13 Jun 2012


Silicon Spies: The US government 
and the tech revolution


Earlier this week Wired Magazine released a background check of Steve Jobs conducted by the Department of Defense in 1988. The background check highlights Jobs’ use of LSD in the 1970s and his fears of blackmail or kidnapping due to his substantial wealth. The check was part of a security clearance investigation conducted by the DoD during Jobs’ tenure at Pixar, an investigation that was first revealed earlier this year.

Precisely what Steve Jobs needed security clearance for has not yet been revealed, but that Jobs did have some relationship with the Department of Defense will come as no surprise to those who know the long and intimate history between the US military, the US intelligence apparatus, and Silicon Valley.

In this episode of our EyeOpener Report James Corbett presents the latest revelations about Steve Jobs’ security clearance with the Department of Defense, the history and examples of the disturbing government connections, stockholdings, regulations and infiltrations when it comes to technology companies, and how the Department of Defense, the NSA, the Department of Homeland Security, In-Q-Tel and other agencies are quietly opening doors and writing checks for the technology industry’s chosen few.

Secret History of Silicon Valley

Today, Silicon Valley is known around the world as a fount of technology innovation and development fueled by private venture capital and peopled by fabled entrepreneurs. But it wasn't always so. Unbeknownst to even seasoned inhabitants, today's Silicon Valley had its start in government secrecy and wartime urgency.

In this lecture, renowned serial entrepreneur Steve Blank presents how the roots of Silicon Valley sprang not from the later development of the silicon semiconductor but instead from the earlier technology duel over the skies of Germany and secret efforts around (and over) the Soviet Union. World War II, the Cold War and one Stanford professor set the stage for the creation and explosive growth of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. The world was forever changed when the Defense Department, CIA and the National Security Agency acted like today's venture capitalists funding this first wave of entrepreneurship. Steve Blank shows how these groundbreaking early advances lead up to the high-octane, venture capital fueled Silicon Valley we know today.

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