Adam Curry's Analysis on US TikTok Ban and Twitter's FBI Links


8 months ago



Adam Curry

5 appearances

Adam Curry is an internet entrepreneur, former MTV VJ, and podcasting pioneer. He is the co-host, along with John C. Dvorak, of the "No Agenda" podcast.


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How long before TikTok's banned? Well let me tell you what's going on with the TikTok. I have a very opinionated explanation for what is going on with TikTok. Okay. TikTok was eating Silicon Valley's lunch. They were taking all the ad money from Instagram, from Twitter, from Google. I'd say Google and Instagram and Facebook. Just killing it, knocking it out of the fucking park. Look at who is saying, oh it's China and they're tracking everything. Communist Party. Dude, Facebook tracks you, Google tracks you. Everyone fucking tracks you all over the place. But all of a sudden TikTok is a problem? No. It's because they're eating their lunch and instead of competing, because they've tried, no one can seem to create the TikTok algorithm and the thing that they have going there. It's what people want, the quick hits, the sing-alongs, et cetera. So they decided to lobby politicians and come up with this scam. So it's Holly, it's Marco Rubio, oh no this is China. Fuck no. It's because Silicon Valley couldn't compete with them. That's what's going on. Interesting. Oh yeah. That's an interesting perspective. I know a lot about the advertising business because I ran companies that were in that. Everyone was buying TikTok. When you have a big company like Facebook or Google who are tied into government, how many times have they been to DC to explain what they're doing? That's all controlled. That's the only avenue they have to compete is that you got to get these guys out of here and luckily even those American companies that run it, it's China. I'm not a China fan, but this is a fucking scam. Interesting. They're just taking them down to get rid of the competition. It's very sad. That's interesting because they're not taking them down, right? Still up. Oh they will. You think so? Oh yeah. Eventually. It's banned at UT. You can't have TikTok on your phone. But at the same time, there is a real problem with the terms of service. At the same time, I see what you're saying and I see why they would want to do that. But they have an extraordinarily invasive software. It's no different from any other app that you have on your phone. It's no different? I disagree. So you think that all of the other apps can track your keystrokes on other computers? Fuck yeah. Computers aren't even connected to that? Yeah. Oh yeah. But interesting. Interesting. So they're lying. Why doesn't Apple kick it off? Because people use it. If Apple doesn't have TikTok, people will actually give up their iPhones. They're not going to kick it off. Now what Apple did, if you remember, they changed some things in what they allow apps to do. And that took about $10 billion off of Facebook's income. Yes. Because they couldn't sell the information that way anymore. Right. And they were mad. And TikTok is less interested in selling your information. They're getting the ad dollars. It's continuous ad money. The whole thing is a big ad. Everything's an ad. Yeah. And you can't use an iPhone, huh? What do you mean? I mean, if Apple did that to his company and then made it so that they lost that much money in advertising revenue by changing some features. Well, not advertising. They were basically selling your information and creating profiles. They all do it. I mean, that's why I have the Graphene OS. I've had this phone for a while. I just don't. This is a different one than you had before. You had an old iPhone that you couldn't convert it. And then you went to... A Pixel. So we basically rip all the Google stuff off. Right. And this is the six. I had the four. It was just time to upgrade. The screen was cracking. It's falling apart. And yet, if you're connected to a network, you still know where you are. But the apps cannot spy on me. I know what the apps are doing. They're running a sandbox. So nothing goes in or out unless I give it that permission. That's Graphene OS. Yeah. The instructions are right there on how to do it. So you think that most of the applications, are they just not telling you the truth about what they're allowed to do with the terms and the permissions? People don't care. But is it written in there and no one's paying attention to it? Or is it just they're not putting that stuff in there? Because what I'm saying is that at least it says in TikTok's terms, like what... It's outrageous. But some of it is like you monitoring your keystrokes and having access to your microphones and stuff like that. Yeah, they all have it. They all have that. Why would they not do it? But it was also... One of the points of concern for some people was that it was linked to computers that aren't even loaded up with TikTok. They're not even connected. Everything is tracked. There's only one telephone company is the US government. They have everything. Everything is recorded. Everything that you put on a network anywhere goes into... In Utah, they've got the big data centers. They're all cooled under waters, all kinds of high tech shit. Whenever they need to find out what Joe Rogan's doing, let's pull up Rogan. Did he text Curry on Signal? What day was it? It just comes up. It comes up. That signal... I mean, encryption is a problem, which is a problem for the government. But again, how many companies just give up the goods? Apple does maybe 30,000 a month or something. I mean, what do you need? We'll give it to you. They pay for it. The FBI pays. We know that from the Twitter files. It's like, hey, we need information on this account. Okay, that's $5,000. And, okay, no problem. These numbers, I'm making them up. There were millions of dollars that they paid Twitter just for handing over account information. I think Twitter never really collected, though. Is that true? I'm pretty sure that's true. Well, Facebook certainly did, and Google certainly does. And they publish those numbers. They publish the numbers that they... I don't know where, but... But I think that was a part of that narrative, because there was a giant bill that the FBI had owed Twitter. It was like $3 million. Yeah. Yeah. Apparently, they'd never paid. Find out if that's true. Well, they're... Welch's, what the hell? Yeah. FBI, you bastards? According to the USA Today, it says... Oh, there we go. USA Today. Well, I can't find it. Okay. Well, let's see what we got. No, this is the right message. You want to know what USA Today says. It's complaining of two separate events. Okay. First, the documents released by new Twitter owner, Elon Musk, show that the FBI flagged Twitter accounts the agency believed violated Twitter's terms of service. Second, another document shows the FBI paid Twitter $3.4 million for Twitter's processing of information requests the FBI made through a Stored Communications Act. The $3.4 million is unrelated to the FBI flagging accounts. Yeah, that's unrelated. Right, but it's also like we're giving you a lot of money. It's unrelated, yeah. But did they actually pay the money? That was the question. Well, I think you can look at this paying for account information, because the Silicon Valley companies are like, well, we're not going to do this work for free. You got to pay or we got to put people on it. Right. So it's normal. But if they didn't pay it off, that's... That's fucked up. Did they owe it still? That's fucked up. They're like, hold on, how does that work? But I don't know if they didn't. It's a drop in the bucket at this point. Maybe someone erroneously reported that and I just read it. Well, I think what we're seeing with Twitter is... See if I can find it though. I'm looking, I'm looking. Okay. What we're seeing with Twitter is it was not a very profitable company. It kind of ran a little bit of a problem. Yeah, it takes how lunatic to spend $44 billion to get a not very profitable company so that he can let people just talk shit. Well, I think he's doing more. I think... Yes. Sure. I listened to the... Someone sent me the clip of you and him about four years ago talking about AI and how that's going to take over the world and how he tried to stop it and now he seems to be all in on it. But I think that's his, which is what he wanted PayPal to be and that didn't turn out the way he wanted. And he's literally said, I want it to be like WeChat. I mean, he has said that. I want it to be your bank. I want it to be your social... That app you use... Super app. That's what he's doing. And of course with that, once you have authenticated everybody with a real name, you don't need trust and safety. If someone does something bad, it's that person and we can send the feds on them or the feds can go themselves or you can have a lawyer sue you if you say something slanderous. But it will be the thing that you use like in China for everything. He said that. So it's his words. So it behooves him to keep as many people on the platform by just letting it open. It's beautiful to watch. I don't know if he's overextended himself a little bit on the cost of it. It's costing him a lot. It's costing him in value, in Tesla stock value, and he seems to be okay with that, which is great. We'll see. I mean, it's a big nut to crack to do that, to create the WeChat of America or the rest of the world. But then I see Starlink, which to me was... Starlink was what an amazing fucking invention. I have it at home, like put this fucking dish on the ground and I got internet and it's fast and it's groovy. Of course, where does the real money come in? Now it's a military system, which I think was probably the plan all along. It's great to give consumers this for $110 a month. He had the military and that came out of Ukraine, how he said, hey, you should pay me for this. And they went, no, fuck you. You should do this just because you're a good guy. And after a while, he's like, I'm moving satellites around. You should probably pay me to do this as a service. And I forget what it's called. It is now an actual government military service that is used in the field. It is kind of bizarre that a country can say, hey, you should just kind of hook us up. That was the US government saying that. The US government was saying that. This is what I found about that. Okay, here it goes. A former Facebook security executive has called Elon Musk claim that the FBI paid Twitter to moderate content false. Alex Stamos, and this is what we're talking about earlier, that it was that you can't say that this is exactly why they did it. But that's not what I said. No, no, no, I'm not saying you did. Comment comes after journalist Michael Schellenberg shared a redacted screenshot of a 2021 email showing that Twitter had collected over 3.4 million from a reimbursement program for time spent processing FBI requests. That was just information requests. It wasn't deep platforming requests. I totally agree with that. I agree with that too, but you also could recognize that if there is a deal where compensation is being paid to your company to the tune of $3.4 million, that's a significant business transaction. But it was because of tens of thousands of accounts that the information had to be collected, given to the FBI, completely separate from politicians saying, you need to look at these guys. They're against your own terms and service. They're against what Fauci says. Take them down, flag them, don't amplify them. That's the egregious part. That has nothing to do with the FBI as far as I'm ... Okay, if you look at, I think we talked about this, in maybe 2010 or 12, Mark Zuckerberg was man of the year, and he was on the cover of Time magazine. And if you read that article ... Don't let that ... I have it. I have it. If you read that article, in the middle of this interview, Robert Mueller, FBI director, pops his head in, hey, I just happened to be in the building. I just wanted to say hi, everybody. And even the reporter who wrote this Time magazine article says, it was the most bizarre fucking thing I've ever seen. The FBI was already in these companies from inception. They were already for the collection. It's a beautiful system. People post pictures. There's your location. Yeah. And here I am. It's, ah, beautiful. Right. Why wouldn't you want that as an intelligence organization? But they were in then. And Robert Mueller, who ... It must have been 2012 because they extended him for a couple ... against the Constitution, which is really funny, because he was only supposed to be there for 10 years after the ... The FBI has a sordid history, and there was a very solid law put in place. The FBI director can be FBI director more than 10 years, except Robert Mueller was in for an extra two years for some reason, because whatever, when Obama came in, well, we need this guy. And he was literally in the Facebook building. Oh, it just happened to be in the building. The director of the FBI? Come on. That was ... So they've been there for a long, long time. That is bizarre. Thank you, Jamie. Oh, dynamite, fresh coffee. This is so fun. Thank you so much. This is great, Joe. It's so fun to talk with you. I'm good. I'm good for now. We should clarify what that actually said, though. One of the things that's interesting is said ... So this is a mastodon thread. So this guy, Stamos, who left Facebook in 2018 to lecture at Stanford, explained that law enforcement has the ability to get stored communications from companies like Twitter under 18 USC 273D. This infamous deorder has to be signed by a judge. He said that ... Out of the companies can demand reimbursement for the request, which is what Twitter did ... Oh, no. Oh, no. They almost got us. He said, companies can demand reimbursement for the request, which is what Twitter did, though prior to 2019, as shown by the email screenshot, the company chose not to. So they chose not to get reimbursement prior to 2019. So for a while, they were doing it for free. They were doing the ... Yeah, but it becomes expensive. Google has always charged them for it. I think Apple has charged them for it. And they published those numbers. It just is not ... It's so weird. It's all part of the distraction to keep us guessing and whatever you do, keep posting selfies. We need you to keep posting selfies, keep letting us know what you're doing.