A Short History of Unsavory Tech Snooping
Six egregious instances of technological trust abuse
By David Pogue

This month my Scientific American column tackled the issue of high-tech trust. Bit by bit the Apples, Googles, Microsofts and, of course, the NSAs of the world have shaken our trust. They’ve abused it, one highly publicized breach after another, and left us fearful and wary.

Here, for your sleep-losing pleasure, are some choice examples of the tech industry’s impressive history of trust violations.

April 1998: Microsoft orchestrates a phony grassroots campaign. In an effort to sway public opinion during the government’s antitrust investigation, Microsoft orchestrated a “grassroots” campaign of letters to the editor of newspapers in key states. These letters were apparently signed by “average citizens” but were actually written by staffers at Edelman, Microsoft’s public relations firm.

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