An increasing number of societal “privileges” related to transportation, accommodations, communications, and the rates we pay for services (like insurance) are either controlled by technology companies or affected by how we use technology services. And Silicon Valley’s rules for being allowed to use their services are getting stricter.
If current trends hold, it’s possible that in the future a majority of misdemeanors and even some felonies will be punished not by Washington, D.C., but by Silicon Valley. It’s a slippery slope away from democracy and toward corporatocracy.
In other words, in the future, law enforcement may be determined less by the Constitution and legal code, and more by end-user license agreements.
August 6, 2019
Uh-oh: Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system
[Via email from Chet.
I had a incident with the Boomershoot website and Google that lasted weeks (they claimed it was a phishing website) before I finally got them to stop showing a red screen when people visited using Chrome. The security certificate (https) is still suspended because of this and I need to get that fixed soon. It cost them virtually nothing to do that and it cost me many hours and who knows how much loss of traffic and reputation.
As further evidence of this line of thinking, people have made suggestions that banks should cut off credit card processing and other financial services from stores that sell certain types (as a prelude to all types) of firearms:
…assault weapons would be eliminated from virtually every firearms store in America because otherwise the sellers would be cut off from the credit card system.
Of course PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay already completely ban the sale of firearms via their services.
I’m not sure what the proper response to this sort of thing is. In principle, I’m against government telling how to run their businesses. Let the free market decide. But sometimes the outcome doesn’t seem just. Restaurants, apartment owners, and hotels refusing to do business with people with black skin is one such example. The free market response seemed inadequate to remedy the problem.
I’m in the process of moving to a different credit card processor for Boomershoot even though PayPal was much easier and cheaper. But even with many people reducing or ceasing their use of PayPal because of their anti-gun policies it doesn’t appear to be suffering any.
It’s wasn’t exactly a legal restrictions so it’s tempting to say this type of thing is an appropriate response:
Top Louisiana officials have blocked two large bank corporations from participating in a road financing plan due to their gun control regulations.
Perhaps. But it hasn’t seemed to been effective, it is a form of government telling a business how they should operate, and the banks could probably easily retaliate with greater effect against those states.
What would seem to me to be the best approach is for the corporate officers to be prosecuted via 18 UCS 241. It’s not telling them how to do business. It’s prosecution for attempting to deny people their specific enumerated rights. Yes, it’s walking a very narrow, perhaps imaginary, line. It wouldn’t take very long for banks to revise their business practices if a few banks lost all of their upper management to life sentences in prison.
That’s not going to happen in the next few years so what should be done in the mean time? Is there anything more we can do than attempt boycotts and document their crimes?—Joe]