Big Tech

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Concept.png Big Tech 
(Business,  Internet,  TechnologySourcewatchRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Big Tech.png
The Big 5 Big Tech companies; Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Microsoft.
Interest of• Carole Cadwalladr
• Jack Dorsey
• Elon Musk
• Sheryl Sandberg
• Twitter Files
• Susan Wojcicki

Big Tech is a name for the biggest US technological companies. It is often said to be headquartered in Silicon Valley, California as the 5 companies were started, founded or developed there.[1]

Name origin

How Big Tech started - Linus Tech Tips

Big Tech, also known as the Tech Giants, refers to the most dominant information technology companies. The term most often refers to American technology companies, notably the five largest: Alphabet (Google), Amazon, Apple, Meta and Microsoft. Globally, Baidu, Alibaba, Tencent, and Xiaomi are the Chinese equivalent of the Big Five. Big Tech can also include smaller tech companies with high valuations, such as internet TV streaming service Netflix, or non-techological companies with high-tech technical usages, such as Elon Musks Tesla.[2]

The concept of Big Tech is analogous to the consolidation of market dominance by a few companies in other market sectors, such as Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and J.P. Morgan in investment banking, the Big Three consulting firms McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, and Bain & Company. Better known examples include Big Oil, and corporate media.[3]

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, computer chip companies NVIDIA and TSMC have grown massively and have started to become members of the term.[4]

Google

Funding

Google was started by Pd.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin and received seed-funding from both the NSA and CIA. Nafeez Ahmed has published an insightful piece on the origins of Google[5].

Government connections

The Register noted in 2016 that "Aside from the fact it is persistently one of the biggest lobbyists in DC, there has also been: the last-minute change made to net neutrality rules solely because of a letter received from Google; the unusual dropping of anti-trust investigations into the search giant; the curious "non prosecution agreement" it reached with the FBI over drug ads; and the fact that a review of logs showed that Google execs meet with White House officials on average once a week..[6]

Military

"Google's artificial intelligence technologies are being used by the US military for one of its drone projects."[7]

Revolving door

Full article: Revolving door

Watchdog.org reports that "More than 250 people have moved from Google and related firms to the federal government or vice versa since President Barack Obama took office."[8]

Censorship

Full article: Google/Censorship
Google censor.png

Google has been censoring content since at least 2010.[9] The extent of its censorship is harder to assess than with other types of website. In 2017 modifications to its algorithms resulted in reduced traffic to "left-wing, progressive and anti-war websites, which cut the search traffic of 13 leading news outlets by 55 percent since April". The World Socialist Web Site reported an 85% drop in search referrals over that period.[10] Project Veritas published information from Zach Vorhies in 2019 that showed considerable manipulation and political bias.[11] In 2020, it removed a lot of sites, reportedly due to a "technical issue".[12]

Microsoft

Mass surveillance

Full article: Rated 3/5 Mass surveillance

Windows has been suspected of cooperating with the deep state at least as far back as the August 1999 discovery of _NSAKey, although Microsoft denied it at the time, stating that "The key in question is a Microsoft key. It is maintained and safeguarded by Microsoft, and we have not shared this key with the NSA or any other party."

Windows 10

Full article: Windows

After the Edward Snowden Affair, Microsoft and other tech companies appear to have become more brazen about data collection. Windows 10 contains in its Terms & Conditions the admission that “Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks. Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage.[13]

XBox

Microsoft contractors have admitted to listening to users of XBoxes they "said that recordings were sometimes triggered and recorded by mistake".[14]

Dependency

How Big Tech turned data tracking and data selling into such a profitable business skyrocketing their profits - CyberNews

When companies like Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Facebook start to bundle bought platforms all having high market shares in their market (because of perhaps lower costs for the seller and easier use of the product for the buyer) under one owner, and a dependency for the average citizen forms for them, these businesses end up being vital for those citizens as a whole and therefore don't stay companies, but become vital public utilities, as explained in podcast of NPR by NYT tech writer Farhad Manjoo;

“So one of the things that these five companies have done kind of masterfully is create these platforms that startups have to use to get to customers. So they all own these cloud-storage services. So Amazon is an example. If you want to store your media online - so, for example, all the movies that you watch on Netflix are actually stored on Amazon servers - so every time you use Netflix, Netflix is kind of paying Amazon for that kind of storage.

Yeah. It's surprising, first of all, because they're such different companies. You wouldn't really know - you wouldn't really think that they would have that kind of connection. And then they're also competitors. Netflix makes original TV shows and so does Amazon. And so, you know, in this way, Netflix has this dependence on one of its competitors. There are lots of different examples of this though.

There - you know, all app makers have to put their apps in the Apple app store or the Google app store. And when they sell in those apps, 30 percent of that money goes to Apple or Google. They all have to advertise on Facebook or Google to get customers because that's become the way to advertise on digital platforms. And so any new app - Uber, Airbnb, Netflix, all the other sort of smaller companies online - have to go through these five to get to their customers. And what ends up happening is that other companies succeed, but always these five benefit off of that success.”
Farhad Manjoo (26 October 2017)  [15]

Consolidation of big media

The companies are often more powerful than government and act in hostile ways in their respectable countries. Google or... actually Alphabet, having integrated in multiple markets[16] by acquiring YouTube, a majority of Twitter's developer products, mobile operating system Android now being on 70% of the world's smartphones, 75% of the world's market share in computer browsers having 2 billion users every month on YouTube and having a ~90% market share in search engines, and a further extremely high market share in online advertising, geographical knowledge[17] and leading in worldwide data collection for website hosts makes Google nearly impossible[18] to avoid and run a successfully website in the world, with censorship on one small platform owned by a multinational having severe implications for the rest of services run with the products of that company.[19][20]

Opposition

Anti Big Tech Companies Are Already Failing - Logically Answered

Whistleblowers such as Brittany Kaiser urged big tech, cybersecurity and data industries to be held to account on protecting the digital rights of individuals. People’s data was "being used in exploitative and manipulative ways for profit and power." Cybersecurity organisations are naturally focused on protecting enterprises and consumers from malicious attacks but weren't doing enough to prevent abuse of data through digital asset legislation.

Many new companies forming the Platform Economy use algorithms to effectively help their costumers, most users do not know how it works. In fact several of the biggest sites have developers that stopped understanding how their own algorithm works.[21]

II-linked and DisinfoPortal member Guillaume Chaslot called the algorism not in the consumers interests; "It isn’t inherently awful that YouTube uses AI to recommend video for you, because if the AI is well tuned it can help you get what you want. This would be amazing,” Chaslot told TNW. “But the problem is that the AI isn’t built to help you get what you want — it’s built to get you addicted to YouTube. Recommendations were designed to waste your time.”[22]

"Independent Media"

Many independent media in the 2010s and 2020s had a lot of trouble staying financially afloat, whether is being for being controlled opposition, being censored, getting no ad revenue from big tech companies, intelligence agencies utilising statecraft on journalists, and less and less wars and shifting of the old guard of "old white wealthy and powerful man" according to OpenDemocracy.net.

Some papers noticed many people were increasingly believing in polarising perspectives and not listening to sources if they even slightly wandered from the Overton window of theories, but most opinions presented were still by big tech social media outlets, purely as profitable tactic, as analysed by market analyst Steve Watt.[23] [24][25][26]


 

Examples

Page nameDescription
AMDOfficially the competitor to Intel, but as deeply embedded in the NATSEC apparatus.
AlphabetParent company of Google.
AmazonA monopoly/cartel online retailer with deep state connections.
AppleA tech company, in a corrupt duopoly with Microsoft, its effective social engineering of children during the 2010s and 2000s and its adaption of youth culture made it the most valuable company in the world. PRISM-member. Throws activists or anyone not a WEF-member of their platform in geopolitical dilemmas. Fashion industry and wage slavery promoter.
FacebookThe world's most popular social network, with over 1,000,000,000 users in 2014.
GoogleGlobal Internet/Skynet conglomerate
IntelBiggest US Tech company, its owner warned its main products would become a casus belli for WW3.
MicrosoftStarted in 1975 with Paul Allen, Bill Gates developed Microsoft from a operating system maker of computers into one of the most prolific companies of all time, valued over $1 trillion, 3rd most valuable in the world. MS has over a billion in fines from corruption, mass surveillance violations & tax evasion. MS has market shares in dozens of markets, leading in the Platformization-epidemic of the 2010s started by big tech. It was the first partner in the NSA-PRISM program.
RedditA large corporate media site of forums in which readers vote stories up/down. As its popularity grew, it was subject to increased trolling and shilling by propagandists.
SamsungAsian big tech company. Owned by a family caught bribing Korean presidents.
Signal MessengerMessaging service funded by the CIA, and about just as untrustable.
The Paypal Mafia“We all became each other’s social life. Because of that, we formed really deep connections.” The genesis of the biggest tech companies with spooky ties to organs of the Deep State such as the WEF and Bilderberg.
WhatsAppMessaging service owned by Facebook, and about just as untrustable.

 

Related Quotations

PageQuoteAuthorDate
Saagar Enjeti@jack was the last of the tech CEOS who at least on a personal level was committed to free speech. His departure is probably going to make Twitter a lot worse for censorship (which is truly saying something)”Saagar Enjeti29 November 2021
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador“Yes, social media should not be used to incite violence and all that, but this cannot be used as a pretext to suspend freedom of expression. How can a company act as if it was all powerful, omnipotent, as a sort of Spanish Inquisition on what is expressed?”Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador14 January 2021
Vladimir Putin“Digital giants have been playing an increasingly significant role in wider society, in certain areas they are competing with states … Here is the question, how well does this monopolism correlate with the public interest? Where is the distinction between successful global businesses, sought-after services and big data consolidation on the one hand, and the efforts to rule society[…] by substituting legitimate democratic institutions, by restricting the natural right for people to decide how to live and what view to express freely on the other hand?”Vladimir Putin2021

 

Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:I get abuse and threats online - why can't it be stopped?Article18 October 2021Marianna SpringThe Disinformation Specialist at the BBC gets criticism online for her "fact checking". Internet censorship is the answer.
Document:Someone said they wanted to see me trapped in a burning car and watch flames melt my fleshArticle22 October 2021Nadine DorriesAfter the murder of MP David Amess, a crackdown on "internet trolls" is being demanded by most politicians. The UK's new Culture Minister Nadine Dorries is pursuing new overreaching legislation regulating Big Tech. The "Online Safety Bill" will abolish online anonymity and empower internet censorship. There are fears that it will be the end for freedom of expression in the UK.
Document:The tyranny of woke capitalismArticle25 June 2021Frank FurediWhat is "woke capitalism"? It is a form of corporate virtue signalling.
Document:Women's March petitions Jack Dorsey to ban Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene from TwitterArticle14 August 2021Libby EmmonsThe leading American feminist organisation is pressuring Twitter to remove Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from their platform. She stands accused of promoting "conspiracy theories" about COVID over her scepticism of Fauci. She has been censored before. How much longer is there before she is permanently banned?
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References

  1. https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/feature/Worlds-best-cities-for-tech-workers
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Tech
  3. https://www.techtarget.com/whatis/definition/Big-Tech
  4. https://companiesmarketcap.com/tech/largest-tech-companies-by-market-cap/
  5. https://medium.com/insurge-intelligence/how-the-cia-made-google-e836451a959e
  6. http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/03/18/latest_clinton_email_release_google_foreign_policy_efforts/
  7. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2018/mar/07/google-ai-us-department-of-defense-military-drone-project-maven-tensorflow
  8. http://watchdog.org/265844/google-obama-revolving-door/
  9. https://www.2600.com/googleblacklist/
  10. https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/09/19/goog-s19.html
  11. https://www.theepochtimes.com/google-engineer-leaks-nearly-1000-internal-documents-alleging-bias-censorship_3042234.html
  12. https://thenationalpulse.com/news/google-axes-conservative-media/
  13. http://21stcenturywire.com/2015/11/04/nsa-partner-in-crime-microsoft-admits-windows-10-auto-spying-cant-be-disabled/
  14. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/43kv4q/microsoft-human-contractors-listened-to-xbox-owners-homes-kinect-cortana
  15. https://www.npr.org/2017/10/26/560136311/how-5-tech-giants-have-become-more-like-governments-than-companies NPR
  16. https://www.quora.com/How-powerful-is-Google-Inc
  17. <https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/24/16801334/google-maps-justin-obeirne-cartographer-apple-waymo
  18. https://www.quora.com/How-powerful-is-Google-Inc
  19. https://www.dw.com/en/has-googles-data-collection-gone-too-far/a-49531478
  20. https://edition.cnn.com/2012/02/09/opinion/ghitis-google-privacy/index.html
  21. https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/09/not-even-the-people-who-write-algorithms-really-know-how-they-work/406099/
  22. https://thenextweb.com/news/youtube-recommendations-toxic-algorithm-google-ai
  23. https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/overton-window-corporate-social-media-shifting-steve-watt
  24. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13183222.2023.2201804
  25. https://thewire.in/media/backstory-independent-media-india-press-freedom
  26. https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/opendemocracyuk/five-reasons-why-we-don-t-have-free-and-independent-press-in-uk-and-what-we-can-do-about/