Surely Warren and Reich are correct about the larger point here: we need these tech communication monsters split up.
However, Reich’s complaint with Facebook highlights why reason exists to fear government’s power even to regulate these abusers. Facebook has made an abuse of censoring its users and of selling their data. Yet Reich would instead criticize them for failing to kowtow quickly enough by providing fairly irrelevant details to a bogus “investigation” widely used to excuse the persecution of journalism.
Bezosfollows patterns of abuse created by capitalists before him and encouraged by the nature of that system. Were he not willing to do that, most likely someone else would. So we do need Amazon and similar operations broken up. But this is not to be done by threatening and forcing communications companies to aid and abet the NSA and others in logging individual or even corporate communications, nor any special subset thereof.
Let us be clear. Even were “Russian bots on Facebook” a significant factor in the 2016 presidential elections–rather than, say, Wikileaks’ release of cascades of DNC documents revealing very considerable wrongdoing–we would not want Facebook, Amazon, Google, and so forth working with dark government to ferret out individuals for selective action. As we speak, ilicit and illegal paragovernmental action goes right up to drone strikes based on cell phone GPS taking out families. These are only what the government, starting in the Obama administration, has admitted to, with scarcely a nod to the matter of Constitutional protections to say that one or another lawyer has been paid to announce that these do not count.
No. We need the big companies broken up to reduce their power and their earnings. But we also need them broken up to enhance the possibility of their resistance in many ways to the government. Government should not be able to simply demand from them information without warrant, let alone demand that they police and screen their client populations for information that the government might want before it is asked for.
Large corporations, in their usual form, are antidemocratic, near totalitarian entities ruled by ownership. They are further deranged by laws and codes reducing values as these might be taken by sentient beings to profit as that might be considered in an Econ 101 class by people who might otherwise know better.
But the idea that government may usefully control them has a lot to do with the assumption that said government is, even in one or another partial way, representative of its citizenry. As the major parties wrest control of the electoral process from the general population, they eliminate the possibility to engage in constructive regulation.
It is not only the large acknowledged corporate entities that have to be broken up, but government itself, though this could at least theoretically mean not revolution, but a reinstatement of Constitutional balance of power. But that also means that the entities engaged in largely unacknowledged activities at the behest of unadvertised bonds and alliances have to be broken up–and the parts “scattered to a thousand winds” as John Kennedy was apparently at once too powerful and too little powerful to announce.