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lainchan archive - /tech/ - 36193

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I've recently come to learn about entities and relationships in the tech world that scare me. Namely, tech incubators & innovation centres that, on the one hand, outwardly showcase technology that is seemingly wonderful, but potentially dystopian - either intentionally, or more likely, easily co-opted as a side benefit of the implementation of this technology.

I wanted to name a number of these entities, and seek Lain's collective intelligence on more, as well as soliciting Lain's take on where we go from here. I will also preface the meat of this post by saying that not only am I not extremely knowledgeable in the tech field, nor necessarily the philosophical implications (which I am trying to combat with a good diet of information, as well as science fiction), I'm also slightly drunk. Apologies for any disconnected dots, I feel compelled to share and ellicit discussion to get a more knowledgeable take on things.

The canvas for many of these entities is the intersection between Silicon Valley - as the primary driver of technical innovation, if not the manufacturer - and the United States government, as well as all connected parties on either end. These include funding from governmental entities such as the DOD (i.e, DARPA) and CIA; if anyone can suggest resources for further research in this area, I'd be much obliged.
To a lesser degree, this also includes the interplay of corporate entities, both within and outside of Silicon Valley. This alludes to the largely kleptocratic nature of the United States government, and the resultant legislation - or positions of power - that are awarded.

Here are a few entities that I have come across in my research that seem potentially problematic to me, outside of a more comprehensive picture on the other, more far-reaching dangers presented many of the parent entities of those listed below.

> In-Q-Tel

In-Q-Tel is a CIA funded company that provides capital to a number of companies. Most noteably, they provided the cash that helped Palantir get off the ground after some roadbumps. Here is a list of companies they have provided venture capital to:
This is problematic if viewed in light of the history of the CIA, their recently revealed (but generally speculated) uses of domestic individual's tech to subjugate their freedom & privacy, and their history of manipulation of the American media & populous for the ends of the state (look into "The Mighty Wurlitzer" for a history of this; The Devil's Chessboard and Ghost Wars are also good histories of the CIA; and Vault 7 goes without saying here.)

>Google ATAP:

There's very little information about what Google's Advanced Technology and Projects group is working on in full. Their website and general media presence is very friendly, although they do label themselves as a skunkworks agency - which is shorthand for a program based on Lockheed-Martin Advanced Development Programs entitity: a small, generally shadowy group of individuals working on radical innovation. What they list on their website seems benign, and radical, useful tech. However, some of their other projects have a vast potential to be easily weaponized against their users - ie Abacus, which is using biometrics data (including digital forensics, i.e., identifying you by how you by writing style) to identify a user, or the "authentication vitamin" RFID chip developed by (Google owned) Motorola. Google ATAP was headed by Regina Dugan, who was the DARPA director beforehand, and who left ATAP to start the project below.


>>36193 con't
>Building 8
Dugan leads this project at Facebook. Little is known outside of this group as to the projects that this group is working on, but some tech that they have revealed they are exploring and developing are: augmented reality, cameras, and most interestingly, some sort of brain-computer interface, involving neuroimaging and haptic feedback. A look at a Facebook page for Building 8 states that the project is purpourtedly an ambitious undertaking in Facebook's desire to "connect the world."

Those are the big three I wanted to share. There are many hoorable mentions.

>Minerva Institute

(the namesake of which is proportional to your fondness of tinfoil), which is a DOD funded research instituion interested in "...improv[ing the] DOD's basic understanding of the social, cultural, behavioral, and political forces that shape regions of the world of strategic importance to the U.S." The person who cowrote the study wherein Facebook specifically attempted to manipulate the moods of a subset of users by selectively managing their content, Jeffery Hancock, is one of the paid members of this institution. While the aforementioned study is not known to be part of his work at MI, his area of focus is on "psychological and interpersonal dynamics of social media, deception, and language"; the study was funded by Cornell to develop an empircal model "of the dynamics of social movement mobilization and contagion."
>DARPA themselves, and the similar NSA offshoot ARDA (Advanced Research & Development Activity)
>NSA, of course
It should go without saying that NSA is highly reliant on the privacy users sacrifice to many Silicon Valley companies for monitoring, generally passive, ie Google's PREF IP cookies. This is, of course, in addition to it's own capabilities
>Institutions within and proximal to military-industrial complex: defence contractors, paramilitary organizations, military-based tech companies; eg Halliburton, Lockheed-Martin, Booz-Allen, Boston Dynamics, Blackwater & other defence contractors [MGS4 when?]

I could definitely go on, but this moves further into the military side of things and away from the original direction of this post.

I don't really have a single cohesive point that I'm trying to make here; I probably will on the other side of sobriety, as I'm still trying to parsing the deluge of the information, let alone the implications, large and small.

More than anything, this was just a dump of some of the things I've learned about recently, with a request for similiar leads, as well as any perspectives anyone may have on topics such as: interplay of (deep) state and tech, potentially dystopian developments in the world of tech, any philosophical implications thereof, etc.

Pic related, the book scared me many years ago when I was far less tech literate; seeing the trailer for the movie prompted this post.

[Apologies for mispellings, I don't have a decent spellcheck on this computer and it's taking forever through the VPN. Also, please feel free to make any corrections or request sources.)


...um, okay. I'm not sure what your point here is, other than Google and Facebook have R&D programs to support future innovations that would benefit them and that the CIA funds projects, which surprises nobody. I also really don't see where the deep state accusations that you're making come from.