Op-Ed: What Silicon Valley must sacrifice to curb China’s exploitation of U.S. tech workers
After China’s massive crackdown on U.S. technology companies, tech workers and investors are calling for some simple things to happen to ease the pain. Here’s how they’re proposing they should act to lessen Silicon Valley’s impact on Chinese workers and keep the industry competitive in a country that’s seen its share of Chinese-made products plummet.
1. Force the Chinese government to stop its efforts to force tech companies to give up more information about their users.
By now, the U.S. tech sector has been a victim of its own success. The ability to get your product to consumers in China is now almost a guarantee that it’s made in Silicon Valley. Once upon a time, it was easy to make a product in Silicon Valley that wouldn’t work in China. In this context, the recent crackdown on Facebook, Google and Twitter signals the need for China to let its market forces do its job, not the governments of Silicon Valley, which are constantly meddling with its own markets.
2. Stop the U.S. government and state governments from passing laws that encourage companies to give more data to law enforcement without a warrant or without a judge’s OK.
This is really the root problem. The U.S. government has been on the side of law enforcement in most instances and the state governments have been on the side of law-abiding companies. The problem is that it’s now common for companies to give their data to law enforcement in order to avoid costly lawsuits that could cost them millions and years of business. This, in turn, makes the country less competitive on the tech scene against China.
3. Force the Chinese government to do more to ensure that its companies’ products are not exploited by the Chinese people by ensuring all laws that require companies to hand over user data are followed.
The laws that force tech companies to give up user data and other sensitive customer information to law enforcement are the same ones that allow cops — both state and federal — to search without a warrant. That’s why the Justice Department has been trying to get its hands on Apple’s phone-tracking program in order