Interview: Yasha Levine on EFF's role as a covert Silicon Valley front group

Thanks to Chuck for having me on This Is Hell to talk about how Electronic Frontier Foundation conned us all into thinking it was the good guy, all while shilling for Google and Facebook — companies that want to steal our cultural and social labor, while spying on and influencing us with impunity.

As I wrote in the Baffler, companies like Google and Facebook are on a fundamental level parasitic businesses. They're digital tapeworms that have sunk their hooks into our networks of culture distribution and siphoned value as quickly as possible for themselves, without giving anything back to the people who produce culture. Google and Facebook would starve to corporate death without other people’s creative output. They also wouldn’t stand a chance of turning a profit without a massive surveillance campaign on their own users.

Naturally, as these companies grew and matured, two threats to their business loomed large: copyright and privacy. To make sure these never became a problem, Silicon Valley built up a powerful lobbying and public relations machine — and EFF has been the master cog of that machine, doing everything it can to shield business from scrutiny.

EFF is America’s oldest and most influential internet business lobby—and it's time that people saw it for what it is.

— Yasha Levine

Want to know more? Read Yasha Levine's book about the sordid corporate and military history of the Internet..

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