1. Here's Apple CEO Tim Cook today arguing that antitrust laws against big tech are bad for privacy and bad for national security. In honor of his speech, I thought I'd do a little thread on just how bad these tech firms are for American security.
2. Let's start with Apple, which systemically transferred technology to Chinese firms after Tim Cook in 2016 made a $275 billion investment pledge to invest in China. theinformation.com/articles/facin…
3. Apple sourced "more components from Chinese suppliers, signed deals with Chinese software firms, collaborated on technology with Chinese universities" and "directly invested in Chinese tech companies." It helped bring "“the most advanced manufacturing technologies” to China.
4. In 2021, Apple and Google removed a voting app created by the Russian political opposition leader after pressure from the Russian government. Security! Prestige Worldwide! nytimes.com/2021/09/17/wor…
5. Apple lobbied on behalf of forced labor in China, seeking to weaken the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act. washingtonpost.com/technology/202…
6. Apple Maps nearly sent chef Jose Andres into sending me into Russian-controlled territory. It was an accident! Black leather gloves! Research and development! axios.com/jose-andres-be…
7. Apple's app store is so full of scams and garbage, and the firm is so inattentive, that one dude on Twitter - @keleftheriou - is constantly embarrassing Apple by showing their claims of protecting users are essentially fraudulent. theverge.com/2021/4/21/2238…
8. Apple handed over "priceless knowledge" to Chinese firms on how to build its products. This directly contributed and is still contributing to the rise of China's tech industry. Apple is *more* invested in China, not less. theinformation.com/articles/how-a…
9. "Apple and Facebook provided customer data to hackers who masqueraded as law enforcement officials, according to three people with knowledge of the matter."

So much security! Putting in the man hours to study the science. bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
10. Facebook regularly helps scammers impersonate U.S. soldiers, and does nothing to stop it. nytimes.com/2019/07/28/tec…
11. Google's Android software accidentally gave away the location of secret military activities.

Last week we put liquid paper on a bee! It died.
12. Still, it's not like Apple actually uses slave labor in China to make its products oh wait seven Apple suppliers are accused of doing that, um, Tim Cook cares about your privacy. theinformation.com/articles/seven…
13. Apple tried to refuse unlocking an iPhone to help solve a shooting at a Navy base in Pensacola. There was a court warrant, so this wasn't some glorious stand on privacy. cnbc.com/2020/01/14/app…
14. Google abandoned a contract to deliver the Pentagon drone AI technology, leaving the DOD with no alternative supplier. washingtonpost.com/news/the-switc…
15. While pretending to stand up for human rights as its rationale for not being in the Chinese market, Google secretly tried to develop a censored version of its search engine in China that would help the Chinese government surveil its citizens. theintercept.com/2018/08/01/goo…
16. Facebook profited from advertisements peddling illegal opioids. The ads remained on Facebook for months after an NBC News investigation, and weeks after U.S. officials declared opioid addiction a public health crisis. cnbc.com/2017/11/14/fac…
17. We need big tech research to compete with China, right?

" 10 percent of the collective AI research labs of Facebook, Google, IBM, and Microsoft were housed in China by the end of 2020."


18. But what about TikTok? Don't we need someone to take on TikTok? Glad that you asked. Facebook is why we *have* a TikTok problem. promarket.org/2020/08/07/tec…
19. Amazon, of course, actively facilitated as much Chinese seller activity into the US as possible, thus spawning a wave of counterfeits and dangerous products. ImageImage
20. The economies of scale facilitated by firms like Amazon and Facebook are just great.
21. Naturally Google, Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple do wonderful political work to protect us. Microsoft, for instance, lobbied on behalf of Chinese telecom firm Huawei. bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
22. NYT: "Amazon ‘Reviewing’ Its Website After It Suggested Bomb-Making Items"

That seems bad! nytimes.com/2017/09/20/tec…
23. Not exactly a national security problem, but it's sort of adjacent.
24. It's not America, but Zuckerberg at one point tried to remove all newspaper content in Australia from Facebook, in order to threaten the government over a new antitrust law to help newspapers. nytimes.com/2021/02/17/tec…
25. Also, when Mark Zuckerberg talks up the importance of national security and how Facebook can help America stand up to China, remember that he once asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to name his child. nytimes.com/2015/10/27/tec…
26. Also once Zuckerberg actually blurbed Xi Jinping's book and made his employees read Chinese government propaganda. amazon.com/Xi-Jinping-Gov…

qz.com/308023/faceboo… Image
Ok, what am I missing? Are there any big tech-related national security vulnerabilities out there I've forgotten? The answer is yes, but I can't remember them. So help me out.
27. I didn't know that Google and Chinese giant Tencent had a patent sharing agreement to engage on "deeper collaboration on innovative new technologies." How very IG Farben-Standard Oil of them. dw.com/en/google-and-…
28. And of course Apple doesn't bother to patch zero day exploits, which is to say it doesn't protect its products from hackers. intego.com/mac-security-b…
29. And another one, Facebook has no idea what happens with user data it collects. Economies of scale! vice.com/en/article/akv…
30. Google, Facebook, and Apple were all duped into releasing information used to harass and sexually extort minors. Economies of scale! bloomberg.com/news/articles/…
31. And another in the 'big tech is bad for security' files, via @ndcarson. Amazon is profiting from the sale of malware to users that can steal sensitive data.

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More from @matthewstoller

Mar 17
People who think ‘oh no it would be terrible to have Congress or the President run the Fed’ simply do not understand the Fed. They do not get how awful Jay Powell and Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke and Alan Greenspan are. An elected leader is *always* better.
I'm guessing you didn't know that the Federal Reserve is exempt from government contracting rules and so secretly handed out an exclusive contract to Amazon AWS for our new critical payment system infrastructure. baronpa.com/library/the-fu…
The Fed is full of lying evil nerds who specialize in talking down to normal people while self-righteously doing whatever they want. This was my experience more than ten years ago dealing with them. nakedcapitalism.com/2011/12/matt-s…
Read 4 tweets
Mar 14
GOP Banking Chair Patrick McHenry is now on CNBC endorsing the Silicon Valley Bank bailout. There we go. Bipartisanship!
GOP Banking Chair Patrick McHenry: “There is a large amount of personal responsibility Americans should take. But in a moment like this…”

Never take advice on bank bailouts from a man wearing a bow tie.
Read 5 tweets
Mar 12
Ok Silicon Valley bros just got bailed out. Now come the lies about how this is not actually a bailout and no taxpayer money was used. Wheeee!
I’m so old I remember when Dodd-Frank meant no more bailouts.
Janet Yellen is just terrible.
Read 8 tweets
Mar 11
One thing I've noticed in all of these rants by Silicon Valley types is that not a single one has demanded more regulation of the banking system. Not a single one has repudiated the deregulation pushed for decades by the GOP. They just demand a bailout.
Mark Cuban, who was pushing crypto, mocked the Securities and Exchange Commission for trying to ensure investor safety. Now he wants a bailout for his firms.
Then-Vice Chair of the Fed Lael Brainard explicitly predicted what would happen when Congress and the Fed loosened liquidity requirements on banks like SVB. federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pre…
Read 4 tweets
Mar 10
Silicon Valley Bank is being liquidated, and uninsured depositors - who are sophisticated risk-managers - are going to take a loss. There is no bailout here.
A liquidation of a big bank is unusual, but this is the market being allowed to work. cnbc.com/2023/03/10/sil…
The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank is going to pull in a lot of startups, and that sucks. So I get the desire for a bailout. But unless the losses are absolutely massive, the depositors will take a haircut but they will be fine.
Read 9 tweets
Mar 9
This letter is one in which the someone at Twitter gets a letter from the government on preventing ransomware attacks, data theft, and "disruption of healthcare services."

Why is this bad?
And this one is the FBI telling twitter about accounts giving false information about the "time, manner, or place of the upcoming election." This isn't about judgment, it's just fraud.
There is some disturbing stuff in @mtaibbi's thread, and we need to figure out how to ensure that the government can root out fraud while preserving free expression. And there is certainly a strong pro-censorship institutional setup.
Read 14 tweets

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