It is sad that propaganda war between the US and Russia is spreading to 'technology' news media. We are better off discussing technology, not politics.
Half the topics on HN would be very different if you took away the political context. Unless you only want to discuss programming languages at an academic level, it's almost impossible to ignore the politics.
Nope. Technological choices are solely influenced by the problem one is trying to solve. The course of war, peace and espionage may be determined by politics but the choice of technology is totally influenced by the problems war and espionage may present that technology needs to be able to solve. You can't build a "liberal" radar or a "conservative" radar or a downright "communist" radar. You can just build a radar to detect aircraft.
Technology is not an independent force of nature. It's the product of people, and people are inherently connected to politics.
When someone tries to cast a complicated political question like this in terms of yup and nope, just assume they are a dumbass and move along. And have faith that other reasonable people will do the same.
Would you have called me a dumbass if we'd have met in real-life? Or would you have been more civil?
Should I assume this representative of your behaviour towards people you haven't met face to face? Or do you think people have a "karma" number floating on top of their heads when they walk about?
I also would have ignored you and moved on if I had heard you giving this kind of opinion. If pressed to give a response, I would have said it's not a serious argument. And the point is that people don't have to respond to everything that is said, and additionally, it's preferable that they don't as that leads to wasted efforts and irrelevant discussion. I was responding to the effort dedicated to your argument.
Personally, how I determine whether or not an argument is dumb is if the first formulation of the argument does not consider and respond to the most obvious challenge. Yours does not consider for example, that a nobody would be making a radar dish if it weren't for politics, not does it consider that the whole history of technology has been driven largely by military (and thus, political) needs. That seems to be a very obvious hurdle to your argument, which as I understand it is basically a semantic game where the term "technology" is confined to "a technician and the breadboard or terminal in front of him/her."
That you kicked off a semantic exchange with a flat out "nope" just seems smug, making it all the more amazing that the subsequent argument was so naive.
2. I'm offering a heuristic, not correlation.
There is no area of human life that hasn't been impacted by technology and very few of them actually involve politics in the traditional sense.
Forgiving tech media that covers political stories in the guise of "tech" news because tech is "inseparable" from politics is naive, at best. It is separable and should be. But then again, I understand media is indeed inseparable from politics.
"...people are inherently connected to politics."
I disagree. This varies from society to society - it might be true for America, not true for other places. People in those places know what the sphere of influence of politics is and many areas are totally separated from politics. In the US, in contrast, almost anything can be (and routinely is) made a political issue.
"Your question is: why am I so interested in politics? But if I were to answer you very simply, I would say this: why shouldn't I be interested? That is to say, what blindness, what deafness, what density of ideology would have to weigh me down to prevent me from being interested in what is probably the most crucial subject to our existence, that is to say the society in which we live, the economic relations within which it functions, and the system of power which defines the regular forms and the regular permissions and prohibitions of our conduct. The essence of our life consists, after all, of the political functioning of the society in which we find ourselves. So I can't answer the question of why I should be interested; I could only answer it by asking why shouldn't I be interested?" - Michel Foucault
But technology is a means to solve problems whether they're presented by the struggle of humans to make their life better against the elements - in which case the solution would ought to be non-political - or whether they are presented by humans living, interacting and governing themselves in a society - in which case a solution may be driven by politics but is a solution nonetheless.
A blueprint of a missile doesn't say that it's driven by a particular ideology - it's just a solution for a political/social problem. Anyone can discuss it without involving politics. However, humans by their very nature add context to things (in this case, it'd be political) and that's perfectly alright. My argument is - ok, it is possible to discuss these things productively without involving politics or political opinions at all.
Ignoring the non-technical aspects of technology is as short-sighted as ignoring technical aspects you don't happen to care for.
Let me guess: you've never worked in government contracting before?
(And to answer your question: nope - and I hope not to).
Let's just agree that any population is going to have a few and stick to having technology discussions here.
Company Marketshare CountryOfOrigin
AVAST SOFTWARE 12.37% Czech Republic
AVG TECHNOLOGIES 12.37% Czech Republic
AVIRA GMBH 12.29% Germany
MICROSOFT CORP. 11.24% United States
ESET SOFTWARE 9.98% Slovakia
SYMANTEC CORP. 8.77% United States
KASPERSKY LABS 7.98% Russia
MCAFEE, INC. 4.50% United States
PANDA SECURITY 4.18% Spain
COMODO GROUP 2.79% United States
TREND MICRO, INC. 2.15% Japan
PC TOOLS SOFTWARE 2.00% Australia
EMSI SOFTWARE GMBH 1.16% Germany
SOFTWIN 1.11% Romania
F-SECURE CORP. 0.95% Finland
Of course Central bank of Russia would hire leading Russian security company to secure their network, who else they would hire? What's surprising in that? Of course leading politician may visit a company that is internationally known for its success, especially Medvedev who insisted on emphasizing the "modern hi-tech president" image. Cooperation between security researchers and cybercrime divisions of security services is also nothing new - what else security researchers would do with their findings? They can't prosecute computer criminals themselves...
And of course they would get licensed by Russian security services - how else one could get government contracts, which in every country are not negligible source of income for many companies?
Making it sound as if pretty standard business practices and realities - which apply both to such undeniably corrupt country as Russia and to the US and to many other developed countries - as a sign of some ominous secrets is a journalistic malpractice. It may sound to somebody uninformed as there's something shady there - but in fact there's nothing in all that stuff. There might be secrets hidden somewhere - but Schachman findings are extremely weak in that regard.
I feel like you should have used a better analogy, since Facebook is effectively a CIA outlet. They received funding from them.
All those reflexively flinging "conspiracy theory" labels are just sheep in deep, deep denial.
Seriously, though, what CIA would do with such amount of useless data? I could in principle believe Facebook cooperates with targeted surveillance requests (though doing something secret on facebook is incredibly stupid, but there are stupid terrorists too), sending all their data to CIA would be pretty useless.
It's sinister that Kaspersky appears in a documentary talking about privacy concerns? Shachtman's really grasping at straws.
Just he said, he said until one of the parties actually releases documentation (Wired can release emails showing Kapersky's co. cooperated closely with the fact checking, Kapersky can release docs to show the opposite, etc.)
As someone who is a casual reader of Wired and knows little about Kapersky, I don't know who to believe. Russian stereotypes and the current actions of Putin's government would push me towards believing the Wired article but that doesn't make me comfortable enough to say anything with confidence.
Shachtman paints a picture of Kapersky being in bed with the Russian government around innocuous anecdotes such as a government contract and a Christmas card.
The onus is on Shachtman to provide compelling evidence for his assertions. In my opinion he has failed to do that.
Shachtman may have failed to provide compelling evidence for his assertions, but in my opinion, Kapersky's rebuttal was very weak and did very little to prove his case.
Frankly, both rebuttals were weak and probably written in haste without examining how they would come across to an impartial third party.
Instinctually I trust a company run by a former Soviet intelligence officer just as much as I trust a company run by a former CIA or MI-6 officer, which is to say very little and I would assume said companies would cooperate fully with most government requests or initiatives with little resistance.
That's not to say the Wired article isn't bunk, it may very well be nationalist fud.
Just because they registered in UK doesn't of course prove they are clean, but it indicates that if there were some shenanigans, it would be easier to uncover them than if they were registered only in Russia or some offshore. Since nothing was uncovered so far, it serves as evidence - though not proof - that there wasn't anything to uncover. Of course, this evidence can be trampled by the evidence to the contrary - but this wasn't done.
Definitely. There are UK-registered companies that are little more than shells, but are connected to arms dealing organizations and similar.
I guess somebody at Wired thinks they're being funny. IMO they're being stupid.
Once an agent, always an agent.
I'm not saying he's still active, but those relationships are for life, and you don't just walk away from the KGB/FSB unscathed. Just ask Alexander Litvinenko.
Or too proud, of course.
That's just bad. I really thought Wired were above that. I guess I was wrong.
Because he chose a more widely known (albeit fictional) example, more people are able to better grasp the idea he is presenting. It's just good communication.