Gizmodo’s incredibly naive Jesus Diaz compares Apple’s corporate security to Nazi Gestapo
December 15th, 2009
Daniel Eran Dilger
According to Gizmodo, Apple’s rather routine internal efforts to secure its trade secrets and the details of its product development plans exposed to the employees who work for it are somehow comparable to the oppressive police state brutality carried out by the Nazi Gestapo and KGB secret police against citizens. He’s wrong to an egregious and irresponsible extent, here’s why.
Jesus Diaz certainly isn’t the sharpest knife in the pundit drawer and has a particular attraction to writing up rabidly sensationalized blather as a master link-baiter, but he also seems to be lacking a basic education in terms of recent history and high school level social studies.
Citizens are not government employees
Outside of a very few insane places on earth, society in general recognizes that individuals living with a country have inalienable rights to freedoms of speech and movement and assembly and reasonable degrees of privacy. Unless, of course, an individual chooses to work for the government, particularly in a position involving state secrets. Once that happens, the employed person can’t divulge any information he might care to, for reasons that are obvious.
Any time an individual volunteers to be employed with a company, he similarly agrees to forgo certain freedoms in order to earn a paycheck. We call this “work.” Most people can’t expect to remained employed if they choose to spend their time at work idly watching porn, posting about how much they hate their boss on Facebook, or discussing their personal opinions on politics and religion to captive fellow employees.
Given the quality of the product that Gizmodo creates, it appears that Diaz’ basic freedoms aren’t inconvenienced very much in consideration for whatever he earns from Gawker Media. However, as an international corporation worth $175 billion, Apple maintains certain expectations of its employees, which it enforces with nondisclosure agreements and a variety of security procedures and policies that are familiar to anyone who does business for any company that manages valuable and sensitive information.
Leveraging inappropriate Nazi references is the height of asshat click whoredom
Diaz complains that Apple’s corporate security forbids the use of cameras on campus and reviews employees’ text messages and photos on the iPhones it issues to them while active investigations into information leaks are being conducted within a group working on sensitive projects, which he equates with the tactics of Nazi secret police that the global community subsequently described as crimes against humanity.
Unlike state police of any kind, Apple can’t even detain employees suspected of leaking information. If employees do not volunteer to comply with investigations into information leaks, the company can only send them packing to look for a new job. How Diaz comes to the conclusion that this is in any way similar to the brutal police interrogations, secret imprisonments, threats of death, torture and “harsh interrogation,” and frequent occurrences of mass murder conducted by the Gestapo and KGB is far beyond inappropriate.
The fact that Gizmodo’s audience didn’t immediately and unanimously condemn his childish and ridiculous rant, which would be no less absurd if it were directed at Microsoft or the Department of Defense or any other entity that secures access to the information accessible to the people it employs, says as much about the intelligence and sophistication of Gizmodo’s target audience as Diaz’ writing says about the legitimacy of his website.
Unwilling to slink off with just a unconscionable analogy between Apple’s commonplace level of corporate security and the police squads that supported the Nazi Holocaust, Diaz also implies that an Apple investigation was directly the cause of a suicide in China that is believed to have been related to efforts by iPhone contractor Foxconn to police its own security measures, which are alleged to have been conducted inappropriately, but of which even Gizmodo reported at the time, “It goes without saying that Apple can’t be held accountable for a tragic one-off event at a different company.”
Jesus Diaz, you are a complete douche.