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11 May 2014

Tensions Within Bay Area Elites Doctorow-Schmidt

From: Geert Lovink <geert[at]>
Date: Sun, 11 May 2014 15:57:28 +0200
To: nettime-l[at]
Subject: <nettime> tensions within the bay area elites

Dear nettimers,

I know, there are tons of examples of this. I just want to know more what you think of it, in particular if you happen to live there, or come from the Bay Area.

To me, it is somehow super clear that Facebook is evil. Not hard to understand. But Google? Why are tensions rising so high lately around them? Look at the tone of the Cory Doctorow blog post to Boing Boing… Don't get me wrong. But have they really gone down lately? In my humble view they are as evil as were a decade ago... What happened? Have we changed?

Yours, Geert


Eric Schmidt, war crimes apologist and colossal hypocrite

Cory Doctorow at 6:00 pm Wed, May 7, 2014

Just a reminder that Google CEO Eric Schmidt is a colossal hypocrite and an apologist for war crimes:

“Some people will cheer for the end of control that connectivity and data-rich environments engender. They are the people who believe that data wants to be free and that greater transparency in all things will bring about a more just, safe and free world. For a time, WikiLeaks' cofounder Julian Assange was the world's most visible ambassador for this cause, but supporters of WikiLeaks and the values it champions come in all stripes, including right-wing libertarians, far-left liberals and apolitical technology enthusiasts, While they don't always agree on tactics, to them, data permanence is a failsafe for society. Despite some of the known negative consequences of this movements (threats to individual security, ruined reputations and diplomatic chaos), some free-information activists believe the absence of a delete button ultimately strengthens humanity's progress toward greater equality, productivity and self-determination. We believe, however, that this is a dangerous model, especially given that there is always going to be someone with bad judgment who releases information that will get people killed. This is why governments have systems and valuable regulations in place that, while imperfect, should continue to govern who gets to make the decision about what is classified and what is not.”

- Google CEO Eric Schmidt, on whistleblowers, from "The New Digital Age," written with Jared Cohen, another Googler.

This is the man who said, "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place" (but flipped out when Cnet performed the most perfunctory of doxxings on him), but whose position, when it comes to leaks detailing everything from the indiscriminate killing of civilians to criminal mass-surveillance of whole nations (and massive cyberattacks on his own company) is that grownups know what they're doing and it's not up to the "far left," and "right wing libertarians" to publish the truth and hold powerful criminals to account.

In short: if Google outs you through a "Real Names" policy on G+, maybe you just shouldn't be gay, or maybe you shouldn't be hiding that fact from your violent and intolerant neighbors. But if a whistleblower or a reporter outs an elected official for gross corruption and war crimes, she's an irresponsible child who's taken the law into her own hands and should know better.

From: Michael Weisman <popeye[at]>
Date: Sun, 11 May 2014 11:38:37 -0700
To: nettime-l[at]
Subject: Re: <nettime> tensions within the bay area elites

I don't think this is a Bay Area thing. Google, Schmidt, and even Cory, operate at a supranational level, traveling from place to place and speaking and working all over the globe, without any regard to national borders or local cultures. They live in cyberpsace, literally. I'm sympathetic to Cory's concerns, but they are a little childish. Cory is shocked, shocked to wake up and find out that Eric Schmidt, the old-school businenessman hired to be the adult in the room at Google, turns out to be a moderate Republican who sees his company as a fellow traveller with western governments (Google pulled out of China). Why wouldn't a company like Google seek to be in concert with Boeing, Lockheed, GE, or GM? Like his entitled brethren, Cory wants special rules to apply to him, his family, the places he shops and eats, and to no one else. I mean, I listen to this discussion almost every day. It can be described as a generational difference as much as anything, and Cory identifies with the generation below him (Millenials), and Schmidt identifies with the generation above him (late Boomers).

Google plus (a practical failure BTW, like most of Google's rollouts) will not be where the mass murder of anyone is 'outed.' And Cory can bitch all he wants about privacy, but Boing Boing, his blog, has nine trackers on its site, including doubleclick and google analytics, and beacons as well. So I guess Cory is all religious when it comes to his own privacy, but not so much when it comes to making money on his website from snarfing up little bits of others' privacy. I'm not sure who is more, or less hypocritical.

Mike Weisman


Mike Weisman

please respond to popeye[at]

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