The Confluence: Big Tech, Lobbyists, and the US Government

March 13, 2023

I read “Biden Admin’s Cloud Security Problem: It Could Take Down the Internet Like a Stack of Dominos.” I was thinking that the take down might be more like the collapses of outfits like Silicon Valley Bank.

I noted this statement about the US government, which is

embarking on the nation’s first comprehensive plan to regulate the security practices of cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Oracle, whose servers provide data storage and computing power for customers ranging from mom-and-pop businesses to the Pentagon and CIA.

Several observations:

  1. Lobbyists have worked to make it easy for cloud providers and big technology companies to generate revenue is an unregulated environment.
  2. Government officials have responded with inaction and spins through the revolving door. A regulator or elected official today becomes tomorrow’s technology decision maker and then back again.
  3. The companies themselves have figured out how to use their money and armies of attorneys to do what is best for the companies paying them.

What’s the consequence? Wonderful wordsmithing is one consequence. The problem is that now there are Mauna Loas burbling in different places.

Three of them are evident: The fragility of Silicon Valley approach to innovation. That’s reactive and imitative at this time. The second issue is the complexity of the three body problem resulting from lobbyists, government methods, and monopolistic behaviors. Commercial enterprises have become familiar with the practice of putting their thumbs on the scale. Who will notice?

What will happen? The possible answers are not comforting. Waving a magic wand and changing what are now institutional behaviors established over decades of handcrafting will be difficult.

I touch on a few of the consequences in an upcoming lecture for the attendees at the 2023 National Cyber Crime Conference.

Stephen E Arnold, March 13, 2023


One Response to “The Confluence: Big Tech, Lobbyists, and the US Government”

  1. White House to Regulate Cloud Security: Good Luck With That - Security Boulevard on March 13th, 2023 2:38 pm

    […] Will it work? Stephen E. Arnold observes thuswise—“Big Tech, Lobbyists, and the US Government”: […]

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