Bob McChesney on Internet Giants and the National Security State

Last week on CounterSpin (5/31/13), we spoke with scholar and media historian Bob McChesney about his new book Digital Disconnect. His closing thoughts seems especially relevant in light of the blockbuster reporting this week from the Guardian (6/6/13) and Washington Post (6/6/13):

The reason that Google and Facebook provide the services they do is that they’re collecting everything on you–and they’re using that material, and they’re using it to sell you stuff and let other people sell you stuff, and you’re sacrificing your privacy completely.

And that becomes an especially frightening thought when you consider that 13 of these companies rank among the very largest in the world, and they have a very close relationship with the U.S. government. This has now slowly been coming out, that the national security agencies in the United States, and the police authorities, are working hand in hand with Google, with Facebook, with Apple and Amazon and Microsoft and all these companies to share data on us.

And it’s really the worst possible scenario for a free society, when you have an economy dominated by a handful of monopoly giants…working hand in hand with sort of a national security state that’s completely off-limits to public review to monitor the population. It’s not a tenable situation for a free society.

Listen to the full interview here. And you can get McChesney’s new book for free when you get a two-year print subscription to Extra!.


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About Peter Hart

Activism Director and and Co-producer of CounterSpinPeter Hart is the activism director at FAIR. He writes for FAIR's magazine Extra! and is also a co-host and producer of FAIR's syndicated radio show CounterSpin. He is the author of The Oh Really? Factor: Unspinning Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly (Seven Stories Press, 2003). Hart has been interviewed by a number of media outlets, including NBC Nightly News, Fox News Channel's O'Reilly Factor, the Los Angeles Times, Newsday and the Associated Press. He has also appeared on Showtime and in the movie Outfoxed. Follow Peter on Twitter at @peterfhart.