Image: Steve Jurvetson, Flickr
It is always bad news when a member of the elite begins playing the victim.
This time, it is the pity case of the rich and famous being hunting down like dogs for racy video to post to the Internet.
Their secrets come out, their ups and downs are photographed at beaches and stepping onto helicopters, hotels and limos.
The eerie covert conspiracy to attack and bring down Gawker is one thing; but Peter Thiel has been lobbying for new creepy changes to defamation and libel laws based on supposed invasions of privacy in the case of typically rich and controversial media figures.
Worse, he’s the key guy in the Silicon Valley elite who is funding all the most important social media platforms, as well as the hacking, big data firms who conduct surveillance in partnership with, or on behalf of the U.S. government and corporations. This campaign of Thiel’s should register as very unnerving.
Via Tech Dirt:
We’ve already made it quite clear where we stand on Peter Thiel financing a number of lawsuits against Gawker Media as some sort of retaliation for some articles he didn’t like. Lots of people who really hate Gawker don’t seem to care how problematic Thiel’s actions are, but you should be concerned, even if you dislike Gawker — in part, because many of the lawsuits Thiel appears to be backing are clearly bogus and just designed to bankrupt the company, which happened a couple months ago.
This week is the auction to see who ends up with Gawker, and Thiel is taking a weird victory lap with a silly and misleading oped in the NY Times where he argues that this was really all about making a stand for privacy and has nothing to do with shitting on the First Amendment. There’s a lot in the article that’s bullshit, and it deserves a thorough debunking, so here we go.
First off, positioning himself as a champion of privacy seems laughable. After all, this is the guy who put the first money into both Palantir and Facebook. Palantir, of course, is the datamining operation used by governments and law enforcement around the globe to snoop through various databases and try to find magical connections. Palantir is rumored to be in trouble lately, in part because its technology isn’t that good, and it may have built a multi-billion dollar business on convincing clueless government officials that by sniffing through a variety of databases, it could magically find important “connections.” But Palantir is an entire business based on the idea of helping governments undermine citizens’ privacy. And then there’s Facebook.
As for Facebook, I actually think the company has something of an unfair reputation as a “privacy destroyer,” but it is true that the FTC dinged Facebook for a series of “unfair and deceptive practices” around respecting the privacy wishes of users, and the company is required to go through regular FTC privacy audits for a 20 year period over it. Whether this was due to carelessness of malfeasance (I believe the former, though many believe the latter), Facebook isn’t exactly known as a paragon of protecting people’s privacy wishes.
Thiel remains on the board of both companies. If he were truly about standing up for people’s privacy — why not start with those two companies?
It’s the same excuse when Peter Thiel is at Bilderberg, meeting secretly with heads of state and matching them up with tech billionaire playdates.
He wants privacy for his group, and for himself, but is more than willing to pat the back of some tech firms that could help the snooping powers of the burgeoning military industrial complex, and vast intelligence network that including the NSA monitoring of all American communications.
Peter Thiel Goes On The Record About Bilderberg
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Contributed by Piper McGowin of The Daily Sheeple.
Piper writes for The Daily Sheeple. There’s a lot of B.S. out there. Someone has to write about it.