Matt Gaventa is pastor of University Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas, and cohosts the podcast Technicolor Jesus.
In the wake of the grand jury’s failure to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown—and in light of conflicting eyewitness accounts of the incident—many have argued that video evidence would have helped a lot. Body-mounted cameras offer a technological solution to what is otherwise a problem of human moral complexity: eyewitnesses can’t agree; officers can’t behave; human evidence can’t be trusted. Technology, the argument suggests, can supersede all of this. And then, of course, a grand jury in New York City failed to indict Officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of another unarmed black man, Eric Garner.
Last week, news broke of the massive iCloud security breach that included nude photos of several celebrity actresses. In the wake of the leak, we have heard the usual chorus of victim blaming. New York Times tech editor Nick Bilton tweeted the essence of the argument.
This month, the Federal Communications Commission voted to open debate on new rules regarding net neutrality, the idea that Internet service providers (Verizon, Comcast, etc.) should treat all data equally, regardless of its source or destination. Net neutrality advocates argue that the Internet is best when it operates on a simple first-come, first-served basis. The FCC's proposal, however, includes provisions for ISPs to allow "paid prioritization," otherwise known as an Internet "fast lane," when such service meets a threshold of "commercial reasonableness." This means that ISPs can negotiate massive payments from large-scale purveyors of online bandwidth.