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Mike Gravel on Technology

Libertarian for President; Former Democratic Senator (AK)

 


Break up large tech companies; they threaten democracy

The gargantuan Amazon, which alongside providing cloud services to 17 federal intelligence agencies, promises to flex its monopsonistic power over vendors and workers; it may soon reach a concentration of power rivalling Standard Oil at its height. It is time to return competition to the marketplace that allows innovation and entrepreneurship to thrive. Our democracy depends on it.

The United States should break up large tech companies immediately. These companies pose a dire threat, not just to American democracy, but to international peace and security; Facebook, Google, Amazon, and others pose dangers due to the power they wield over information and content. In 2018, a U.K. Parliament report described Facebook as a "digital gangster." This description is entirely warranted, based on evidence that its business decisions were "directly linked" to ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, the Cambridge Analytica scandal, etc.).

Source: 2020 Presidential campaign website MikeGravel.com , Apr 9, 2019

CNN’s live war coverage is propaganda for weapons systems

[The military-industrial complex] was boosted by a new kind of war propaganda masquerading as journalism. It was called CNN. The world had never seen anything like it: a real war unfolding live and in living color in every home.

The film that was flown in from Vietnamese jungles had shown the horrors of battle and suffering Americans. It had roused Americans. Militarists and their media allies had learned; there would be no more of that.

CNN obliged, with music & graphics to match each stage of the conflict. The “war news” amounted to advertisements for weapons systems, especially Raytheon’s Patriot missiles.

There was no end to Patriot missile cheerleading, but long after the war the record showed the Patriots had been ineffective. It didn’t matter. Bush visited Raytheon headquarters to address its employees in a victory speech. Can you imagine a victory speech in an armaments factory? They knew no shame. Raytheon’s stock soared. Those who knew cashed out in time.

Source: A Political Odyssey, by Mike Gravel, p.216-217 , May 2, 2008

Put entire government-citizen interface online

The Internet portends fundamental changes on the order of those resulting from the Gutenberg Press that ushered in the Ages of Discovery and Enlightenment. The Internet, in my view, will usher in the Age of Democracy, the essence of which will be republican governance--the majoritarian expression of the popular sovereignty of people.

[Incumbents] assess what the Internet offers for the delivery of government information. Much greater benefits however lie in moving the processing of the interface between citizens and government onto the Internet. My recent online driver’s license renewal with the Virginia DMV was unexpectedly convenient and efficient. With little attention or effort, filing of income taxes online is on the rise. Clearly intra-governmental operations are increasingly going online. It makes sense that the entire government-citizen interface and interaction should begin to be vectored toward Internet facilitation, digital divide aside, which will shortly be marginalized.

Source: Press release, “The Internet and the Future” , Nov 18, 2000

Empower Congress to make independent scientific conclusions

Congress needs help if it is to perform its adversary function assigned by our forefathers. An Office of Scientific Assessment (OSA) should be established which would equip the Congress with an impressive array of scientists, engineers, and other specialists with the expertise to make independent scientific and technical inquiries and to examine whether or not the advice provided to Congress by the executive departments is politically self-serving, incomplete, or otherwise biased or unscientific.

Congress has no scientists at its own command and is, therefore, at a disadvantage whenever it attempts to question the administration’s scientific advice. Congressional committees do hear testimony from so-called “scientific witnesses,” but often these experts’ “private” scientific research is funded by government grants administered by executive agencies. Obviously, these scientists do not fail to notice which side their bread is buttered on.

Source: Citizen Power, by Sen. Mike Gravel, p. 44 , Jan 1, 1972

Other candidates on Technology: Mike Gravel on other issues:
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Page last updated: Jun 03, 2019