Privacy Rights, Cronyism, and Jason Bourne

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A review of the new Jason Bourne film which surprisingly has pro-privacy, and even more surprisingly anti-crony capitalism themes. Cool.

(From The Independent Institute)

The screen writers could easily have fallen into a less imaginative plot where the federal government uses its powers granted to protect homeland security to access the millions of records and conversations of users. Instead, they incorporate a more clever and deeply conspiratorial story line that highlights the shady and vulnerable nature of private-public partnership and cooperation. In a pivotal scene, the CEO of the social media giant balks at the CIA’s demands for greater access to the firms users—it’s a matter of trust he says. The private company executive channels real-life Apple and a few other principled tech companies and refuses, providing a noble nod to Silicon Valley. At this point, CIA director Dewey scoffs at the youthful, naive CEO, chastising him for suddenly finding principles. Those same principles weren’t in play when the CIA helped his company get off the ground and grow.

Exactly how the federal government helped is ambiguous, but viewers will have no trouble filling in dots from somewhere in the modern political landscape, whether political pressure is used to expedite regulatory approval or direct financial investments are provided to support the firm, such as those going into favored companies like the failed Solyndra.

The message is clear enough, however: Crony capitalism seduced the private company’s founders and investors into laying the groundwork for a rogue covert CIA operation. Dewey doesn’t like the CEO’s soft-pedaling, so he authorizes one of his contract assassins to kill the CEO during a high profile debate with the director on privacy rights in Las Vegas, framing Jason Bourne for the kill.

Click here for the article.