Sree Iyer: Hello and welcome to PGurus channel. This is episode number 71 today is the 11th of January 2021. I have with me Sridhar Chityalaji. Sridharji, namaskar and welcome to PGurus channel.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and good morning to everybody.
Sree Iyer: A very happy Monday morning to you sir. This is the second week of the year and we are going to take a look at three things today, viewers, actually four things. The first thing we start up with the different things that have been happening from the social media platforms and tech platforms in general. On Trump team post the sixth capitol address and the riots that followed after that. Sridharji, there’s a lot of stuff that is still happening in this. Could you please throw a little bit of light on what is going on? Why is Trump banned for life from some platforms? What is the rationale behind that sir?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, first and foremost, I think that at least the Twitter and Facebook have banned him for life. There seems to have been a call that is made which is to say that this instigation of riots according to them, potentially makes him quite dangerous to be on the platforms because he has a huge 74 million-plus or 75 million-plus followers in Twitter. If you take a look in the number is about 88 million followers he has, so, they have taken a decision and they’ve given the business framework based on which they have. It’s not been very well received by many. Then, soon following that you found, that the apps that typically are downloaded from Google and Apple they have banned the downloading of the applications. So, Trump’s team responded by saying they would take alternate messaging and alternate social media sites. So, there was a migration to Parler and then there was a migration to alternate messaging platforms like Telegram and signal and so on.
So, not to be left behind Amazon stepped in and they basically pull the plug on this is an AWS, the infrastructure Services, they pulled the stuff. So, today Parler is off, lights off, so, the infrastructure is not up, it’s scampering, they don’t believe, they will be up.
And in the meanwhile, this whole Trump team has been moving from one to the other and messaging through emails and other things that to say, look this is what is going on. But, we’re going to be up and we are working with independent platforms. What this has demonstrated to the world is that the United States is no different in terms of its reactions to some of the less developed countries in a democratic way. The tools that these people should have used rather than, listen, I don’t want to name anybody, but, listen to the political statements of people and taking a political stance of this nature, notwithstanding the fact they have alternated tools. For example, both Facebook and Twitter is extremely well known to basically pull content out, pull content out, pull content out, pull content out, issue warning, all these kinds of stuff, they never chose, but they took the ultimate step of banning. Ok, so you don’t ban anybody without giving a due process, so, this is the contention. Even the Russian opposition leader who has been subjected to this kind of stuff by Vladimir Putin has come up and said, is this United States? What is happening? It seems more like China and more like some of the extreme regimes. This is what we are fighting in Russia and now this is coming to the United States is the view. So, to me, I think that these public companies must recognize that there are a vast number of people on either side of the aisle or either side of the beliefs – left and right are investors in these companies. It must judge from an investor interest point of view and apply the mechanisms that are appropriate but, not banning. These guys are not going to go away. I think Twitter has seen probably, as I speak about a 7% heat in the markets. There is going to be a protest organized by the Republicans outside of the Twitter office. Twitter’s claim is some of my employees, not all, I don’t know, some of my employees have signed and said, hey the decision taken is correct. So all this makes it not a very palatable situation, the way that tech platforms have to behave, especially when you think in the context of the 230. Ok, section 230 has been in discussions, the power of the tech platforms. This is also sent a ripple effect into the businesses. What will be the case tomorrow if this is what these people want to do?
Sree Iyer: Yes, indeed. And now, let’s take a quick look at how the world has reacted to Trump’s accounts being taken down. The world is very very shocked at this abrupt action that has been taken against the world’s most powerful person, he is still after all the President of the United States. Perhaps, these two social media platforms could have acted with a little bit of restraint. Like you said take down the post rather than completely shut down the account once and for all. Now, we are going to talk a little bit more about the riots part of this thing in the next few minutes, but the more important thing is now people are flocking towards sites like Telegram, which is based in Russia and the algorithm and the encryption they are saying that it’s not available, but you and I know that under subpoena, nobody can stop the company from giving data of yours, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: No, I think that basically under subpoena even Apple had to open up the hoods, you know in a specific incident. So, the question is that that they have to open up they say it to end encryption. Yes, end-to-end encryption, but then on February 8th, there is a set of rules that are coming up, which you have signed up for the new policies. And basically, Facebook is saying that allows it to have the flexibility to access the data and Market the data to the services because, to be honest, Whatsapp is a free service. There’s a lot of things, so they have to build a business model to that extent, you know, either you choose or not to choose, but, its a business model. But, then you can’t say, you are not accessing the data that means you are not it is fully secure and encrypted and so hence, nobody can access, the fact that you can access and marketing is good enough. This is one reason there was a fear that people have to move to an alternate platform, compounding that is now this specific issue. The point that you made about telegram being derived, located, the last number that I heard is 300 million and then especially in the last 48 hours, the number has shot up and it’s quite amazing as to, if you have been navigating the web and navigating these platforms, how seamlessly the world, it is almost like a seamless migration happening driven by events and activities. So, to finally kind of make your point this encryption and standards and so on and so forth simply implies, it applies for a specific purpose. But, as far as they’re concerned all data is accessible under subpoena.
Sree Iyer: Yes, and also one other little nugget of information. There was a statement by WhatsApp saying that they will be accessing your data that caused people to move away from WhatsApp to Telegram and to Signal. Now, there was a lengthy explanation that came out yesterday and in that the WhatsApp person who happens to be I think of Indian origin explain, that when you do a backup of the WhatsApp itself at that point the data is actually unencrypted and that you have to be careful to make sure that the backup doesn’t expose your data. So, basically what they are trying to say is something in so many words that there is no end to end encryption. In fact, it is true, even of things like Gmail, for example, when you are trying to type an email on Gmail, you see how Google predicts what you are going to type an autocomplete sit for you. How can it predict unless it is reading your email? So, basically, if this is all, you have to take it with a pinch of salt. We both are techies we understand our ones and zeros bits and bytes and that is ours considered opinion that end to end encryption is possible. But that requires a lot of Hardware resources because it is difficult, but there is good news coming down your way. I will keep you informed there is another platform that probably addresses all this and then some and again, as I said, the prompting is quite deep and it is not easy and hardware has to also help out in this. So, we are going to keep you posted on this, as always be PGurus gives you facts, we only give you stuff no fluff. So let’s move on to the most important thing.
Sridhar Chityala: Another concluding point on this before we move in. I think this is a really created fundamental fear in the minds of the businesses, which is to say to the platforms of business or the platform’s dictate business. So, this is a fundamental fear and it will have a ripple effect not straight, but, as time passes on, tomorrow what prevents them from doing something to JP Morgan, what prevents them from doing something to Citibank, what prevents them from blowing to Delta Airlines, what prevents them? So, this is a fear that has now gone into the minds of the people
Sree Iyer: And let’s move on to the most important event that we wanted to talk about the events that led up to what the House is considering now to impeach the President or to have him removed under section 25. Before that Sridharji, perhaps, you can bring us up to date on what happened on the rioters. How many cases have been registered? What is the status on that? Unfortunately, five people lost their lives, I heard and I don’t know if that count is still up to date or not. So, please explain a little bit more about what is happening in the House sir.
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think that’s Ashli Babbitt, she was a veteran and there’s a specific investigation that has been triggered, what called what led to the shooting and her death because you know, she swears by the flag and so on. She was one of the first people amongst the five to die. So, there’s an independent investigation going on that, there is Department of Defense have now stepped in they have registered 25 cases as potential terrorist activities. So, terrorist cases have been registered, they have found volatile cocktails, long guns, ammunition. The other potentially a catastrophic situation has been avoided, imagine, so, that’s the second strand of work that’s going on. Then, you have the security Department of Justice is doing an investigation and then you have the security officials doing their registered 55 cases. So, what this explains to you is unless there is a thorough investigation into this, people will call this as a set of people who have inflicted. So, this cannot take political overturn, it has to be an objective assessment of the situation. There’s no doubt many of the people who left that big event addressed by President Trump marched to Capitol Hill that eventually left to lead to the breaking. You could see the images of people climbing walls and so on and you can see the people saying, you know, this is not as this is somebody else, somebody else etcetera. So lots of things that move around that okay, there’s another armed services Committee of the House doing an investigation into the whole riots, what led and who is responsible etcetera?
Okay, the whole basis of the impeachment is based on this, which is the next segment of our discussion. So this is what is going on with regard to the riots, the rioters and the cases registered in the investigation. Ryan McCarthy of Department of Defense spent about maybe more than an hour. It is cited that he has made it clear that they would be and there are 25 cases registered as terrorist cases.
Sree Iyer: So, we briefly mentioned I think in our last hangout that Nancy Pelosi was trying to get in touch with the vice president and he did not evidently pick up our call. So this what we had touched upon. Now Sir, today the Democrats say that they are going to bring in impeachment for the second time against Donald Trump. We know how the first one played out, it got shot down in the Senate. Even assuming that the Senate were to be available to take it up. This probably would not have you know, they would not have managed to impeach the president. So what is the purpose of doing this at this time?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, there is a piece of the historical baggage of Democratic and Republican; especially the Democratic, you know leadership rub off with President Trump right from the day he landed, his impeachment stuff is going on. If you ask an average person they’re going to say this guy is leaving the office in 10 days. There’s not enough time window to actually conduct an impeachment proceeding and even fine and do an impeachment. Then let’s assume the date slips past January 20th, when the new president steps in, so you’re impeaching a person who is not a President but is a person who was the president in office? It also creates precedence, which is to say, therefore, can you impeach a president? Well after his tenure. It opens up Pandora’s Box. The Constitution is not clear right now. Most of the impeachments have occurred during a presidency, okay? So, there is a trumpet going on in the left-wing media. You can conduct an impeachment in 20 days and get this all done with. Okay. Impeach. Impeach. Impeach. Otherwise, ask him to resign so just to set the context, this is the process they want to go through. They want to invoke 25th amendment and basically send a message to the Vice President and the President’s team, which is to say, Hey ask him to resign or you fire him. They are unlikely to fire him. Once they come back with Trump Team’s version that he is not going to be fired. Then the next step is there have already prepared with the articles of impeachment and are 195 members as I speak, 195 co-sponsors for impeachment. They will initiate the impeachment process in the house, either they will vote today Or vote tomorrow (Tuesday). By Tuesday they want to vote on Article 17 of impeachment and then send it to the Senate. Okay. Now the Senate, Mitch McConnell has stated they are not going to meet before the 19th. 19th, 1 PM. Is the earliest time they can take up the impeachment hearing. It only requires a simple majority. It seems like they will get that simple majority at least 20 to 25 Republican Senators seems to be in favour of looking into the impeachment process. So remember this is 19th. Okay. So, they look at the articles of impeachment than they basically pass a resolution to say, okay. We are proceeding. Now the clock ticks to January 20th inauguration day when Chuck Schumer becomes the Senate majority. So he takes that, then we have to define a process for the house. Then he has to appoint the people who will conduct the due process so there will be obviously House member would be the prosecution and they will be then the president will be communicated. He needs to have a lawyer to be the defendant. I think in all probability Chief Justice of the Supreme Court will be the presiding officer. Then they will be an impeachment committee which will look into the facts of impeachment then they will determine yes, this is an impeachable offence. So, therefore, we should proceed.
That then forms the basis for forming the case and arguments and counter-arguments and so on that’s not going to happen in one day or two days. We all know this whole process. So now we are dwelling to maybe one week after that. So the first few days of the presidency of Biden is going to be consummated by this whole discussion whether it’s 1 week, 10 days, 20 days. Is anybody’s guess, and whether it will result in impeachment is again anybody’s guess and also it creates this constitutional kind of uncertainty whether a person can be impeached, post his term that opens up that. so all of these is unclear Sir, but the left media is riveting the Trump, that impeaches the Republicans some members of the Republican Party Lindsey Graham, and you know, Jim Jordan and even Kevin McCarthy is saying get your senses, right? You want to unify the country. You do not want to divide the country. Any impeachment divides the country. It’s going to further aggravate the Republican supporters. Make this whole thing unpalatable and we have three challenges
Sridhar Chityala: We have three challenges: Economy, COVID as well as Geopolitics. And, therefore this whole thing looks big Quagmire in terms of this whole impeachment, timeline process and set of activities.
Sree Iyer: So, I’m somehow missing the subtext here about Nancy Pelosi wanting to do this impeachment. Doing all this stuff, what does it gain her? After all, if the President wants to Pardon himself, he can still go ahead and do that. You cannot touch him till the 20th. So what exactly is the background plan? I don’t know, I don’t think we want to speculate on that, but I just want to touch upon one fact sir, that, this impeachment process does not impede Trump from running again in 2024. It might be a different matter that the people may not be looking more favourably because they’ll say after all this guy was not impeached once but twice by the house. Other than that, there is no legal binding for him not to be able to contest in 2024 should he choose to do so, isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: Two classes under impeachment, a simple impeachment – then he becomes technically. Then there is a second – then he is prosecuted, if he’s prosecuted then he cannot run for office. Okay, So I think it’s a political focus in my view, which is that right the first time they can make it happen. Now, I’m taking a punt here. Okay, why Nancy Pelosi is doing when she knows that she’s on a hairline margin in the house and there’s a hairline margin in the Senate, Okay,
2022 is the next election for both houses and there may be some seats qualifying for Senate. It’s political suicide and generally, when you have an impeachment, it does not help the party which is impeaching as it happened in 2000.
Sree Iyer: So it’s possible that they are trying to line up their Ducks properly one; the second thing that I can think of is, they know that there is a storm brewing as far as Hunter Biden’s corruption cases are concerned. So they want to keep the people looking at something else because activities happening here you want people to look at here standard deflection by politicians. But the larger question still remains that will now Pelosi try and make sure that whatever happens out of this impeachment that something will be left there will leave room for the prosecution, perhaps like you mention so that they can prosecute Trump even if he gives himself a Presidential Pardon? I don’t know the answer to this, perhaps you don’t know? if you don’t know we will revisit this question, But it’s a very interesting perspective, Isn’t it?
Sridhar Chityala: It’s a very interesting perspective. This is very much speculated in the media that he can self pardon himself. So, we are now getting into Constitutional kind of grey lines in terms, even the January 20th deadline is a grey line, right? So, we are now getting into areas, that is why there is a Supreme Court Justice, how this is all going to be interpreted. Is de predicated by how the case is built? It’s also fundamentally built on the basis that he instigated and ask them to inflict damage right on Capitol Hill. If he says and if it is proven that it was just a protest and they can cite enough precedences where there has not been a prosecution. He can say I only ask people to protest because a lot of people believe; 74 million people believe that this election is fraudulent; 80 million people believe this election is a fair and Justified and fair process, courts kind of dismiss all these kinds of stuff. Right? And so, therefore, there are both sides of the argument. So it’s very divided. So in these circumstances, you know, he says the protest is my right. This is a democracy, but I never said anybody to go and attack Capitol Hill. I’m a president. I have not done war with anybody, I attack peace deals. It seems to be like personal animosity. Here’s an instance of all the things in the past four years. So there may be all these things that will flare up if this gets into this whole debate around, you know prosecution v/s defence. This will all prop up. So only, I can speculate that this is getting into your fairly ugly situation. So the businesses have stepped in no less than 150-175 senior executives of the businesses have said that these two guys should shake hands and tell the world that we are the United States, we had our differences. I now wholeheartedly congratulate. Mr Biden, he’s the president and let’s all work with him together to solve the issues. Whether Trump will rise to that, I don’t know. Mr Biden says, Thank you so much. You have helped me to unite and I want to work for one nation which is the United States and if they stand up and say that all these things are gone that has not happened.
Sree Iyer: This is somehow I don’t see the prospect of them shaking hands because if I remember correctly one of the presidential debates Biden was asking the moderators, will you ask this clown to shut up that blood was still in my head. So this is something that’s bad blood between the two. Unfortunately, you know, the world’s most powerful democracy really needs to find its axis. It needs to find where it’s north pole is located.
Let’s hope that that happens soon but indications are not so good, Sir. Because yesterday I was watching a few channels now, they are drumming up full statehood for Washington DC and Puerto Rico. I mean that makes 52 states; 50 seems like a nice round number that is just my opinion. Why these two should also be given statehood. I don’t have any opinion one way or the other. We’ll talk about that in our episodes to come. Could you tell us briefly wrap up the markets for us sir? Do you think that all the Fang? Yeah, all of them are going to get some blowback from this, is it?
Sridhar Chityala: Well, I think certainly Twitter is down, you know, one of the talks that would take. See, Facebook to some extent, you know has been Facebook, Apple, Amazon have been passive. Twitter has been the front end of the platform, Twitter has problems around the world. Several countries are now reacting whether they should actually have come up with a set of rules and law which basically regulates these Tech platforms. So there will be an impact. Definitely. I think Apple and Google clearly will also have some challenges if they have taken. See, Twitter, One is platforms and second is blocking the stored and this is killing the infrastructure as I think I mentioned in my kind of comments that Tech as a platform as a service has created question marks both in the Political Community as well as in the Business Community; Thus far they had never Unleashed their power and this is where you probably need to appreciate the Chinese and even probably the Russians they are far ahead in the game and telling the tech boys. Okay, you work for us. Let’s get this right. You are not the guys who are going to judge who we are. Okay. Imagine what happens in Hong Kong. Imagine what happened in China, can these people wag their tail in China; Can they wag their tail in Hong Kong. So get out; get out; That’s what they have told Mr Jack Ma, right?
So I think that this is raised; You will see lots of changes now happening around the world including India, on the power and how these fellows need to be tamed because they are not, they cannot be a national threat and they cannot be imposing there will be based on political biases which is their own biases, which is one of the big complaints in India, which is to say they’ve been fairly arbitrary and inconsistent. So to your point on the stocks, the markets are down 150 points last, but that’s the future so we’ll see how it pans out. You may see some, the uncertainty is driven by what is going to happen to the business agenda, which is named or these guys going to be consummated to the extent, they’re going to drop the ball on the Covid or they are going to drop the ball on the stimulus and the money being injected into the economy because they’re all going to be consumed in this then what happens is the House and Senate are going to be so polarized and divided, it is very difficult to get a consensus on resolution of many matters of importance. $2,000 for example opposed by Senate, when you have these things going on, who is going to say – Okay, Well, let’s discuss $2000 stimulus, increase it from $600. Who is going to say, let us increase another $1 Trillion to jump the economy? Entrenched positions are going to be taken and that is not very good. That’s what the markets are reacting to.
Sree Iyer: With that, we bring today’s episode to an end. We’ll be back again tomorrow, same time, same channel. Thanks for joining, please subscribe to our Channel and also donate to itl. Namaskar Sridharji, we’ll be back tomorrow.
Sridhar Chityala: Namaskar and Thank you so much !!