by Brandon Butler
Let’s Clean the US First, Maybe? 8/7/2020

Sam Biddle with The Intercept, ‘The Filthy Hypocrisy of America’s “Clean” China-Free Internet’:

The State Department has a new vision for a “clean” internet, by which it means a China-free internet. This new ethno-exclusive network “is the Trump Administration’s comprehensive approach to guarding our citizens’ privacy and our companies’ most sensitive information,” by ensuring that China won’t be able to do a litany of subversive and violative things with technology that the U.S. and its allies have engaged in for years. As a policy document it’s nonsensical, but as a moral document, a piece of codified hypocrisy, it’s crystal clear: If there’s going to be a world-spanning surveillance state, it better be made in the USA.

The real question, even more than how could any of this practically be accomplished by State Department diktat, is: Why should anyone in the world take the initiative seriously? How can any network fondled for decades by American spy agencies be considered clean? The absolute gall of the United States in condemning “apps [that] threaten our privacy, proliferate viruses, and spread propaganda and disinformation” is just slightly too stunning to be laughable. Without exception, the United States engages in every one of these practices and violates every single one of these bullet pointed virtues of a Clean Internet. Where do we get off?

It’s pretty incredulous to say that the US government is protecting US citizens from China while the US government has — and likely continues to — spy on, hack, and compromise the data of US citizens.

But it’s not just US spy agencies attacking us:

It is the rare American citizen whose daily movements, habits, tastes, and desires aren’t surveilled around the clock by a constellation of for-profit firms whose names they will never know and whose interests they will rarely share.

Maybe this is why people don’t seem worried by China and TikTok being a potential threat to their online safety and security — the US has been doing this for so long we’ve become apathetic.