Western governments, spy agencies and corporations share similar goals and modes of hiding their lack of accountability behind juicy scandals they feed to “unquestioning consumers,” political commentator Adam Garrie told RT.
In the UK, Facebook and Twitter could face sanctions if they don’t help a parliamentary investigation to dig up any proof of alleged Russian interference in the Brexit vote. The head of the so-called ‘fake news’ inquiry, MP Damian Collins, has given the social media giants until January 18 to hand over the ‘smoking gun’ he has requested.
RT: What do you think about that warning to the social media giants coming from Damian Collins? Is there a real possibility of sanctions?
Adam Garrie: On the surface of it, it is always nice to see that just as revolutions always eat their own, the corporate government complex can eat its own, too. But the excitement is quelled quite quickly when one realizes that governments and big corporations that generally have the same goals, occasionally scratch each other’s backs too hard and draw blood. It amounts to something a bit like this. A government will go to a big social media corporation and say: “Look, you’ve got a really good inbuilt espionage infrastructure for us to collect and aggregate data about our citizens and those in other countries. If you cooperate with us, we will just overlook that big bank account in the Virgin Islands (or some other well-known tax shelter).”
It really comes down to irresponsible corporate governance, irresponsible political governance and a lack of transparency on both sides. And in order to hoodwink the public about this sort of backscratching competition which occasionally draws blood, they needed distraction: It is either a sex scandal, it is “Russian meddling”, it is all sorts of things, anything that is exciting and that unquestioning consumers of media who do not ‘Question more’ will swallow. Then they will be one step more distracted and removed from the actual truth, which is that the governments in the West, in particular, act as brands, and they work with corporate brands and that is really a side reflection on the transparency of Western governments.
RT: The social media giants have also been under a lot of pressure from the US. Is it normal for private companies to be pressured so much by governments?
AG: If there was truly a separation of state and corporate governance, than it wouldn’t be the case. When was the last time governments pressured phone companies or energy companies to charge less? When was the last time governments pressured companies to reveal what sorts of GMO products are in the foods that they eat? Things that actually matter to people. But when it is about things like this, you see the open collusion – and that is the word of the day – between governments and big corporations.
There was the famous incident few years ago in the US when the FBI requested Apple to turn over the encryption material for the iPhone and that was a big dispute. Ultimately, they did it with private sector agents which most people agree were attached to the Israeli regime.
And so, you really see a convoluted web of governments across the world, spy agencies and corporations all either in competition or holding each other’s hands and bickering back and forth and using the smoke screen of Russia to distract people from the fact that both corporations and governments aren’t being responsible to their citizens and to their consumers, to their publics. That is the real scandal. This total lack of transparency and the fact that instead of having the discussion with citizens, corporations and governments have closed-door, totally non-transparent discussions with themselves.