In 1965, American consumer rights advocate Ralph Nader forever changed the car manufacturing industry when he published ‘Unsafe At Any Speed’. The book exposed how popular American cars were patently unsafe through the omission of important safety features as well the presence of unnecessary accoutrements.
The book is especially memorable for its attacks on the stylish Chevrolet Corvair.
For a seemingly egg-head minded subject, the book proved to be revolutionary in the changes it brought about in the car industry.
Yesterday’s announcement by Julian Assange that Wikileaks intends to spearhead a Digital Geneva Convention could prove equally game changing.
Whilst many pundits focus on the political implications of the Vault 7 Wikileaks release which demonstrates how the CIA can use everyday digital devices to spy on ordinary people, few are talking about the implications for businesses and consumers.
Today’s technology allows one to keep a lifetime worth of messages/emails, photos, videos, audio recordings, business information, and other personal artefacts stored on compact digital devices and related cloud storage systems. If these are shown to be totally compromised in terms of privacy and security, it could cause a crisis in confidence among consumers.
Already, many are fearing a backlash in countries like China where one of the world’s most important consumer markets is becoming fearful of purchasing the products exposed as unsafe in terms of security. The same could soon happen in America and throughout the west.
Both hardware and software makers ought to take notice and behind closed doors it is almost certain they have done. If ever shares in carrier pigeon companies were worth investigating, today is the day. Many will have to now choose between their slavish loyalty to the Deep State and loyalty to their consumers. In a rare moment, by chasing the almighty dollar, the big tech firms may end up actually doing the right thing.
Wikileaks has offered to help these companies to better secure their products. This has the effect of making Julian Assange’s stamp of approval on digital devices equivalent to that of Ralph Nader’s, in respect of cars from the 1960s and 70s.
The implications are far reaching.
It must be said that although some tech companies have expressed resistance to working with Wikileaks, it is wise to remember that many car manufactures slandered Ralph Nader for years. Eventually however, many of Nader’s recommendations from ‘Unsafe At Any Speed’ were implemented.
Readers of The Duran clearly care about war crimes, political corruption and the surveillance state. But even those whose idea of a news update is the latest Tweet from an airhead celebrity, will be worried that their data may be compromised, just as sure as many Americans in the 1960s cared more about the safety of their cars than about the remote intricacies of US-Soviet relations.
The mainstream media may try to ignore this story, but anyone who does business using their phones or those who have house parties in front of their Samsung Smart TVs where guests engage in activities resembling the hobbies of Anthony Weiner, will doubtless take notice of the latest Wikileak.
In spite of the MSM trying to paint Julian Assange as a Russian agent, many will remember those who called Ralph Nader a kind of ‘left-commie’ out to destroy business. The slander didn’t stick. Nader became a respected and trustworthy consumer advocate.
Now, Julian Assange has become a consumer advocate too. In a country like America where the selfie takes precedence over awareness of war crimes, things just got interesting.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.