Thread by Meredith Whittaker: OK! let’s talk about That Op-ed. The one that insisted not only that privacy is dangerous, but that not affirmatively building surveillance into communication tools is a radical ideological position. 1/ web.archive.org/web/20230101194846/https://www.
- Jan 3, 2023
OK! let’s talk about That Op-ed. The one that insisted not only that privacy is dangerous, but that not affirmatively building surveillance into communication tools is a radical ideological position. 1/ web.archive.org/web/20230101194846/https://www.nytimes.com/2022/12/28/opinion/jack-dorseys-twitter-si...
Dunking on the arguments is easy. And dunk many have, often with the gentleness of a professor grading a struggling student they don’t want to discourage. I’ll direct you to @evacide, @matthew_d_green, @kurtopsahl, @radleybalko, @bendreyfuss, @Iwillleavenow, @cFidd, @timbray 3/
But what’s going on here isn’t substance. And that’s what I want to focus on. Those of us invested in defending privacy need to understand that this op-ed wasn’t written for people with expertise, and its purpose won’t be perturbed by expert rebuttal. We’re not the audience. 3/
The op-ed works to create the appearance of a “debate” on more or less settled issues. This is a powerful function, bolstered by the NYT imprimatur, which allows it serve as a “Potemkin citation” -- a seemingly credible reference in support of bad privacy laws and platforms. 4/
What laws? What political platforms? I don’t know. But the age ID requirement passed in CA this week, and the regulations that would require communications apps to proactively scan and police content that are currently moving forward in the EU and the UK give us some clues. 5/
Particularly because these laws would, in effect, prevent people developing tech from NOT building mass surveillance and censorship capabilities. Which, while extremely poorly argued, is effectively the main thrust of the op-ed. 6/
In short, we are right, our arguments are robust, and we have done the reading. But if we want to defend privacy, we’ll need to be coordinated and bold, and not make the mistake of assuming that being correct is in itself a strategy. There's a lot of work ahead in 2023! 7/
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