught you SUCH a clever trick?

                    2. I learned reading comprehension in school.
                      My school was probably different than yours. We sat at desks instead of on beanbag chairs and didn’t have mittens taped to our hands.

        3. Authoritarianism doesn’t come only from the government.

          You’re right!

          It comes when any major power exploits its position to keep others down or limit their rights.

          What right precisely are you accusing Google of abridging? Some alleged right to download apps from Google’s property without Google’s permission? You don’t have that right Jesse, no one does.

          “Free speech” has two meanings: a very narrow one, referring specifically to government prohibitions on speech; and a broader one, referring more to an ethos of open debate and inquiry. Clearly the narrow version does not apply here, because it’s not the government banning Parler. Only the broader definition applies. But here’s the thing Jesse, neither you nor anyone else has any right to COMPEL private property owners to pursue an ethos of open debate and inquiry ON THEIR OWN PROPERTY. Twitter, Google, Facebook, you, me, every property owner out there is free to be as arbitrary and capricious in the speech and debate they allow on their own property. We can advocate that they should, we can try to persuade them. But at the end of the day the decision is theirs and theirs alone how much open inquiry they want to permit on their property. Because it’s THEIR property. Not yours, THEIRS.

          Yet antifa and BLM freely use Instagram, wattsapp, etc to organize hundreds of violent events and threats to politicians.

          This whataboutism doesn’t matter. It really doesn’t. They have every right to be as arbitrary as they want. It is not fair, but they are not required to be fair. So kudos to you and your fellow right-wingers for exposing their hypocrisy. But they are not required to be consistent.

          And the rest of your bitching about all of this is just performative outrage theater. Why don’t you propose a solution that pursues the desires that you want, while also protecting the private property rights of all involved. But that’s hard, and doesn’t give you the same dopamine rush that bitching about Big Tech does.

          1. Great post.

            I’d just like to add that this is an opportunity for someone to create a conservative echo chamber where Jesse and his TDS buddies can get out their hate without being censored.

            1. And they did that. And people can still access Parler even with Google dropping the app, so it’s not like Parler is completely shut off from the Internet. This is the actual libertarian solution here. People who don’t like Twitter’s services go to their competitor. Google chooses not to use its property for hosting something that it doesn’t want. And the government has stayed completely out of it all.

              1. Google and Apple are corporatist political actors who used armies of lawyers and lobbyists to get favorable regulations to achieve their current status. They are so tied up with the Democratic party, that they are the Democratic party.
                Quit fucking pretending that they’re some free market business.

                Here’s the ACLU on what you’re spouting:

                “it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions — especially when political realities make those decisions easier”

            2. Except my wife downloaded the Parler app on her iPhone, and last night no new posts were allowed to come through. Guess she should have just thrown her iPhone away and went and bought a new phone! Because this is all ok!

              1. What’s your solution? Use government to force Apple to do what you want?

                1. Apple is basically a department of the American government.

                2. No. I’m not sure what the solution is. But pretending there’s not a problem because you don’t like who’s being censored isn’t it.

                  1. “But pretending there’s not a problem because you don’t like who’s being censored isn’t it.”

                    I don’t care who is being censored. I really don’t. The point is that it’s not the government’s business to interfere.

                    1. But the government is interfering. That’s the whole point that you seem to be intentionally missing. Left wing politicians are demanding that private businesses sensor right wing speech, openly, and they are complying.

                      You realize that left wing politicians are part of the state, right? This isn’t like the girls on The View talking shit about Fox News. This is members of the legislative branch of the federal government doing it.

                      Maybe you need to take a step back from trolling Jesse and take some extra time getting updated on what’s happened in the past 24-48 hours? Here in this thread your buddy Jeff is sticking up for all of it because it’s a response to “insurrection”, which is exactly the excuse those left wing members of the state are using.

                    2. Lol. At least you admit you’re fine with corporatism and soft fascism.

                      You claim to be well read with your random Bastian quotes every 6 months. Please go read how fascism grew on Italy. Germany and communism grew under the red guard of China. It almost always started with government backed control and influence to corporations to first create an enemy class.

                      God damn man. You are really broken.

                    3. Chat that up with your conspiracy theorist buddies online. There’s got to a site where you, Nardz, Sevo and the rest can have your Trumpian circle jerk.

                    4. I cant see how anyone (agree, disagree, or whatever) would think this is a Trump thing. This behavior has involved many facets of society that have little or nothing to do with Trump.

                    5. This isn’t like the girls on The View talking shit about Fox News.

                      Actually that’s exactly what this is. AOC talking shit on Twitter has no more force of law than the girls’ catty talk on The View.

                    6. What about Pelosi.

                      Here she is on C-Span calling for uprisings back in 2018:

                      And she just got her hands slapped by the military for trying to incite a military coup on Thursday.
                      Even the New York Times said she went to far.

                      This is far, far worse than anything Trump said on Wednesday.

            3. God man. You are really broken. After all the posts this morning this was your takeaway?

              You really are a broken alcoholic. Maybe I was wrong at you being smarter than this. You’ll give up every principle you once claimed to have out of political bitterness.

              Damn man. Actually feel sorry for you at this point.

        4. Look sarcasmic, you’re not a complete idiot.

          Yes, he is.


    3. “state/corporation collaboration”?

      Feature, not bug.

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      Have Trump’s Lies Wrecked Free Speech?

      A debate has broken out over whether the once-sacrosanct constitutional protection of the First Amendment has become a threat to democracy.

      1. Cripes!
        But Reason sits on its hands and whistles.

        1. NYT is a private company, so them talking about abolishing 1A is fine. In fact, ENB will be back Monday morning citing them on the news.

          1. ‘The First Amendment was never intended by the Founders to cover such evil unanticipated things like social media hate speech like….blah, blah, fucking blah.’

            Still think this was just like any other election?

      2. The NYT is doing all they can to preserve their legacy as Stalin’s mouthpiece.


    6. boehm is a dipshit commie before 2021 and still is.

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  2. So Trump meanly fight China bad, but confused old man Biden not so hard fight China good. Get fucked Boehm.

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  4. Silly me; from the headline, I expected a detailed analysis of the assault on freedoms from the (anti-)social giants who have taken over the market for speech and even ideas in the US.
    Then I noticed the author.

    1. He had a whole paragraph on it!

  5. All of this has to be evaluated against the Communist Chinese government allowing/encouraging a deadly virus in 2020 that will likely wind up killing ~500K Americans by the end of 2021. By way of comparison, we had ~400,000 dead in WW2. Just think about that number — 500,000 dead Americans — and let that sink in.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but there is no universe where a malignant foreign government kills 500K Americans and just walks away scot-free, with no consequence. None whatsoever. So yes, I want a silicon curtain between US and China. In fact, I’d want much more than that. AYFKM?!

    For starters, separate Taiwan from Communist China. Help Taiwan become a porcupine, militarily…so it cannot be eaten by the dragon without existential pain. Taiwan wants weapons? No problem, take everything you can possibly carry and point them at those communist bastards. Park an aircraft carrier nearby, if that is what it takes.

    We can also delist chinese companies from any US stock exchange. You think those chinese companies keep accurate books that are audited annually by independent auditors? Uh, no. And mutual funds buy those chinese stocks; that is a direct threat to any pension fund if the books aren’t accurate. Do you think these commie bastards give two shits about retiree pension fund losses? Long story short, we need to put an investment ‘Great Wall’ around China.

    America needs to understand that they are now in an existential battle with communist China. I never particularly cared for chinese food myself.

    1. Keep in mind that those numbers are people who died with the virus. That doesn’t necessarily mean from the virus. It just means they tested positive. An asymptomatic person who dies in a skydiving mishap will be counted as a COVID death.

      1. So you still have at least one rational impulse left. Wish you would see the destruction of free speech as well.

        1. 230 is a leash on the power of government. We need more of those.

          1. You think this is solely about 230. You can’t criticize BLM violence, cab you even criticize the removal of Parler from platforms?

            We have politicians right now in the DNC contacting SV, Comcast, cable companies, etc basically telling them to remove any and all conservative voices. Can you even bring yourself to condemn this?

            1. Like I said below, you’re a tool for demanding people condemn this or that, and then attacking them for supporting it when they refuse to be your puppet. Your game is stale. Fuck off.

              1. Not going to answer the question at hand I see.

                1. No, I’m not going to play his game.

                  1. You won’t condemn Democrats lawmakers (the state) demanding private companies censor speech you don’t like?

                  2. “I’m not going to play his game”

                    You’re so obvious, sarc. Just admit that you don’t want to answer, because you know what you’re endorsing is genuine censorship by political actors.

          2. I mean, one ridiculous example…

            Laura loomer is based from using Uber Eats because the corporation hates her. At what point is your line? Was it when the Germans had the night of glass or before when they banned books? Because we are already at the latter.

            1. As usual Jesse you are not accurately reporting on what happened between Laura Loomer and Uber & Lyft.

              Here is a better account:


              She was being a bigoted dickhead who was also disparaging Uber & Lyft workers. She wasn’t just saying awful things. She was saying awful things about the people who work at those two companies. So this is a little bit more than what you are suggesting. And, in typical right-wing victimhood fashion, when she’s called out for being a bigoted dickhead, she claims that she’s just bringing up “legitimate safety concerns”. No she wasn’t, she was trying to provoke an angry reaction and then turn into a right-wing martyr when the predictable backlash occurred.

              1. I don’t see how you refuted anything he said. They didn’t like her because she said things they didn’t like.

                1. Jeff can’t understand why you wouldn’t want to censor those that you disagree with.

          3. Maybe you’ll believe Greenwald.

            Time to stop being angry and realize what is happening.


            1. “There’s absolutely a new War on Terror being initiated — it’d been lurking for awhile, but it’s accelerating now for obvious reasons. This new one is aimed inward, domestically. It entails many of the same frameworks.

              They’re saying it explicitly:
              “Mr. Biden says he plans to make a priority of passing a law against domestic terrorism””

              If Reason were a libertarian magazine they’d be absolutely terrified by the last few days.

              1. “If Reason were a libertarian magazine they’d be absolutely terrified by the last few days.”

                They’re in what will be a Green Zone. They’re controlled opposition, and not very opposed to what happened anyway. They think they’ll be fine, in as much as it occurred to any of them working there to be concerned at all.

                We’re headed to a Dark Age.

                1. Reason’s hoping that the crocodile will eat them last, I guess.

                  1. No, Reason is staffed by a bunch of resentful leftists who choose to call themselves libertarian for style.

              2. I agree.

                The last year has been really, really bad for libertarians.

                The last 2 days have doomed us all.

                The left used social media for months to coordinate non-stop riots in dozens of cities. Yet now that a few fools on the right broke a couple windows at the capitol, and tweeted about it, free speech is dead, and what’s worse is that it’s being cheered on.

                This is no shit scary. Being an open society is on the verge of being obliterated.

                1. “The last year has been really, really bad for libertarians.”

                  Yes. Though we were doomed already, whatever happened 1/6. And it is incredibly scary.

                  IMHO, they need a bit more blood for them to push some of the substantial conduct restrictions they want. I’ve little doubt they’ll manufacture some at or before the Inauguration.

                  1. I’m mostly referring to the tenet of free speech.

                    Google and Apple dropped Parler. Amazon just cut it off from it web services, so in about 18 hours there won’t even be a Parler.

                    And this is after Facebook and Twitter dump Trump and tens of thousands of conservatives. And well after it was clear that typing anything not towing the party line on those platforms would result in temporary bans, “fact checks”, and general algorithm fuckery designed to minimize non-party opinion.

                    And now that it’s clear Trump is a goner, and no longer any kind of threat to their businesses, these same companies being investigated by what is now a fully Team Blue run government are folding to their every demand. An attempt to be on The Right Side of the new government by purging anti-party thought from the internet. That’s certainly a goal of the left, one they’re clear about, and Silicon Valley is just handing it right to them.

          4. 230 is a leash on the power of government.

            So, in your mind, did
            A) Big tech pass a law putting the leash in their hands and Congress’ neck in the collar,
            B) Congress pass a law putting the leash in their hands and the collar on their own neck, or
            C) Congress passed a law putting the leash in their hand and the collar on Big Tech?

            Because pretty much any option is both fascist *and* a violation of free speech.

            1. This only became a big deal when a narcissistic president and his delusional followers got their panties in a twist. That’s a red flag all by itself.

              1. Here you admit that it doesn’t matter simply because of who it’s happening to.

                1. No, that’s not what I said. But thanks for playing.

                  1. sarcasmic
                    January.9.2021 at 11:02 am
                    This only became a big deal when a narcissistic president and his delusional followers got their panties in a twist.

                    1. Not that I don’t care about who it is happening to, more like I question “it” because of the source.

      2. “I’m OK with it as long as China can only be implicated in the deaths ~200K Americans.” – sarcasmic

        1. Go set a strawman on fire. Oh, never mind. You just did.

          1. Umm, do you actually know what strawmanning is, Sarc?
            Because you’re not using it right.

            1. He mixes that up with appeal to ridicule all the time. But he has 2 Bastiat quotes saved in a textfile so he thinks he is a libertarian.

              1. Well excuse the fuck out of me for mixing up all the fallacies you employ in your inanity.

                1. It’s why we laugh at you. I knew the difference.

                  Howver, in your defense, it’s not out of line with how you do things in general.

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  7. The chipset backdoors that were talked about were the tip of the iceberg. It was worse than reported, far worse than generally known.

    But let’s get to the meat of this – China is a one party dictatorship that uses slave labor and has one of the worst civil rights records on the planet. And your opinion is “meh forget all that let’s do bidness!”

    I see the billionaires are getting their payback.

    1. #boycottapple

    2. It’s funny, for all the chest-pounding from the liberaltarians around here about “principles,” they sure sell them out fast enough if it means saving $5 a panel on drywall.

  8. I hate being spied on as much as the next libertarian, but the worst that the government behind it is capable of does factor into how fearful I am.

    You tell us, Boehm, that the US does the same sort of telecom spying as the CCP. All right, point taken. But so far the worst the US has done is wage a phoney war and drone assassinate some kids eating breakfast. That’s terrible, but it can’t hold a candle to Chinese ongoing genocide of the Uighurs, the very public stomping of Hong Kong, the ongoing suppression of any dissent at all through the social credit system, and the complete erasure of Tibetan identity a few decades ago.

    Could similar things happen here? Unfortunately yes. So far things haven’t gotten nearly to that level yet. So I’d still prefer to take my chances with American tyranny over its Chinese counterpart. Thanks for sharing your opinion about free trade being applied in this instance, but I say fuck Chinese telecom spying over here, thank you very much.

    1. “Could similar things happen here? Unfortunately yes.”

      Wise words, thanks! “My tribe good, your tribe bad” thinking (perhaps programmed by evolution) makes it hard for us to see that. They HAVE happened in the past here, and they MAY happen again, unless we stay perpetually vigilant! Government Almighty is the LAST place we should look to, for help here! Physicians, heal yourselves!

      1. You have no conviction. You sold out a long time ago because you disliked mean tweets.

        1. You look to Government Almighty to solve all “problems”, where “problems” are defined as anything that displeases JesseBahnFuhrer, The Magnificent. There’s a word for your kind of folks… Lemme see… Oh, yeah! Authoritarians! That’s it!

          1. You’re the one endorsing authoritarianism here, sarc. Don’t you feel a sense of guilt about betraying your principles like this?

            1. You’re the one whose tin-foil hat is eating what VERY little is left of your so-called brain! YOU could strangle it, and then throw away your tin-foil hat, but you REFUSE to do it! And when others TRY to help you do that, you fight them off! What is the MATTER with you, oh willfully, arrogantly stupid one?

              1. That was some top drawer Hihn-posting, Sqrls.
                It made very little sense, but I could certainly tell that you were passionate about tin-foil.

                1. “You’re the one endorsing authoritarianism here”, says the authoritarian! That’s rich! Go look in the mirror!

                  1. Yeah, the old “I’m rubber and you’re glue” response probably isn’t the killer rhetorical defense you imagine.

    2. This is the same website asking to pardon Snowden but still quietly condoning the actions of China and their spying on not just their own country but other countries as well.

      It is unreal.

  9. “quietly condoning”

    Ah yes. If someone doesn’t denounce something from the rooftops when you demand it, then that means they [insert strawman here] and because of that they’re terrible people!!

    Dude, your game is getting really old.

    1. Sullum wrote over 65 articles complaining about Trump’s challenges in the courts.

      How many articles specifically on the Uighur holocaust were written at Reason, Sqrls?
      How many articles on the (now successful) suppression of Hong Kong?

      What’s going going on here is worse than simple media bias.

      1. I think the events of the last 48 hours have proven reason writers to be correct.

        They stuck a finger up and felt which way the wind was blowing. Everyone who is not at the level of a Glenn greenwald, having a built-in following that will bring money wherever he goes, needs to shut up and get with the program. And America’s libertarian publication is getting with the program.

        It should have been clear long before, but if it wasn’t the killing of the New York Post article put a button on it for everyone. There is no more freedom of expression. Not where politics is concerned. You tow the party line. That’s what you do.

        Everyone is snapping too. They have always loved big brother.

        Writers have to eat too.

        1. Wow.

          You’re right. But wow.

        2. Where do you go to talk, if places like this just roll over? Is it really safe anymore to comment here?

    2. I’m not asking for yelling from the rooftops broken fuck. They won’t even address it.

      1. Nobody is obligated to address what you feel to be important, and failure to do so isn’t “tacit support” that gives you license to make all kinds of accusations. It just means that nobody gives a fuck about you or what you feel to be important. No one.

        1. “what you feel to be important”

          Are you telling us that a twenty-first century genocide and the reintroduction of slavery by one of the most powerful countries on earth, isn’t genuinely important?

          You’re so fucking cartoonishly evil sometimes.

  10. Clicked on the headline expecting an article about #WalkAway and Parler getting banned everywhere.

    Should have known better. If I want to find content complaining about those things, I’d need to find a libertarian publication.

    1. When you find one, let us know.

    2. It’s also amazing that boehm has failed to wrote about Pennsylvanias secretary of state, governor, and state Supreme Court illegally overruling both our state and federal constitution regarding the creation and modification of election laws. Considering he’s from Pennsylvania…

  11. Boehm: “One thing is for certain: there is no stopping them; the ants will soon be here. And I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords. I’d like to remind them as a trusted media personality, I can be helpful in rounding up others to toil in their underground sugar caves.”

    1. Poor Boehm, Suderman knows far more about underground sugar caves and how to work them. He’s got no chance of getting the gig.

  12. Boehm is asking for transparency in dealing with China. Yet this is the same Chinese Communist government that stonewalled on reporting Covid cases, deflected anyone investigating and purposefully destroyed documentation, imprisoned anyone discussing it publicly, rebuffed attempts by outside agencies to obtain information, and then claimed it must have come in their country from elsewhere.

    That is who you’re dealing with here. You think they are just nice guys in suits who wanna do bidness. They are hard core left communist assholes who want world domination.

    1. Bingo! = They are hard core left communist assholes who want world domination.

      It is either us or them. I choose US.

      1. Well, technically they’re more like Fascists at this point than communists. Ideological communism in China was fatally shot by Deng Xiaoping.

  13. “Trump escalated America’s war against Huawei and China.”

    War????? I don’t recall the US Navy, Air Force, Army or Marines bombing or invading China. Like other dishonest propagandists, Boehm either doesn’t understand, or has no respect for, the definitions of commonly understood words.

    Regardless, China now owns Joe Biden (thanks to corrupt business deals and payoffs by Chinese, Ukrainians and Russians to Hunter and James Biden, and to the Big Guy).

    China (and likely Russia) already has a lot more evidence documenting Biden’s corruption (than was revealed by the New York Post and Tony Bobulinski), and Biden will be blackmailed to do whatever China (and perhaps Russia) desire.

    1. Once upon a time, calling anything “The war on X” that wasn’t actually a war would have been denounced by Reason. Now they’re part of the narrative.

    2. I think you missed the point of everything we learned over the last couple of years. It does not matter that Biden was taking payoffs. As in, nobody cares. It will not be reported in the press. He faces no consequences. They have no way to blackmail him. He is fully protected.

      When you watched Leslie Stahl look Trump in the eye and say “it isn’t verified”, you should have begun to understand if you didn’t already know.”What do you mean, it is a laptop”. “It can’t be verified.”. “Of course it can”. “it isn’t verified.”

      The press says that the Ukraine story is debunked. They actually use the phrase asserted without evidence. We have quid pro quo bribery where both the quid and the quote are known and acknowledged. And they say there is no evidence.

      What exactly do you think that the Russians could reveal that would change this calculus? What could this Chinese possibly say or do that could penetrate that wall of protection?

      Hunter’s own business partners have verified that their Chinese ventures were designed to funnel money to Joe. There is no more there to find. That’s it. It is already known.

      This is exactly like the Democrats who thought that catching Trump having an affair was going to derail his candidacy. It was stupid from the jump. Everybody knows Trump sleeps around. It’s part of his brand for crying out loud. Catching Trump being a philanderer is like catching hulk Hogan doing steroids. It is not news.

      1. The idea is that if Biden, for example, steps out of line, then Winnie the Pooh pulls some strings and the media complex that’s been protecting Biden for the last 50 years, for example, suddenly turn on him like they did to Trump five years ago. Though why a long time gravy train passenger like Biden would suddenly want it to stop would be a mystery all its own in that event.

  14. Twitter purges President Trump for the rest of his life and 15,000 others (whose politics Jake Dorsey hates) in the past day, but no articles of condemnation in Reason.

    1. Because huge corporatist entities so deeply in bed with the government and politicians, that you don’t know whose limbs belong to who, are somehow just private companies.

      Sure they’re full of political actors doing political actions on behalf of a political party.
      And sure they got to where they are with huge dollops of subsidies, and armies of lobbyists obtaining regulations to crush competition, but that’s different because reasons.

    2. The only news worth talking about is how the bad orange man is hurting the pocketbooks of genocidal dictators and their billionaire lackies.

    3. They ain’t stupid.

      You want to be able to promote your work on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Then you shut the hell up and get with the program. Otherwise, you can join the banned.

    1. He’s not wrong. If only many self-purported libertarians could open their eyes to what is happening.

      Over two hundred Twitter employees have shuffled back and forth between working for Twitter, and working in government offices for Democratic party politicians… but remember that Twitter is “private” so what it’s doing is okay.

      1. I remember when it came out that members of the federal government were actively using government databases to dox people for antifa. They barely batted an eye here.

        1. I missed that tidbit, not that it surprises me.

          Fed BigData was used to select targets for Antifa? Quelle surprise.

        2. I remember when it came out that members of the federal government were actively using government databases to dox people for antifa. They barely batted an eye here.

          If there’s anything the last several weeks have taught us, it’s that we shouldn’t believe at face value vague rumors that just so conveniently align with our prejudices. Maybe you could provide a citation for this claim.

          1. Bahaha.

            We literally have hunters laptop, emails, and testimony/emails/evidence from 3/5 business partners (Cooney, archer, bobulinski), and video of Joe describing the quidproquo in hunters corrupt deals in china and Ukraine. And we know the fbi had the laptop in 2018 and sat on it during the impeachment trial.

            But your still claiming trump should’ve been impeached for asking for an investigation most of us thought was legit then and is clearly NEEDED now given what has come put since.

            So we know even when a citation is posted you’ll just ignore it cuz that’s what ignorant retards do.

  15. Boehm, “Give away the USA and it’s defense/security/technology to China!!! I mean just because American Companies have to pay royalty for patented IP doesn’t mean we can’t just give it away to China! They deserve it because they bombed our pearl harbor and made taxpayers pay for shipping on their trade all the while manipulating fiat money!”

    Ya know; There’s a reason the U.S. Constitution gave the federal government the power to regulate national trade…..

  16. China is a slave state. We shouldn’t be trading with China at all. There should be an absolute embargo by US and all its allies. Yes, that would increase the cost of Disney+, but I think taking a stand against state sponsored slavery is worth it.

    Americans protested in the streets all of last year because of America’s legacy of slavery, yet there seems to be enormous apathy about the corporations that sponsored those protests having an allegiance with a modern slave state.

    And here Reason is publishing stuff that doesn’t even mention slavery in relationship to how we should behave toward China.

    1. Only SleepyJoe can solve this problem. With his quick mind and sharp intellect drawing on 50 years of no accomplishments, he is sure to get the bullets flying in no time.

    2. The slaves in China aren’t black, so LeBron says it’s OK.

  17. Biden should undo the Trump restrictions and tarriffs on China. But Biden’s campaign ads made a point of pretending he will be tough on China.

    The real danger is that almost all of our silicon chips are made in Taiwan, if China ever takes it over.

    1. “The real danger is that almost all of our” manufacturing has been torn apart by FORCING taxpayers to subsidize China trade while simultaneously trying to suck that subsidizing China money off of American Manufacturing taxes and petty “Green Energy” regulations.

      More Green Energy! More Corporate Taxes!! More *unearned* fiat-money so people won’t want to CREATE anything anymore.

  18. Wow, this is a really deep dive of an article to go so shallow on the methods of espionage and back doors in systems. It is quite impressive. It makes me want to read an article that goes deeper into state actors here and abroad.

    remember how important back doors into encryption were? All through the 90s and 2000s that was the biggest deal ever. It was a perpetual debate. You don’t hear about that anymore. I wonder why?

    I’m going to assume it is because they have found a way to defeat that problem.

    we know unequivocally that China insists on back doors in the systems in their country. Cisco builds custom systems just for the purpose. They monitor everything over there. Cisco also cooperates closely with the US federal government. And the EU. Lots of stuff in the US has Cisco in it.

    how tight is the government with Intel? Seems like they would be really tight. how many back doors are built into that stuff?

    1. Earlier in the comments you observed that Reason made a choice to go in a certain editorial direction due to the political climate.
      I haven’t been reading here long enough to be able to tell myself but I do see in this article the marks of a writer trying to toe a line. They take it in a clumsy direction though. The whole “gosh, tech requires open borders” argument is weird to me. The last paragraph about how techno-superiority conflicts with open borders is so naive. Getting things from lots of countries just requires established influence in those governments and societies. There can absolutely be a techno-superior power at the top of the chain. That’s what colonialism was for several hundred years! Even “US hegemony” ran that way.
      For all the discussion of colonialism recently, some people have a hell of a time recognizing it in front of them. I have no problem trying to be less of an economic colony of China. Once it’s clear that Huawei is de facto an arm of the CCP certain things should be obvious. But anything calling the open borders narrative into question is potentially more dangerous to print, so this article does read like an uncomfortable stew of safe statements. They haven’t figured out how to talk about how selling out to another national government does not actually confer the benefits of “open borders.”

      The infiltration is on “both sides” though. Pushing the right to react, pushing the left to react. People are so ready to believe an “enemy” correlates to a political party. The arms dealers benefit from the fact of the fight.

      Thanks for being a source of rationality.

      1. Also, if the app stores aren’t full of candy crush security back door free games, I’d be very surprised.

      2. Boehm has no idea about the extent of the cybersecurity threat that China poses. A big reason for our network vulnerability is the fact that nearly every fucking piece of tech is manufactured in China now, which can input backdoors into the software with impunity and activate them on the back end.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how they hacked the OMB.

        1. Sorry, OPM, not OMB.

    2. Libertarians really need to drop the rose-colored glasses about China and the wonderful cheap shit we get from them, on the so-far unfulfilled promise that they’ll liberalize their country, some day.

      China is arguably a bigger threat than Russia. Russia is mainly concerned with rebuilding their regional influence. China is literally conducting economic colonization in the rest of the Third World, they have a robust cyberwarfare capability, and unlike the US, they don’t labor under the delusion that “diversity is our strength,” as they are centuries-old civilization who have seen the falsity of that claim in action.

      They operate as a monoculture, their only concern is whether any deal they get into actually benefits them in both the short and long-term, and they’re happy to exploit ethnic tensions in the West for their own purposes. And our political masters have been selling this country out to them for 50 fucking years.

      1. I have yet to see any actual evidence of any actions against the US by Russia. I have heard lies on the left and former NatSec assholes like Brennan and Clapper, but no actual evidence.

  19. When I saw the headline “A Silicon Curtain Descends”, I thought it would be about how “Big Tech” firms like Facebook and Twitter, and Apple and Google, had banded together to block messages from President Trump, and how they could do the same to other disfavored speakers.

    1. Of course not; One of Pelosi’s biggest investments is in Facebook.. (Ya, that’s actually true).

  20. Unlike the President of the United States, the CCP still has a twitter account.

    1. Remember when hollyweird actors used to protest china over tibet?

      Good times.

        1. Remember yesterday; DEFUND THE POLICE!

    2. Khameini still has his as well.

  21. As I predicted they are going after the backend servers and infrastructure now. Amazon AWS told Parler to git. So several billionaires and large multinational corporations – Google, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon, etc are controlling all comms now.

    Who hosts reason?

    1. Charles Koch, who suddenly decided to get into bed with George Soros on a think tank, owns financially supports Reason.
      That’s why you get a lot of articles on open borders, and nary a peep on China.

    2. Yep.

      Get ready to see anything that doesn’t tow the line get yanked by hosting services.

  22. O/T: The Arizona GOP has gone nuts.

    Jesse, maybe you can talk some sense into them.

    1. They’re not wrong.

      1. In July Cindy McCain worked with house Democrats to pass a bill making a it illegal for Trump to withdraw American troops from Afghanistan.
        Explain why she shouldn’t be run out of town on a rail, Jeff.

        1. It’s times like this when everyone, except Jeff, realizes he’s a fucking dunce

  23. The silicon curtain is up in the United States. The actions against Parler by Google, Apple and Amazon Web Services have illustrated that Big Tech does have too much power. They have effectively hobbled a competitor to Twitter. Parler needs to find another service provider and in the recent irrational frenzy it may be difficult. Reaching out to mobile users will be difficult.

    I’m not a Parlor or Twitter user and consider them both a waste of time, but the last year and all the cancel culture make me hope that I simply fell asleep while reading George Orwells 1984. It’s scary of the vast number of similarities.

    Before the 2016 election I considered Trump would be in the vane of South America style popular dictator. I failed to identify that the Democrat, Never-Trumpers and assorted other Swamp Creatures are no different.

    With the 2020 election, I didn’t see any good results. My only hope was some sort of divided power, but even that didn’t come to pass. My new hope is that my trepidation is simply getting the best of me.

    The actions by Google, Apple and Amazon Web Services against Parler portend a reduction in our personal liberties including our freedom of speech.

  24. The enemy isn’t overseas.

    “ It isn’t just Twitter. Mark Zuckerberg (zero votes) had already indefinitely suspended Trump (74million votes) from Facebook. Reddit has scrubbed its Donald Trump thread. All social-media accounts that promote the mad Qanon conspiracy theory are being suspended. Mike Flynn and Sidney Powell have been banished from Twitter. YouTube is now banning any video and account that says the American election was fraudulent. This shows how ideological Silicon Valley oligarchs have become. For four years leading members of the media and cultural elites in the US and the UK have said the American presidential election and the EU referendum of 2016 were frauds. That they were meddled with, illegitimate, should be overthrown. You’ll find tens of thousands of videos on YouTube featuring people saying the vote for Brexit was a fit-up by Ruskies or an ‘advisory’ vote fraudulently turned into an instructional one. They won’t be taken down. Because our tech overlords are engaged in acts of openly political censorship.

    And then there’s Parler, the libertarian alternative to Twitter. Google this week removed the Parler app from its store on the basis that it doesn’t control its users’ inflammatory speech strictly enough. Apple is threatening to do likewise. All those who said ‘Just make your own social-media platform’ clearly underestimated the tyrannical determination of the woke elites to erase ‘offensive speech’ from every quarter of the internet. This is a full-on purge of any voice that significantly runs counter to the worldview of the anti-populist elites.

    That the left is cheering this on is cretinism of the most remarkable kind. They are green-lighting the most thorough assault on freedom of speech that the capitalist elites have ever carried out. They are sanctioning the control of speech by billionaires. They are celebrating as corporate oligarchies interfere directly in the democratic process. They are making a fetish of private property rights, insisting that the corporate rights of virtual monopolies like Twitter and Facebook, in this case their right to throw people off their platforms, override the social, democratic good of free public debate.”

    Brendan O’Neill

  25. The notion that a private business can have unchecked power over the consumer / employee in a contract or a business relationship is absurd.

    Do you want to work for a company that alters their dress code every other week? Yeah sure, they’re private company. But if the government mandated them to put out corporate code of conduct that’s reasonable for their employees, that’s akin to Soviet management of business?

    Social media doesn’t have to give someone like Alex Jones a platform. But once anyone registers and the company makes money on their content in some ways, they should enjoy certain protection. We create views on Twitter and YT that drive ad revenue. But sure, those companies should be able to just remove videos because they sort felt like it could “incite violence”.

    If enough of the oligarchs refused to sell the center right food or fly them places, many of us would starve to death. You can’t say “build your own platform and grow your own food” If the 1% and the government control the market or have power over licensing. We DON’T have a free market in this country, but we should abide by its principles to our detriment?

    Oh look, the left is pushing legislation for unionization and healthcare benefits, even though private business don’t have to that. They’ll MAKE them do that with their muscle. But we dare not tweak section 230, because tech giants removing speech on their subjective whim is somehow a win for free speech.

  26. Please let us know when you will find the solution.


    If conservatives use tech platforms, they can be controlled and monitored. By chasing them away, there will be less control and less moderation, leading to more extreme talk. It will have the opposite effect long term.

  28. Murderous dictators around the world agree: Twitter is their preferred platform.

    The Ayatolla murdering 1000’s of people across the Middle East and spewing anti-semitism? That’s A-OK.


  29. “For every unambiguous question there is an immediate and obvious answer that is the truth.” R.M.

    We solve problems by eliminating any ambiguity that exists and building on the reality, truth, that we discern.

    Propaganda and censorship perpetuate ambiguity and are designed to interfere with our ability to discern reality.

    Propaganda with censorship effectively brainwashes entire populations for generations.

    Any solution begins with ending the causes of ambiguity.

    A lot of coercion can be done until people FIGHT to end the censorship and propaganda.

  30. Mr. Eric Boehm,

    After the silencing of Parler, I’m asking for permission to use your term, “Silicon Curtain “ to reference the current censorship practices of big tech. I’ll probably use it anyway, but I will give you credit.

  31. “… we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.”
    ~~ President Eisenhower 1961

    Sixty years on, here we are.

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