TO: THE CEO’S OF AMERICA’S TECHNOLOGY BEHEMOTHS
FROM: BERNARD GLUCKSTERN CHAIRMAN, CENTER FOR THE PRESERVATION OF AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
SUBJECT: A SUMMIT OF YOUR COLLEAGUES TO PREEMPT THE INTENSIFYING POLITCAL AND JUDICIALFORCES THAT SEEK THE DISMEMBERMENT OR DEMISE OF YOUR COMPANIES
DATE: September 15th, 2019
At this moment when the halcyon weather of an Indian summer envelops the nation, the atmosphere in which your corporations exist is awash in a poisonous and potentially lethal noxious brew. You are beset from all quarters i.e. the Department of Justice, the House Judiciary Committee, and 48 states attorney generals that have initiated investigations to examine the total range of your business practices to determine whether you are culpable of activities that violate anti-trust regulations, or other anti-monopolistic policies, are guilty of exacting exorbitant fees for the provision of mediocre services, and in an unrestricted posture of data-gathering of virtually every salient fact in the lives of your customers have run afoul of various prohibitions which privacy laws dictate from which you derive enormous profits.
Yet as of this date your companies (as it relates to a posture of publically observable behavior) are sitting on their collective haunches doing nothing to forestall the catastrophic fate which awaits you. To remain in this state of organizational paralysis will ensure that those herculean efforts you mounted to create these enterprises and the subsequent labor required to transform these entities into the mammoth structures they presently represent will become nothing more than a footnote in the history of failed commercial endeavors, a testament to results derived from a failure of vigilance and an abdication of leadership which the maintenance and expansion of these public corporations demands from those who sit at its helm.
However, should you wish to protect the viability of these companies and ensure their continued existence as crucial elements of enormous importance to the welfare of our nation another course of action lies open to you, and it is a trajectory that I urge you with every fiber of my being to embrace and initiate.
It is imperative that there emerges from among the ranks of your colleagues that sit at the apogee of these institutions an individual or individuals who shall immediately summon other CEO’s to a conclave; a summit if you will for the purpose of constructing a comprehensive strategic plan that has as its fundamental raison d’etre two critical objectives; e.g. A Statement of Ethical Business Practices For Global Digital Companies, which both the senior executive leadership of each participating company embraces and adopts, as well as a formal resolution which the Boards of Directors of these corporations endorse and pledges fealty to as the preeminent ethos which from this point forward will guide and inform all activities and endeavors in which these organizations are engaged.
The content of these ethical practices will address those actual or perceived infractions which have animated the previously cited coterie of federal and state bodies to commence their investigative processes.
I am not advocating that contained in these principles should be admissions of either ethical lapses or illegal behavior but rather as is a customary practice in the content of consent decrees the recognition that for various reasons; i.e. that regulatory guidance was sporadic and incomplete, that the intrusion of external foreign actors overwhelmed the capacity to adequately police the content of the dialogue which social media reflected, that the climate of laissez-faire which has prevailed since the advent of these technology companies in Congress and throughout much of our society; that inherent in that reality did ambiguity and uncertainty prevail as to those standards and practices that were most appropriate to implement in the governance to which they adhered and the initiatives they embarked upon.
However, what must reside at the epicenter of this statement of ethical principles is the admission that however unwittingly, as the result of the factors cited previously these corporations are of the collective perspective that missteps occurred and behaviors that were less than exemplary also transpired. It is for precisely for those reasons that this summit was convened to compose a template to both redress the legitimate criticisms that have been enunciated about various facets of their modus operandi and to ensure a uniformity of ethical behavior which will preclude the recurrence of these transgressions in the future.
By these actions both the convening of this summit to address the contemporary state of affairs of the technology community and the subsequent admission of the statement of ethical principles, you may justifiably assert to our citizens and when you interact with the staffs of the Judiciary Committee, and those in the employ of the Justice Department and those who toil in the offices of the states attorney generals that you have both acknowledged the sins of the past and have embarked upon a path of ethical rectitude that will ensure that the various concerns which prompted their inquiries are no longer relevant and that the vast expenditure of human effort and substantial financial expenditures they represent are for all intents and purposes superfluous.
One final determination by those gathered for this summit must be promulgated; the decision by the individuals gathered for this purpose to personally pledge the resources both technical and financial to protect the integrity of our nation’s electoral process both as it relates to the 2020 cycle and beyond to ensure that our most sacred constitutional privilege will not be compromised.
This act will reflect beyond all other results which your conversations at this event produces that you are patriots and recognize that what you have amassed certainly due in significant measure to your talent and exertions but beyond those considerations that fact that you are citizens of this nation and as a result were afforded by that reality the inherent support, stability, and liberty required to undertake your exercises in entrepreneurship and the enormous wealth and influence you have accumulated.