Colin Here. Telecommunications has always been heavily interconnected with government. The NORAD and SAGE systems were primarily developed by the Bell System, as we’re most of America’s nuclear weapons. When Bell was broken up these functions were transferred to the military industrial complex and with that many assumed that private industry and government had largely separated.
But how separate is business from government?
The current news is that Jeff Bezos has purchased the Washington Post. But Why?
My theory is that it is political power. The Washington Post has so much political influence that regulators will think thrice before doing anything to attack Amazon’s predatory business. This theory passes Occams Razor. Why does Amazon need such political power?
Clearly, protecting its business practices from regulatory scrutiny is worth the $250M price to purchase the Washington Post: The Washington Post is 1/500th the value of Amazon…a mere 0.2% of its worth.
So how is this like the old Bell System? Simple: in our corporatized government model it is necessary to become essential to government so that government cannot attack you. Interlocking power–just like the old Bell System had is critical to any large mega-business.
The model that the Bell System used seems alien and foreign today. But the principle is actually alive and thriving.
It is a predatory monopoly, crushing retailers in a way that WalMart could never even dream of. By driving all profits out of retail industries it is a classic market spoiler. Almost all predatory monopolies start off this way…by driving prices down in the name of consumerism.
This is exactly how Microsoft obtained its monopoly: when Word Perfect sold for $500 Microsoft sold Word for $89. When Lotus 123 cost $500 Microsoft sold Excel for $89. For $129 you used to be able to purchase a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation package from Microsoft. After their monopoly was secured the pries skyrocketed to their present levels.
But Amazon may be as nefarious as the old Bell System is a more important way.
The following speculation is based upon a whole lot of facts that fit together nicely. But as the facts and details are all military classified secrets it is impossible to prove without having Snowden’s insider access. So lets call it smart speculation.
The key link is Utah and Amazon’s AWS service (plus a dose of Bell System history.)
You probably have heard of the Utah Data Center. This is a massive complex that basically records all of your emails, phone calls, and web activity under the guise of national security. You have probably also heard about Amazon’s AWS service. This is an infinitely massive, scalable, data center service with storage capacities in the Petabyte range.
What is really interesting is that the Amazon AWS service operates in a number of regions such as Asia, South America, North America, and GovCloud. [Insert sound effect of tire screeches here.] Sources say there is a secret GovCloud installation in or near the Utah Data Center. One source says that there is a GovCloud region inside the Utah Data Center itself.
Yes folks, it is a distinct possibility that Amazon’s AWS is the platform that America’s unwarranted NSA spying program is substantially hosted on. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. The massive scalability, gigantic database capabilities (far beyond what am eCommerce company needs), and military security standards that AWS conforms with.
So is this simply that Amazon has a great software platform and they wish to feed at the government budget trough? But the Bell System didn’t design America’s nuclear and chemical weapons and develop the SAGE and NORAD systems solely out of a dedication to public service. This is how the Bell Monopoly was protected for decades. It became a matter of national security that the Bell Monopoly to be protected. Whenever regulators started to look at the Bell Monopoly the military discretely came to Bell’s defense.
Thus, taking a page right out of the Bell System strategy book, Amazon is wiring themselves into the US Government in a way of great influence and importance to national security. That is, they are protecting their predatory monopoly though influence. The Washington Post is the most politically influential publication in America.
Need I even get into Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space program?
Amazon seems to be setting itself up for similar mysterious protection privileges. So, if Amazon really is operating the data center the NSA is using to spy on Americans, what value is that to their core business?
Consider the recent decision against Apple regarding eBooks. Amazon uses predatory pricing in the eBook marketplace to drive out all of their competitors. When a viable alternative comes along, such as Apple Computer what happens? Apple is found guilty of unfair eBook competition with the government recommended solution being that Apple must allow Amazon equal access to their book marketplace. Yes, the solution to Apple competing against Amazon is that Amazon must be allowed to peer with Apple in the Apple bookstore so that Amazon can continue to predatorily price books to drive out Amazon’s competition. (Bye bye Barnes & Noble.)
Apple never knew what hit them. Apple is here, miffed by the court ruling that might as well have been written by Amazon itself. This is what corporate/government influence is all about. Apple is as naive as they come in this area.
Amazon supplies computing services through their special GovCloud, they own the Washington Post (OK, their founder owns it), and Bezos is in the space business…the space business essentially exists to install military spy equipment. You do the math. And, if you cannot do math, then at least read Bell System history.
Amazon may not operate in the black, but their black badge work may make up for that. Poor innocent Apple.