Decent WIRED article on the impact of US spying on the function of the Internet. However, even this article makes what I think is the same mistake the NSA itself–not to mention the affect technology companies–made. Effectively, it treats the US as some sort of invisible, “neutral” point.

Most tech companies are US-owned, with US-hosted infrastructure, operating under US-laws. None of these things are “neutral”, globally. It’s even arguably that companies like Facebook and Google literally could not exist under pretty much any major jurisdiction outside of the US, due to the callous way US law treats personal data. TL;DR: Under US law, the company you provide your personal data to owns that data, and may thus do with it what they will. Under most other jurisdictions–including the EU and Australia–an individual owns their personal data, and companies are obliged to act as a “trustee” of sorts over that data. Mishandling it has the potential to invoke serious sanctions from the government (and yes, US tech companies can and have and do run into said sanctions).

WIRED talks about “splinternets” and “breaking the internet” when discussing issues of data sovereignty and personal ownership. I know a lot of people–many of whom are not, in fact, technological Luddites, despite the tone of the article–who would consider these factors to be a feature, not a bug.