[messaging] WhatsApp & OWS team up

elijah elijah at riseup.net
Thu Nov 20 09:26:09 PST 2014

On 11/20/2014 02:29 AM, Wasa Bee wrote:

> I am confused: if whatsapp *really* does E2E encryption so even *they*
> cannot snoop on messages in bulk (i.e. at scale without doing it
> per-user) and therefore cannot mine the data, why did Facebook spend
> 19Billion $ for it? Is this a gift to the world?

By acquiring WhatsApp, Facebook was able to defend against defection to
another ecosystem. Facebook, like other tech titans, thinks of itself as
a vertically integrated monopoly. They don't care which part of the
monopoly is able to produce profit as long as the monopoly as a whole is
profitable. By bringing WhatsApp into the Facebook silo, Facebook is
able to patch a glaring missing element to their vertical integration
and ensure that existing elements do not face a major threat (music,
photos, games, identity, etc). WhatsApp would be worth the money even if
it becomes a huge money pit for Facebook. Also, as far as observers can
tell, Facebook is eager to own a big piece of mobile/electronic payments
and WhatsApp puts them in a much better position to do that.

Sometimes the actions of Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google (and to a
some extent Facebook) make sense only if you imagine that they use
Diamond Age as a playbook where the goal is vertically integrated
corporate city-states.


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