Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

The Silicon Valley Letter

A fantastic, infinitely-quotable article from the Economist:

Interestingly, though, Cisco is not one of the signatories to the letter. In fact, plenty of big tech companies are missing. The fact that only eight companies could be persuaded to sign may be revealing in itself. All of the firms that did sign are software houses. Hardware companies (like Cisco) are entirely absent, even though one of Mr Snowdens’ many revelations is that the spooks have been spending plenty of money and sweat trying to subvert their products. Big telecommunications firms like Level 3 and AT&T, whose fibre-optic cables the spies have been tapping, have not said anything either.

Another notable non-signatory: Amazon. Perhaps this is reading too much from their lack of participation — there are many simple answers for why a company wouldn’t sign the letter — but in a recent interview on 60 Minutes, Jeff Bezos mentioned that Amazon was building a version of their web storage database for the CIA. I don’t necessarily think that their non-participation is indicative of disagreement with the spirit of the letter, but perhaps they — along with Cisco, etc. — don’t want to lose their government contracts.