Saturday, May 03, 2014

In surveillance discussion, Obama deflects issue to corporates

This is eerily similar to Obama's approach to the responsibility for the excesses that led to the great recession.  While few informed people would argue that there were not multiple players that played a role in sowing the seeds for the mortgage crisis, credit crisis, and the follow-ons that led to the 2008 and 2009 recession, Obama, in his mind, deftly switched all of the blame to the major bankers.  Ignoring the blind and complicit regulators, Congress, and the widely disbursed brokerage industry, Obama and Holder made it simple, and all government authorities and elected officials ducked for cover.

As detailed to some extent in the NYT article today entitled "In Surveillance Debate, White House Turns Its Focus to Silicon Valley", the Obama administration is formulating plans to exert government power to reign in what it views as invasive practices by corporations and move the focus away from its own incredible lack of leadership on and control of NSA activities, or even its direction of those activities.  Google, Yahoo, Facebook, and others should be on alert, as one can be sure they are.  The Obama administration, and its captive Holder Justice Department, does not have a prescriptive approach to issues.  They have a control seeking and punitive approach.  Particularly in an industry like technology, which has compensation  policies that are even more lucrative for top leaders than those in banking, Obama's high horse resentment could be on full display.

The issue of the data collection and associated analysis by many internet firms is certainly one that deserves attention and ongoing scrutiny.  There is the clear potential for abuses or overreach, but it is not clear that what goes on today in these firms is even remotely in the realm of the NSA's actions.  Overreaction by the government, driven by Obama's desire to deflect attention on to the corporates, could have a stifling effect on what could be viewed as this country's strongest and most innovative global business position.  Platoons of ill informed and narrowly focused government workers invading the major internet firms with requests for information and subpoenas for e-mails and who knows what could lead directly to the door of the Democrat's largest and favorite donors, the trial bar.  This is not trivial.

One can only hope that this does not turn into some kind of vendetta, and that the internet titans have the ability to placate Obama's minions and minimize any disruption.


Anonymous kf said...

You're right I'm afraid. This is so obvious it should be embarrassing. Obama is simply unable to get past his anti-business attitude. Too bad. He could have been a better President, and at one time had the mandate.

12:52 PM  

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