Silicon Valley’s Government Contracts

One more Musk-related post today, and then I have other tabs I want to write about.

We are all shareholders in Musk’s enterprises. Not Twitter, perhaps, but certainly SpaceX, StarLink, and Tesla for the government subsidies they receive. Just as those holding Tesla stock should be reconsidering their investment, so should the rest of us, through our government contracting agencies.

The arbitrary and unhinged behavior of a CEO is a concern. More specifically, an alleged meeting with Vladimir Putin is of concern; an ordinary contractor or clearance-holder would need to do a lot of explaining about that, especially combined with a capricious approach toward making StarLink available to the Ukrainians fighting against Putin’s invasion.

Similar problems are said to exist with another techbro startup, Rebellion Defense. Rebellion is developing AI products (apparently classified, because no further description is given in the linked article) for the military. The company is plagued by internal fighting and has no ethical oversight. The article reports overpromising and lowballing to get further contracts. Products may or may not have been delivered.

As we see more into the workings and mindsets of Silicon Valley, we have to ask whether these are the folks we want deciding what products and weapons are to be built.

Is the top illustration what Rebellion Defense is building? Who knows.

Cross-posted to Lawyers, Guns & Money