Lenin supposedly said “the capitalists will sell us the rope with which to hang them.” I thought of that quotation when I read about yesterday’s meeting between President Obama and leaders of America’s major technology firms.
The company leaders reportedly warned Obama that NSA spying programs are damaging their reputations and could harm the broader economy. Shareholders are unhappy and foreign customers supposedly are backing away from American branded technology.
The broader economy presumably can survive angry tech stock holders and some lost foreign customers. Another 9/11? Not so much.
The tech leaders urged Obama to limit electronic surveillance. These businessmen have no clear idea of the nation’s surveillance needs nor, now that stuff has hit the fan, do they appear to care.
This much seems clear from their other prescriptions. According to the Post, “they pressed for transparency.” Transparency in spying. Only a frightened capitalist would advocate that.
One tech leader called on Obama to pardon Edward Snowden, the author of the industry’s alleged misery. Lenin didn’t know the half of it.