Are Tech Companies Ungrateful?

from the missing-the-point dept

Michael Kanellos usually writes interesting opinion pieces for, but this time I’m a bit confused by his thought process. He’s claiming that tech companies are ungrateful to the US government. His reasoning appears to be that the US government funded much of the research that became the internet, and now we need more money from them to keep doing more research and to remain competitive, but we’re trashing their every move to try to regulate the internet. This doesn’t make any sense. The reason tech companies are complaining about recent legal moves by the government is because we’re so grateful for what they had done originally, and realize that they’re making mistakes that are going to screw it all up. Criticizing their current legislative actions are designed to make things better so that we can remain competitive. No where does it say that just because you accept some money you need to sit down and shut up. What the tech companies are saying is that, despite all the money that was given, the government is now making policies that will negate much of the good that was done with that money.

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Comments on “Are Tech Companies Ungrateful?”

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dorpus says:

It's True

– ITers talk big about the supposed evils of intellectual property, but the high-tech industry would not exist without it.

– ITers talk big about the evils of government regulation, but a huge number of companies make money from implementing those very regulations. There is a huge and profitable industry of anti-porn filters, for example.

– ITers talk big about how they don’t need government, but the very same companies derive a huge portion of their income from government contracts. Government is usually the most reliable and wealthy customer for high-tech companies.

A lot of the irrational attitudes prevalent in the IT industry stems from “libertarianism” that was popular in the 90s. Every argument of “libertarianism” I’ve seen, though, actually has big government implicit within it.

Anonymous Coward says:

I'm from the government and I'm hear to help...

Let’s face it: The internet happened because a bunch of college students realized that what they were working on in college was better than the RIP graphics system on BBSes. Shit, all the government wanted was a way to communicate after we got nuked (something of very questionable utility in my opinion). This a very clear demonstration of the entire governmental funding/goal process.

By definiation anything comming from the government is inferior and suspect. The only thing government funding is actually good for is keeping starving students from actually starving. If said students actually happen to be working on something cool and innovative, I guarantee you that the government is either unaware or does not actually care what is happening with that particular project.

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