Adapt to What? – An Open Letter

Dear Millennials:

Once upon a time (in the 1970s), the actor you might know as Steve Martin was a rising star in stand-up comedy.  One of his jokes began with the premise that he would tell you how to earn a million dollars and never pay taxes.  The real laugh in the bit came when Martin would say, “Ok, first get a million dollars….”  See? That’s funny.  And the reason I mention the joke here is that it seems to me quite a few peppy pundits out there are telling you a version of this joke, only they’re not kidding. They’re not saying “First, get a million dollars.”  Instead, they’re saying things like “Adapt to the market you’re inheriting,” which, in many cases, is an unfortunate euphemism for “Just become a star.”  Because if you don’t become a star in the market presently being transformed as you’re trying to enter it, you might be basically screwed.

No question it was very cool of Taylor Swift, who is obviously a superstar, to stand up to Apple on behalf of professional musicians, who will never be superstars. But as this indie artist points out, all the non-superstars (who, by the way, make most of the music you probably love) are still hosed because the streaming model is not yet sustainable, no matter whose service leads the market. And these music professionals are likely to remain hosed because we may have devalued work (not just music, but work) past the tipping point of sustainability. And you should be angry about this, even if you helped feed the problem.  This article by Rebecca Smith for Fortune explains why, for instance, the Uber business model can be a universal job killer.

“Today, as the super-rich have amassed ever greater shares of wealth, the connection between working for a living and being able to earn a decent living from work has disintegrated. Perhaps nowhere is this disparity more evident than in the growing “on-demand” economy. Companies like Uber, Lyft, Crowdflower, Homejoy, and others in transportation, delivery, hospitality, home improvement, domestic service, technology and elsewhere have adopted business models that pass the costs of doing business onto workers themselves and move the wealth their service provides upwards. The on-demand economy has already created its share of billionaires – Uber’s co-founders are worth around $5 billion each, while those who drive for Uber receive meager pay.”

So, what the “adapt” mandate implies here — again echoing Steve Martin — is “First, go invent Uber.” But there’s like 80 million of you millennials in America, and the digital-age market only has room for one or two (usually one) major player in any category at a time.  So, in terms of realistic ratios, even if a million of you might invent killer apps or become YouTube stars, neither of those enterprises will create and sustain real jobs for the  the other 79 million.  As Smith points out, and as supported in this essay by Umair Haque entitled The Servitude Bubble, the devaluation of labor and general shift toward a market of ad hoc pieceworkers, livery drivers, servants, and craftspeople all working too cheaply for a wealthy minority is not limited to any particular business sector.  As many of of my colleagues have been saying for some time, what the tech industry and free-culture consumers did to music is now manifest in other areas of the market. Smith projects your future as follows:

“Our new grad might sit down to her computer every day, wondering whether she will get enough work to make it through to tomorrow, doing mind-numbing tasks like matching names to photographs and matching the word “blue” with the color “blue,” and she’ll compete with 500,000 workers across the world who are hungry for the same micro-jobs. One researcher has found that 70% of the tasks on [Amazon’s] Mechanical Turk are worth 5 cents or less, yielding an hourly wage of less than $5.”

Maybe that prediction is more dire than necessary. I hope so.  But read between the lines in any number of trends and we see a hyper-efficient, data-centric view of the world, of culture, and of market value that appears to be fueling the growth of monopsonies empowered to dictate terms to every kind of worker from book authors to carpenters to truck drivers. And it occurs to me that for all its fluffy futility, OWS demonstrated that many of you were on the right track. You should be pissed off at the 1% and angry as hell at Wall Street.  But I’m sorry to say that the business models of the digital age are not the antidote to Wall Street; they are its worst intentions on speed.  It is insane that a company like Uber, which has yet to prove itself, which creates no real jobs, which functions like a pyramid scheme, and which could evaporate overnight is valued in the tens of billions by “the market.”  This should piss you off, not only on its own terms, but because major business owners in many sectors seem to be learning from these tech-based models how to take advantage of your talent, your time, and your costly educations for pennies on the dollar. They know the more that labor is devalued across multiple sectors and the more desperate your circumstances become, the more bargaining power they have. And it doesn’t even have to be malicious. If these economic forces drive the value of work down and the global market is flooded with millions of talented, educated people, it becomes untenable for even the most generous, well-intentioned employer to offer more than a meager going rate for your services.

But here’s a solution, at least part of a solution, as I see it:  you are the market. Right now, you’re the consumer everybody wants. Of course, because the big players figured out how to monetize your attention without asking you for any money, you won’t notice right away that you’re actually paying for the present with your own future value. (And how ironic is it that your time has been turned into a commodity pegged to advertising when studies show you will avoid advertising at all costs?)  It may not occur to you that it is contradictory to hate on Wall Street and then order up an Uber car or pirate a movie or a book, and the VCs whose names you don’t know are counting on you not to notice. You get the concept that “buying local” is an economic driver for your community, but the studies and the pundits all say you won’t even buy a digital download from your favorite band because when you were kids, some adult told you that you shouldn’t pay for music.  But that adult is a billionaire now, and he hasn’t even bothered to build a company where you might get a decent job.

Here’s an experiment I am sure won’t catch on, but what the hell:  stop pirating media; if you can, buy one extra album or video or book or something each month in a local, retail environment; get a subscription to a legal streaming service; and most of all, refuse to patronize or work for a businesses that wants people to work for free or is looking to turn valued labor into freelance, micro-tasks. Then, watch what happens. You’re the market. Let the damn billionaires adapt.

Posted in Digital Culture, Economics | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Can We Auto-Correct Humanity? by Prince EA

Posted in Digital Culture | Tagged , | 13 Comments

Canadian court reflects common sense in rejecting Google appeal.

whack moleWith progress in almost anything, there are usually downsides. Manufacturing and power generation produce pollution; automobiles produce pollution and accidents; smart phones produce selfies.  In some cases, it is only common sense (at least to many of us) to try to mitigate the negative results of an otherwise good thing through legal regimes because the owners of industry don’t have a particularly solid track record for taking voluntary measures to reduce harm where they can.  It’s a familiar narrative. A factory puts too much gunk in the river; society through its government agencies tells them to cut it out; and the factory owners howl that there will be job losses, the end of free markets as we know them, and communist troops in the streets within weeks.  When we’re sane, we call bullshit, the factory cleans up its act, and life goes on in the free world while the river rehabilitates itself.  When we’re less sane, we believe the narrative of industry, go for the short money, and let the larger consequences of that polluted river be our kids’ problem.

Google’s search tool indexes the Internet for us, and this is a good thing. It even anticipates what we are about to search for, which is a slightly creepy thing, but often impressively handy.  On the other hand, top search results can sometimes be misleading because the hierarchy of results has little to do with quality data per se.  For instance, a paid-for ad linking to a scam tech-support supplier might appear well above the legitimate site hosted by the manufacturer. This is a disservice both to the consumer and the supplier, but Google has rarely demonstrated that it cares much about these particular flaws. Traffic is traffic. Money is money. As a result, search itself can be an opportunity for bad actors to hijack business away from legitimate sellers toward inferior, infringing, or illegal goods and services.  For years, copyright holders have argued that allowing pirate sites to appear in top search results exacerbates the piracy problem; and Google has countered that search has little to with piracy.

Either way, even when Google has taken action to remove a link that contributes in some way to harming an individual or entity, they have thus far only been willing to remove specific pages (URLs) as identified in a single DMCA notice and takedown request. Thus, all a bad actor has to do is change URLs for pages on his website, forcing the injured party to keep sending a barrage of DMCA requests in an effort to stop Google searches from providing misleading, infringing, or harmful results. If that sounds unreasonable, it is.  If your common sense says perhaps Google should de-index the entire site of a bad actor so that the site doesn’t appear in any results anywhere, it’s because that is common sense.  But so far, Google, the Internet industry in general, and so-called digital rights organizations like the EFF have been vehemently opposed to de-indexing sites under any circumstances, which can make them sound more like techno-fundamentalists than rational adults capable of understanding that balanced and measured restrictions designed to protect the rights of the injured from the predations of the injurious neither harm the benefits of the Internet nor in any way threaten larger principles like free expression.  And in somewhat different language, that’s pretty much what the Court of Appeal of British Columbia told Google last week in a case of this very nature.

Equustek Solutions makes network devices that enable complex business equipment to communicate with one another.  One of this company’s distributors (named as Morgan Jack in the ongoing litigation) began first stripping Equustek’s name from products and selling them as competitive alternatives, and later stealing trade secrets to manufacture and sell knock-off products.  When Morgan Jack was ordered by a Vancouver court to stop operating its counterfeit business in that province, they did what any contemporary huckster does — they went virtual. They set up a web “business,” creating multiple sites, which is how one goes about hijacking search results from a legitimate supplier. Equustek, is now suing Morgan Jack for trademark and trade secrets infringement, but in the meantime the British Columbia Supreme Court granted the plaintiff injunctive relief by ordering Google to de-index the counterfeit sites from its search results, not only in Canada, but worldwide.  Google appealed this judgment, and was last week rejected on all of its major arguments, which I shall attempt to summarize.

Jurisdiction

Google claimed that because it did not do business materially in the province — no offices, no servers, etc. — that the court did not have the “competence” (legalese for authority) to order the removal of these sites from being returned in its search results.  But the appellate court responded thus:

“[Google’s] activities in gathering data through web crawling software, in distributing targeted advertising to users in British Columbia, and in selling advertising to British Columbia businesses are sufficient to uphold the chambers judge’s finding that it does business in the Province. The court, therefore, had in personam jurisdiction over Google.”

That’s a compelling response with potentially far-reaching implications because among the many defenses used by web owners who contribute, either by design or by accident, to some form of harm is the almost metaphysical “nowhereness” of a website.  It becomes as much a matter of existential philosophy as one of legal theory. But the tech-utopian view, deriving much chutzpah from Barlow’s Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, likes to describe a website as though it’s a particle, everywhere and nowhere at the same time, that it can no more be bound by terrestrial laws of man than the quantum universe can be forced to behave according to the applied physics of our everyday, macro experience.

Of course, it’s common-sensical to think that a company that operates globally, that proudly markets its transformative role in tens of thousands of communities, and that profits handsomely by virtue of its global reach into multiple business sectors can be held to some burden of civic responsibility in every community in which it clearly does tangible business. In fact, in referring to the defendants Morgan Jack from the actual infringement case of Equustek v Jack, the judge writing this appeal decision uses the following language:

“As the product (i.e the counterfeit Equustek hardware) that they sell is a physical one which must be delivered to customers, it may be more accurate to describe their operations as ‘clandestine’ than as ‘virtual’. “

That’s certainly not a reference to Google, but it could easily be a reference to a company like Amazon in a similar case; and as Google indeed moves into physical territory, like home delivery of products, the “You can’t touch me, I don’t exist” argument may continue to sound rather unappealing to judicial ears.

Also, on the issue of jurisdiction, Google argued that upholding the B.C. Court’s injunction to de-index the sites from search results would make the company’s search services subject to every jurisdiction in the world.  And you gotta love the judge’s response to this complaint …

“That may be so. But if so, it flows as a natural consequence of Google doing business on a global scale, not from a flaw in the territorial competence analysis.”

I know it’s not very Googley to think that a global business has to sort out for itself how to comply with the laws in each country; and as pointed out in my last post, it is much more Googley to tell the nations of the world to stop acting like individual states and get with their one-world program. Of course, it is also very Googley to shape-shift from statelessness to nationalism when it suits their purposes, as seems to be the basis of one of its other central arguments in this case.

Comity

In this argument, Google vacillates from the premise, “You have no authority because we’re nowhere” to the premise, “You have no authority because we’re in California.”  In essence, courts in one country should not issue rulings that offend or disrespect the courts or interests of the country of residence of the individual or company subject to said ruling.  This argument by Google elicited much case law discussion by the judges, and then the following response:

“The only comity concern that has been articulated in this case is the concern that the order made by the trial judge could interfere with freedom of expression in other countries. The importance of freedom of expression should not be underestimated. . . .

It has not been suggested that the order prohibiting the defendants [Morgan Jack] from advertising wares that violate the intellectual property rights of the plaintiffs offends the core values of any nation. The order made against Google is a very limited ancillary order designed to ensure that the plaintiffs’ core rights are respected.”

Again, it is encouraging to see a ruling that corresponds with common sense because it seems obvious that a narrow and limited removal of links, material, or even whole sites from search results, ordered in the name of ensuring the rights of an individual or entity, does not violate the principles of free speech. To say otherwise is self-serving hyperbole on the part of the industry, not unlike the hypocrisy we see when these invasive data-mining companies and their “rights” organizations presume to warn us about the perils of government surveillance. Meanwhile, Google’s other major argument echoes another common refrain, and its rejection may have consequences well beyond this case.

Inappropriate Burden on a Non-Party

Google argued that the court did not have the authority to grant an injunction against a non-party to a litigation.  The principle being argued here (and it’s an important one) is that an injunction must be filed against a party in a dispute that is “justiceable” (i.e. can be settled in court) in order to afford the individual or entity the full rights available to a named party.  But after citing several more pages of case law, the decision states the following:

“Where such a justiciable issue exists, however, the granting of injunctive relief against third parties as an ancillary means of preserving the parties’ rights is a well-established jurisdiction of the courts.”

This addresses a central, ongoing debate about the role of web platforms which are often used to facilitate harm even if that is not the intent or design of the site in question.  Can Backpage’s site be held responsible for users advertising the prostitution of minors?  Can Reddit be held responsible for users uploading photos stolen by hackers? Can Google be held responsible for search results leading to infringing, tortious, or other criminal enterprises? In general, the answer to these questions will be no, at least so far as actual liability is concerned. And that’s probably a good thing.

But the relief that plaintiffs like Equustek are typically seeking has nothing to do with holding a site owner criminally responsible or even filing a civil suit against them for any kind of damages.  In most cases, the injured party simply wants the site owner to remove links, materials, (or in this case de-index whole sites) that are facilitating or aggravating the harm being done by some other party.  It’s kind of like saying “I know you’re not the one hitting me, but if you would stop feeding the bully amphetamines, I’d totes appreciate it.”  Some sites are simply run by bad actors, and individuals and entities harmed by them should not bear the undue burden of entreating Google to de-list one page at a time, while the bad actor keeps moving the offending page(s) around his site.

The case of Equustek v Google demonstrates that a very narrow and carefully weighed judicial approach to de-indexing clearly criminal sites can coexist with free speech and of course not break the Internet. More importantly, the Canadian court places what seems like a very fair and minimal degree of burden on the site owner, rejecting the all-too-popular claim that sites are to be treated exclusively and universally as neutral, passive entities in these matters.

It will be interesting to see if Google complies with this order and whether or not this case indeed serves as precedent for future cases in which similar arguments are made by other intermediaries.  Equustek gets to the crux of one of the underlying questions of the digital age — the need to reconcile the reality that while these platforms do foster new lines of openness and expression, they also breed new methods for bad actors to do considerable harm, almost by remote control.  I find it hard to believe that we cannot balance these forces in cyberspace by means of any greater legal contortions than are required to strike this same balance in the “real” world.  Or as I think these appellate judges might say, “The Internet is the real world. Time to treat it that way.”

Posted in Digital Culture, Law & Policy | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Reconciling the New Surveillance State

I’ve said it several times, but it is still astonishing to watch Americans use social media to air their fears about agencies like the NSA while ignoring the fact that it’s the social media company itself watching us more intimately than any government agency ever will. In a recent editorial for Newsweek, Senator Whitehouse (D-RI) calls attention to the fact that not only do Americans seem paradoxically to distrust government agencies more than private companies with a profit motive for domestic surveillance, but that this contradiction also skews rational debate in Congress with regard to the still-relevant national security role of the intelligence community. Writes Senator Whitehouse:

“I contend that a corporate-backed, ideology-fueled effort to deride and diminish the government of the United States exists and has gotten out of hand. I contend that the consequences of that corporate-backed effort of derision and diminution play out in the way America views the service of NSA personnel, and in the way Congress debates NSA programs.”

On the other hand, as reported in The New York Times, a recent study by the Annenberg School of Communications at the University of Pennsylvania, indicates that Americans are uncomfortable with the amount of data they increasingly recognize as the hidden cost of “free” Internet services. But the study also indicates that we are not entirely sure what to do about it. Writes Josesph Turow, professor at the Annenberg School:

“Companies are saying that people give up their data because they understand they are getting something for those data, but what is really going on is a sense of resignation. Americans feel that they have no control over what companies do with their information or how they collect it.”

So, where might that control come from? We could post memes and declarations on social media about how we demand control over data gathering by Google and Facebook and other platforms, but whom would we be petitioning? Exactly. So, when a representative, like maybe Senator Whitehouse, proposes legislation to regulate data mining as a means of consumer protection, are we going to fall for the hysteria again when the Internet industry tells us such “draconian measures will break the Internet”?

More broadly, though, this quote from Senator Whitehouse points to a much larger political and ideological challenge:

“It is ironic that some of the loudest voices in the debate about surveillance reform are corporations that make billions of dollars mining the personal information of their customers. It is also ironic that those who guard our liberty are challenged in the name of liberty.”

Efforts by Silicon Valley-funded organizations to leverage public concern over government surveillance while purposely ignoring private industry surveillance are driven both by profit and by ideology. And at some point, we crossed a very important line. While much of American policy has always been an attempt to balance the natural tensions between private and public interests, no other industry has ever been able to so successfully position itself as an alternative state the way the Internet industry has.

Listen to the refrain in geo-political statements by industry leaders like Google chairman Eric Schmidt, and you hear the rhetoric of stateless, global utopianism. To quote a recent WSJ article reporting on Schmidt’s address to European leaders, “Regarding regular clashes with European regulators on issues ranging from data protection to anti-competitive charges, Mr. Schmidt said that Google was listening to European leaders, but that the situation would be helped if Europe spoke with one voice on digital matters.” That might sound reasonable on the surface, but it is consistent with the smug tone of inevitability adopted by presumptive technocrats. Or to quote Schmidt directly, “There’s an old way and a new way; the new way is global and digital, the old way is local and proud, and there’s nothing wrong with it, but the old will be displaced.” Indeed, these pesky individual nations with their quaintly distinct cultures and laws should wise up and make things easier for Google, bearer of the future.

Of course, it isn’t just Europe. The rhetoric of the Internet industry consistently plays havoc with the American political psyche by claiming to provide the ultimate technological defense against government overreach, which means any attempt to regulate that industry’s practices will be described as a government threat to the existence of said technological defense against government. Presumably, this feeds a sense of obsolescence about states in general, and if we are truly stuck in that logical vortex, it’s no wonder Americans are going to feel resigned to the condition of rampant data mining by these companies. (By the way, this is the parable of the computer that goes haywire and then kills its own makers because it is programmed to protect itself at all cost.)

I think only two kinds of people believe earnestly in a stateless, global society: fools who think we’re just one big group-hug away from world peace; and greedy-as-fuck leaders of multi-national companies, who seek every opportunity to avoid regulation by damnable governments. So, I’m all for oversight of the NSA and such, but it’s probably worth keeping in mind that intelligence agencies track terrorists, drug dealers, human traffickers, cyber-criminals and hackers, and crazy-ass domestic hate groups while companies like Google sell ads against the videos those groups put on social media. Hence, to Senator Whitehouse’s point, it might be necessary to restore some balance to the debate.

Posted in Digital Culture, Law & Policy | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Wikileaks Ethics in Journalism

In a recent OpEd in the New York Times, media ethicist Kelly McBride generally stands by the principle that journalists should not pay sources for information; but she also wants pardoxically to propose that sometimes the ends justify the means.  Specifically, she is referring to an initiative (ploy, stunt?) by Wikileaks to crowd fund a “bounty” for a leaker to provide the full text of the Trans Pacific Partnership agreement. But more broadly, McBride seems unaware that there can be no exception to this rule of journalistic standards, if it is to remain a rule at all.  Because in the course of investigating hard news, when don’t the ends appear to justify the means?  Surely, there are reporters out there risking their lives to uncover stories that are more grave and more time-sensitive than a trade deal, even a very big trade deal.

But that central contradiction is not the only reason I think McBride’s OpEd misses the point in its analysis. What she says is that, in general, paying for information is still wrong but that extreme situations call for extreme measures until some balance is restored between transparency and secrecy.  She writes, “Right now, the bounty may be the best shot we have at transforming the TPP process from a back-room deal to an open debate. But we need a better system to discourage unjustified secrecy, to protect sources and to encourage public-interest whistle-blowing.”  Although earlier in the piece, McBride acknowledges, “It’s true that trade deals, which are usually about tariffs and the price of goods, are traditionally negotiated in secret. But the TPP exceeds agreements like Nafta in scope and scale and involves far-reaching foreign policy decisions.”

The funny thing to me about the TPP kerfuffle is that everyone is complaining both about how bad it is and about how secret it is without noticing that the latter complaint casts considerable doubt on the former.  And thanks to the headline-rich, substance-poor nature of social media, even the tidbits of information out there are being manipulated by players with their own agendas, including such mundanity as just making click-bait.  As a result, many of my friends now take as gospel rumors about possible proposals or outcomes of this deal that are entirely unfounded.  For instance, McBride sets up her larger premise, establishing the TPP’s obvious badness with this almost parenthetical statement:  “Chapters already leaked suggest that the deal restricts fair use of copyrighted material, expands medical patents and weakens public policies that govern net neutrality.”  From such statements, we are left to wonder what other nefarious proposals lurk within the TPP and to conclude, yes, the ends justify Wikileaks’s means of offering to buy a leak.

But what if many of those highly publicized assumptions based on earlier partial leaks are false or at least very misleading?  Certainly, the statement about restricting fair use is fallacious, either by design or by ignorance, and we don’t need the full text of TPP proposals to know why.  For one thing, trade deals generally do not change domestic law in the U.S.; and to imply that ratifying the TPP might alter our application of fair use is inconsistent with history and with the process presently being applied.  Second, trading partner nations cannot necessarily apply U.S.-style fair use because (hold onto your hats) they have different legal systems. (I hear they speak different languages, too.)

But here’s the insidious detail in the big picture:  McBride writes what seems like a reasonable editorial with a premise that takes for granted a false assumption like this one about fair use, unaware perhaps that this widely-spread rumor is actually a modification of an Internet-industry-backed effort to “export U.S. fair use doctrine” through FTAs to our trading partners. These companies would favor replicating our liberal application of this doctrine and even imply that U.S. copyright holders are against such a provision, but this is a mischaracterization. It is more accurate to say that our trading partners don’t have the constitutional foundation to apply doctrine as we do.  I know that’s a too complex and wonky to make a good Facebook meme or grabby headline, but that’s the point.

So, even with this one tiny matter about which much corn has been shucked, we’re witnessing a giant game of Telephone.   Silicon Valley-funded organizations say “export fair use doctrine” to start the game, and this translates to “TPP will harm fair use” by the time the message comes full circle in the form of an OpEd in the New York Times.  So, is it really logical to believe that more leaked text about even more complex issues and filtered through even more vested interests will help us make more informed decisions?  I have more than a few doubts.

Meanwhile, the TPP isn’t classified; it’s embargoed.  Journalists committed to their principles are familiar with the need to embargo a story, perhaps to ensure someone’s safety prior to publication, and it would be a shame if that kind of judgment call were inappropriately reclassified as censorship just because we now have these machines that confuse our right to know with our right to know right bloody now.  The scale and scope of the TPP are unprecedented, but the level of secrecy is not. Negotiating trade deals through real-time public referendum would be like trying to play poker while everybody’s kid brothers run around the table shouting out who’s holding which cards.  What is also unprecedented (and frankly fascinating) is that the TPP is the first trade deal to be negotiated in the age of social media, which provides what I will continue to insist a fairly opaque form of transparency at best.

In fact, I suspect one of two outcomes would be the result of Wikileaks’s brand of un-alloyed “transparency” in this case:  one would be a collapse of trade deals altogether, but the other would be truly unprecedented secrecy indeed.  As journalist Christopher Dickey points out in this 2010 piece about State Department leaks by Wikileaks, “To avoid this kind of massive leak in the future, documents will get higher classification and less distribution, and a lot of the most important stuff may not be committed to the keyboard at all.” Oversight through the filter of  representation and principled journalists is imperfect, but a much bigger question than the one McBride is asking is whether we want to be a nation that does imperfect things as a republic or a nation that doesn’t do anything because we choose to embrace the near anarchy of direct democracy?

To be sure, I feel, as many of my fellow progressives do, that we have ceded far too much power to corporations overall, allowing deregulatory trends to foster wealth consolidation, poor environmental policy, weaker labor rights, and downgrades in education, medicine, infrastructure, and other foundational enterprises.  If we hope to address any of these issues, we need to find the political will to do so through domestic policy, investment, and the representation we choose to elect. In the meantime, it doesn’t seem helpful to perpetuate confusion about what trade deals can and cannot do to our domestic laws, let alone to cite that confusion as a reason for serious journalists to abandon their hard-won principles.  Frankly, I think we have enough hacks.

Posted in Digital Culture, Journalism | Tagged , , | 16 Comments