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Chad Loder ❇️ @chadloder
, 12 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
A thread for the "#software is not political" crowd. Whether you like it or not, all software is political because technology AFFECTS PEOPLE. If you came to #tech thinking you'd escape having to think about people, #politics, and society - you were mistaken. I'll show you why...
Before we start, remember this as you read. Just because YOU think the answer to any of these issues is clear-cut, it doesn't mean that issue is not political.

There are people who take the OPPOSITE position with just as much conviction, and they think it's clear-cut too.
Also - as an engineer, a developer or designer - if you choose to ignore the political and societal implications of your #technology, YOU HAVE MADE A POLITICAL CHOICE.
Before we even talk code, the mere choice of software license (closed vs #OpenSource) has implications for society. It's political. I hear you saying "The license is simply a personal/business decision, not a political one!"

Really? What about voting software? Breathalyzers?
Here's an easy one. #Cryptography is political. The US government regulated the export of strong cryptography, declaring it a munition. Math was declared a weapon.

The courts finally ruled in "Bernstein v. Department of Justice" that code is speech. It's a fascinating case.
Today, there's an ongoing debate about how to balance the interests of individual privacy vs. the government's interest in protecting the public from criminals and terrorists (as it's framed).

#Cryptography will remain political for a long time.
#AI is inherently political. For example, there are well-known moral dilemmas in self-driving cars. You can't resolve them without making judgments about whose life is more valuable.

@MIT's "Moral Machine" project is fascinating. Go play with it. moralmachine.mit.edu 6/
#MachineLearning is political. Even search engines are political. @safiyanoble's groundbreaking book "Algorithms of Oppression" covers this in stark, rigorous detail. Please follow her and buy one copy of the book for yourself and another for a colleague. amzn.to/2Ev9NYD
#infosec is political. #SIEM products which analyze the actions of employees to detect threats, have political implications. How to balance privacy interests of employees vs interests of employers?

You may argue "Employees have no privacy rights" - that's a political position!
Networking is political. Yes, really. IPv4 allocation, DNS, and #WHOIS are all political (see the WHOIS/#GDPR debate).

The very design of the Internet is political. Dude, ROUTING policies are political. Look at BGP hijacking and MANRS. manrs.org
Ever deal with date and time calculations in your code? The first thing you learn is that time zones are *political constructs*.

#UX is political. UX decisions affect different populations differently - you have to make tradeoffs. Accessibility is inherently political.
I hope these examples serve to illustrate how code, and #tech in general, has surprising and sometimes non-obvious political dimensions.

I could list dozens more examples. What are some of yours?

Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
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