(spurred by seeing these things all over the place in San Jose)
I don’t understand why Apple made the iPhone deal with AT&T, since AT&T is – and I’m just going to say this the company rightly most notorious for giving the worst people in the federal government an extra-legal spinal tap into our communications systems as part of project so massively unconstitutional and, almost certainly, abused, that lawsuits by the ACLU and EFF can’t even penetrate the protective layers of paranoia that protect it from disclosure.
I don’t understand how good people, especially good techies who are aware of the EFF’s existence and know the massive implications of this whole thing, would let this happen — that the massed distaste of Apple’s employees wouldn’t have managed to derail it. I’ve worked at places where managerial “let’s spam people!” projects are ruthlessly undermined by people with integrity, and I thought more of individual action.
Maybe they were afraid. It’s a statement on our times that that could even be a valid explanation… but there it is.
Which brings me to the other thing: the success of the iPhone is a massive error of forgiveness:
If you utterly screw us over, we as techies will forgive you if the object swung before us is shiny enough.
Just pondering this makes my stomach do flips, and I start to feel like I want to throw up.
I’m a nerd that spent years in cellular, and I love what Apple’s doing. I’m fascinated seeing someone finally put together a phone interface that doesn’t suck, that melds different functionality in a way that at last makes sense. But I won’t buy an iPhone.
AT&T won’t see another dollar in my life unless it’s drawn involuntarily from me. But I’m obviously not in good company. How many people have contributed to EFF and bought an iPhone? How can the early adopters, the people how are most eager to see the future, see the beauty in the gadget and not the ugliness inherent in their purchase? How can people camp out, looking forward to a product that won’t happen, and not see what happens when privacy comes at only at the discretion of the least ethical credentialed federal agent? How can you spend money to be guaranteed that your every communication through that device is being monitored?
I don’t understand.