Simmons (2015). Technology Colonialism.

Simmons, A. (2015, September 18). Technology Colonialism [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://modelviewculture.com/pieces/technology-colonialism

“… the reality of colonialism was the exploitation, enslavement, and genocide of indigenous people, and the industrialization of global human tracking.” (¶1)

“… technology companies today are increasingly colonial in their actions. This can be seen in the veneer of sovereignty they seek to cultivate, how they work across borders, their use of dominant culture as a weapon, and the clear belief that ‘superior’ technology is a suitable excuse for lawlessness, exploitation and even violence.” (¶3)

[“Sovereignty” …]

“We see tech companies and conglomerates as increasingly resembling sovereign nations in the diplomacy extended to them by actual sovereign nations.” (¶5)

“The capability that technology companies have to operate as a single sovereign entity makes them a formidable colonial power. This grants them wide latitude in manipulating domestic and foreign heads of state. Combined with the ability to collude in ways that are nearly undetectable, the sovereign power of technology companies can cause disruption on a global scale unachievable by other industries.” (¶12)

[“A Global Footprint” …]

“… the centralization of economic power in Silicon Valley is also accompanied by the centralization of private user data from around the globe. Few things are more personal than what people communicate using email, post on social media sites, or put into search engines.” (¶15)

[“Cultural Domination” …]

[“Above the Law” …]

“Government entities are further stymied in their ability to monitor and regulate technology companies because of their reliance on technology. A large portion of city, state, and federal government agencies run Microsoft Windows. This includes military systems and classified information. It is unclear how much pressure these government bodies can impose on companies like Microsoft when they are so dependent on the company’s products.” (¶25)

[“The Need for Investigative Technology Journalism” …]

“… Consumers have been willing to trade large measures of their privacy and security for the conveniences offered by technology. Immensely personal information is poured into Google search and posted on social networks despite the danger of having that information centralized and sold for profit.” (¶30)

“The culture of the technology sector is one that fosters elitism and an appetite for world domination. Despite needing customers to survive, technology companies, especially large ones, often foster a culture of disdain for these same customers. … Facebook performed massive experiments on the moods of its users by manipulating its news feed. These examples show a three level pyramid of how tech companies view the world: elites at the top who do what they will, minions in the middle who do their bidding, and the masses at the bottom who are mined for profits and data. This pyramid harkens [sic –oki] back to the colonial view of the world: crown, conquerors, and captives.” (¶31)

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