Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 9th Aug 2013 11:01 UTC
Legal

President Barack Obama hosted Apple CEO Tim Cook, AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf and other tech executives and civil liberties leaders on Thursday for a closed-door meeting about government surveillance, sources tell POLITICO.

Five hundred years ago, our ancestors started the fight to separate church and state. Now it's time we separate corporation and state.

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Comment by stabbyjones
by stabbyjones on Fri 9th Aug 2013 11:34 UTC
stabbyjones
Member since:
2008-04-15

Are you saying our inability to function without internet based tracking devices and world government taking advantage of that is the same as the renaissance?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by stabbyjones
by Thom_Holwerda on Fri 9th Aug 2013 11:40 UTC in reply to "Comment by stabbyjones"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

No, I'm saying that corporations having such massive influence over and access to the government bears an eery similarity to the influence the church had in the past.

I'm not saying it's the same - I'm saying it's similar in many ways.

Reply Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones
by ricegf on Fri 9th Aug 2013 11:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stabbyjones"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

In many ways. Under new regulations, US citizens are required to conduct business with government-approved corporations or face a fine... I mean, additional taxes. A fair analogy to government-sponsored religion, I think.

Reply Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones
by Nelson on Fri 9th Aug 2013 12:15 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Pretty much this. We came so close to finally doing away with insurance companies with HCR, now we're going to be forced to purchase from them (albiet for good reason, with regulations and minimum standards, and Government subsidies). This end run around single payer is sickening.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones
by Alfman on Fri 9th Aug 2013 15:17 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by stabbyjones"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Thom Holwerda,

"Five hundred years ago, our ancestors started the fight to separate church and state. Now it's time we separate corporation and state."

Begin rant...
I've been saying this a long time now, corporations shouldn't be entitled to any influence in Washington at all, no lobbyists or anything. Let them compete in the free market without power to corrupt government policy. In democracy people should be at the top of the food chain and it's only to the extent that corporations are helping us advance *our* goals that a corp deserves any kind of governmental role. People often criticize public entitlements, but corporate entitlements are just as bad if not worse because the government is SUPPOSED to be FOR THE PEOPLE, sheesh!

Kick all corporations out of washington! Repeal this "corporations are people too" baloney. Corporations need to be making their case to the PUBLIC and only if WE agree then government policy can be amended, no going behind public backs in closed rooms.

Furthermore we need to eliminate distinctions between "government" and "people". A government must not have any authority above the people, we should be one and the same. It seems the founding fathers knew this, and yet here we are today serving our government's whims, much of which is controlled by wealthy corporate interests.


Edit: Had our ancestors known just how powerful corporations would eventually become, they would have separated corporations from government just like they separated religions from government.

Edited 2013-08-09 15:27 UTC

Reply Score: 5

RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones
by mistersoft on Fri 9th Aug 2013 15:46 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones"
mistersoft Member since:
2011-01-05

Can't vote you up there Alfman, but could agree more!

That's (or should be) the absolute foundation of a working democracy ; at least of a representative democracy.

I understand corporations will want 'a voice' but it should most certainly be 'through the people' perhaps they could court ordinary voters to join government run corporate 'facebook groups'(call them peoplefacinguptoit-book groups or whatever) which could then be allowed the ear of some government official(s) - with a proportion weight given to the number of members -- zero money should be involved ; or be allowed to be involved!

Plus of course, all members of such group should be invited to any and all meetings that might transpire - and at least a handful of random members should be allowed attend - all done transparently of course!

a bit like a pro-corporation peoples-union -- it's a perverse idea perhaps, but not as perverse as the current status quo

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones
by ricegf on Fri 9th Aug 2013 22:56 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones"
ricegf Member since:
2007-04-25

Exactly. Political donations by corporations should be flat illegal.

If the stockholders individually want to make political contributions to promote policies that favor the corporation's business, they have a first amendment right to do so.

But a corporation is not a political action committee - and certainly not a "person" - it's a for-profit organization created by US laws to sustain business activity, and thus should not be covered by first amendment protections at all IMHO.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by stabbyjones
by Neolander on Wed 14th Aug 2013 08:01 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by stabbyjones"
Neolander Member since:
2010-03-08

Just a quick legal question regarding the "corporations are people" thing. I'm curious about this because I've been hearing it a lot around here.

In French law, there is a distinction between physical and moral persons, which as an example allows corporations, rather than individual employees, to be held responsible for any damage they cause. It does not give them the full powers of a citizen, and seems absolutely necessary for any large-scale activity. Don't you have a similar concept around here?

I ask this because if corporations had the same powers as people, including being able to vote, any mildly rich person would be able to start a large number of tiny companies and use that to DDOS the voting system. It surprises me that nobody would have thought about that yet.

Edited 2013-08-14 08:04 UTC

Reply Score: 1

They read Schneier?
by pysiak on Fri 9th Aug 2013 12:36 UTC
pysiak
Member since:
2008-01-01

Wow, this looks like a response to Bruce Schneier's recent blog post about restoring trust.

http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/08/restoring_trust.html

Reply Score: 3

As much as I would love to see it happen
by jgagnon on Fri 9th Aug 2013 13:36 UTC
jgagnon
Member since:
2008-06-24

Five hundred years ago, our ancestors started the fight to separate church and state. Now it's time we separate corporation and state.

I don't see this happening in our lifetime without a complete collapse of the US government. Too much of everything in the US runs on money. Business has the money and government wants the power that money brings with it. Money talks and the US government is all too eager to listen.

Reply Score: 6

Wrong Direction
by andrewclunn on Fri 9th Aug 2013 14:00 UTC
andrewclunn
Member since:
2012-11-05

While I agree with the sentiment, everything so far indicates that it's the government forcing these companies to aid them in spying on citizens. It's not like these corporations went to the Feds and said, "Hey, wouldn't it be awesome if we turned over all of our customer's data to you?"

(Insert long winded libertarian rant here).

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wrong Direction
by libray on Fri 9th Aug 2013 16:09 UTC in reply to "Wrong Direction"
libray Member since:
2005-08-27

Agreed. An inherent thing that Apple and Microsoft can contribute to the government is access to FileVault and Bitlocker through backdoors. If they agree in a closed door session, that frees up the government from having to go through official channels or bills to get your data.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wrong Direction
by aliquis on Fri 9th Aug 2013 20:08 UTC in reply to "Wrong Direction"
aliquis Member since:
2005-07-23

I hate our government.

If they had manned up, stopped looking up to the US, built nation wide fiber network a long time ago, not rush into helping content providers and say offer a stronghold for Assange, Snowden, Manning, the pirate bay, Wikileaks and so on then imagine all the business and cool people who would have around here!

I assume the rest of the world might had tried to isolate us but whatever.

Reply Score: 2

ronaldst
Member since:
2005-06-29

Corporations are just a means to an end. Washington only feeds the paranoid, the opportunist and the mentally ill. I stopped blaming corporations long ago. Big government always ends up like this. It is a magnet for corruption. It's why government should always be small. Less toys to wreak havoc with.

Reply Score: 2

benytocamela Member since:
2013-05-16

Corporations are just a means to an end.


So it's government...

Reply Score: 2

What they separated
by aliquis on Fri 9th Aug 2013 20:05 UTC
aliquis
Member since:
2005-07-23

They separated government and the people instead.

Reply Score: 4

More overblown nonsense
by abraxas on Fri 9th Aug 2013 20:36 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

Corporations are directly involved in this conversation because they are the ones with the data. They HAVE to be a part of the discussion. Not only that, I guarantee that they are more likely to be on the side of the average citizen on this subject. They don't want their reputations muddied by a connection to ubiquitous government surveillance. It's bad for business.

The second point I want to make is that this WHOLE THING is overblown. Either I haven't gotten a hold of the right kool-aid or I actually missed some trustworthy reporting somewhere. From what I have gathered this is centered around the ability of the government to mine data from records like phone calls, etc to make connections in terrorism cases. This has been in the news for 6+ years now. I have seen nothing other than hyperbole, exaggeration , and sensationalism supporting the idea that the government is actually READING or LISTENING to your conversations. Maybe I'm wrong but every article I have read that makes this claim does so on the thinnest of ice, with virtually 0 real evidence.

With all of that said I think we should all be having the discussion about what we think is necessary and allowable in a free society in the name of safety. Personally I'm more worried about policies like stop and frisk that ARE actually affecting people directly today and every day.

Reply Score: 2

RE: More overblown nonsense
by WorknMan on Fri 9th Aug 2013 21:01 UTC in reply to "More overblown nonsense"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Corporations are directly involved in this conversation because they are the ones with the data. They HAVE to be a part of the discussion. Not only that, I guarantee that they are more likely to be on the side of the average citizen on this subject. They don't want their reputations muddied by a connection to ubiquitous government surveillance. It's bad for business.


Yeah, I really don't see what's in it for big business to spy on its users on behalf of the government. Perhaps it helps them land some government contracts, but again... I'm sure they'd rather not have to either way.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by marcp
by marcp on Sat 10th Aug 2013 08:26 UTC
marcp
Member since:
2007-11-23

Yeah, right ... because putting Tim Cook with Vint Cert in a same room, on a same meeting is such a great idea!

Vint: "we need to stop surveilling people. Openness is the key, that's how I created the base for the internet we know today"

Cook: "our sales drop because of this 'surveillance' thing. We should do something".

lulz!

Of course, it's a talk that never happened, but you oget the point.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by marcp
by Soulbender on Sat 10th Aug 2013 15:56 UTC in reply to "Comment by marcp"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

Yeah, because working towards the same goals, albeit for different reasons, is entirely unheard of....

Edited 2013-08-10 15:57 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by marcp
by marcp on Sun 11th Aug 2013 08:46 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by marcp"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

Common goals, different objectives and motivations. I mean, come on ... do you really believe they have the same objective? Vint Cerf ... does this ring a bell for you? This guy is NOT about money as much as Cook is.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by marcp
by Soulbender on Sun 11th Aug 2013 13:30 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by marcp"
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

So you're suggesting that Vint Cef is going to say "I think we should spy more on the citizens" just so he don't have to agree with Tim Cook?

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: Comment by marcp
by marcp on Sun 11th Aug 2013 21:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by marcp"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

Of course not [so please, stop using eristics].

What I suggest is that Cerf will sincerely try to protect privacy, while Cook ... well ... we don't know if he's better than Jobs yet. But the fact of the matter is that Cook cares mostly for money. Those who spy don't get money from the lack of spying, but from the spying of people.

Reply Score: 3

Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sat 10th Aug 2013 17:01 UTC
ilovebeer
Member since:
2011-08-08

The quest for power & control has been around since the dawn of humanity. Further back than that really as we observe it throughout the animal kingdom as well. Our society revolves around economics and the idea of money. I simply don't believe it's possible to divorce corporate America from the American government. Even if voters could influence fundamental change, which I don't believe they can ultimately, they don't have the will to do so. We will continue to complain until the middle class has been raped into non-existence, and when that happens nobody should be surprised.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by ilovebeer
by marcp on Sun 11th Aug 2013 08:48 UTC in reply to "Comment by ilovebeer"
marcp Member since:
2007-11-23

No other animal besides human being animal takes more than it really needs. Humanity is greedy and bastardized breed. We are freaks of nature, not the standard. We do not resemble nature's "intent" anymore. We put our deviated needs first and THEN the nature might come along. The problem is - we are nothing without nature. Without technology and money we can survive.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer
by ilovebeer on Sun 11th Aug 2013 16:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by ilovebeer"
ilovebeer Member since:
2011-08-08

No other animal besides human being animal takes more than it really needs. Humanity is greedy and bastardized breed. We are freaks of nature, not the standard. We do not resemble nature's "intent" anymore. We put our deviated needs first and THEN the nature might come along. The problem is - we are nothing without nature. Without technology and money we can survive.

You're talking about gluttony, I was talking about control and power. Those are completely different things and are not interchangeable. Also, many animals are gluttonous as well. For example, any animal that hibernates. They typically consume more than it takes for survival.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by ilovebeer
by zima on Mon 12th Aug 2013 21:42 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by ilovebeer"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

And why does my cat still hunts even though it's well fed?...

Reply Score: 2

Duo sunt
by telns on Sat 10th Aug 2013 17:30 UTC
telns
Member since:
2009-06-18

Your history is almost perfectly backwards. Constantine stepped away from state involvement in the details and doctrine of religion in around 306. Pope Gelasius I articulated the separation of Church and state formally in the 490s (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duo_sunt).

While there was a lot of back and forth and wrangling that will happen between two powerful institutions--but they were two and not one--that basically held sway *until* about 500 years ago, when the modern states started to arise after the Reformation and established state churches (or the Protestant churches established modern states, depending on how you look at the sides of the coin).

Edited 2013-08-10 17:31 UTC

Reply Score: 4