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Here’s Our Orwellian Future of Technology Under Trump

Government Computing
Here's Our Orwellian Future of Technology Under Trump

If you didn’t already feel like there was a “government” button on your keyboard, you probably will under Trump, and here’s why.

Everything in life has a price, and when it comes to government and politicians, that can be more than the people are willing to pay. Recently, president-elect Donald Trump met with leaders from the tech industry, and said that he would do “anything we can do to help.” Coming from a man who spent his campaign screaming against immigration – illegal and legal – it’s fair to guess that there was at least a little wariness among those tech company leaders. Many of them rely at least in part on recruiting labor from around the world, which theoretically was something Trump wanted to stop.

As far as wish lists of tech giants go, it’s also unlikely that Trump is really thinking of delivering on that promise. It would mean massive amounts of deregulation, and disentangling the U.S. tech industry from its relationships with government intelligence. By “relationships,” we mean “forced involvement,” which is something that every tech company would like to end. But, in an attempt to be fair, if Trump would actually deliver at least in part on the wish list of tech giants to minimize governmental interference in their business, it’s fair to guess that would come with a price.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has a few ideas about what that might look like, and none of it bodes well for the American public. They think Trump might want help with his project of removing all the “undesirable” people he’s been railing against for his entire campaign (and victory tour.) So, that means helping him get rid of illegal immigrants, Muslims, and probably a fair number of the employees of the companies that he’s hoping will help him manage the task of “throwing them all out.”

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In case anyone is wondering, it’s fair to guess that won’t go over well. So, what then? Given what little we’ve seen so far about Trump’s temperament and leadership style, Americans might be wise to think about what their lives will look like with less tech. No kidding. Between the comments about “fixing” trade with China – the reason why we have a lot of the hardware we do – and Trump’s desire to get rid of foreigners in our job market, the tech industry is one that will be hit hardest. And that’s not even getting into guessing what Trump’s demands might be when it comes to stepping up surveillance on Americans, since it’s silly to think that he would be opposed to that continuing and expanding.

The primary problem is that we have far too many people who refuse to get truly upset about invasions of privacy by the government, particularly via technology. If we regularly fought back against it, we wouldn’t have what we’re seeing in South Carolina now. They are debating a law that would force everyone who purchases a computer there to have software that blocks pornography, among other things. That “among other things” part should disturb everyone. If you don’t want that blocking software, you’ll have to pay a $20 fee. No big deal? Well, if you do that, South Carolina will take down all your information, and keep it. Of course, that’s a very terrible idea, since South Carolina has already established its inability to keep private information secure, and many residents there are eligible for government subsidized ID protection services because of it. That’s without thinking about what South Carolina might want to do with a database list of people who might want to watch pornography (or just might not like the idea of government imposed blocking software on their computers.)

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The point here is that we have been asleep at the wheel for far too long. Government has been entangling itself in every portion of our private lives through the devices we use daily. The tech industry for the most part, would like to get out of the business of offering sub-standard security to the public just so that it’s easier for government to get into our private data. They’d also like the government to stop telling them where to find their workers, and a myriad of other regulations that prevent them from bringing the best technology they have to the marketplace as quickly as possible. It’s fair to guess that the majority of Americans really don’t want government in their business, either. We started on this slippery slope out of a desire to feel safer, which we don’t anyway. Isn’t it time for us to stop, and start demanding that government gets out of where it doesn’t belong?

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Liz Harrison
About Liz Harrison 66 Articles
Political commentator, former campaign operative, media executive, legal and medical writer, literary editor and publisher. Founder at Vigilant Liberty Radio, podcaster and radio talk-show host, and a sexual freedom activist.

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