Google's relationship with Government questioned - Telegraph
A new Google transparency report shows that the US leads the world in government requests for information on citizens' online activity. 2 On his Council on Foreign Relations adjunct staff page he listed his expertise .. In , after the Chinese government was accused of hacking Google, the. A new Google-like search engine that is transforming the relationship between advocacy organizations and their government just went live.
She had five White House meetings as a Google representative, then 10 Google meetings as a White House representative. They met with then-communications director Jennifer Palmieri.
And they met with the president of the United States 21 separate times — five times in the first term and 16 times in the first two-plus years of the second term. The visitor logs only show the individuals in attendance at the meetings, not what the meetings were about. The presence of Johanna Shelton at 94 meetings suggests that a significant chunk were devoted to lobbying on various Google priorities.
But there are hundreds of other meetings in the logs that point to more of a consulting role. The data includes positions at firms that Eric Schmidt owns or controls — Civis Analytics, The Groundwork, and Tomorrow Ventures — along with two law firms and three lobbying firms that have represented Google. On the government side, staffers at Obama for America and a handful of other political campaigns were included.
The data includes individuals from Google appointed to government boards while maintaining their positions at the tech firm. But the bulk of the moves involved job changes. One works at the Federal Reserve, another at the U.
Agency for International Development. The highest number — 29 — moved from Google into the White House. The State Department had the next highest with just five. The moves from Google to government got more frequent in the later Obama years; 11 occurred in and 16 inafter only 18 in the entire first term. On the other side, former staffers from 36 different areas across the government have found a willing employer at Google since The exodus ramped up in the second term, hitting 41 incompared to just six in Seven individuals made a full revolution through the revolving door, either going from Google to government and back again, or from government to Google and back again.
New Google-Like Tool Transforms Government’s Relationship with Advocacy Orgs
Nathan Parker, a staff software engineer at Google, did a stint in the U. A few individuals are listed twice: Digital Service, for example.
Illustration by The Intercept. Shutterstock The government and Google shared engineers, lawyers, scientists, communications specialists, executives, and even board members. Google has achieved a kind of vertical integration with the government: Ex-Google staffers may not be directly involved in setting policy that affects Google, but they have access to decision-makers. They maintain ties to their former bosses. And Google employees with government experience have a network of friends and colleagues at federal agencies, House and Senate offices, the West Wing, and practically everywhere else.
The data has been compiled from White House visitor records. Large gatherings, such as state dinners and White House tours were excluded. Names were cross-referenced with lists of Google employees. The jobs visualization was compiled from publicly available information including LinkedIn profiles, news sources, lobby disclosure records, and OpenSecrets. Analysts gathered data by searching for profiles mentioning Google and terms related to government jobs. We depend on the support of readers like you to help keep our nonprofit newsroom strong and independent.
Schmidt plunged in at the deep end, straightaway quizzing me on the organizational and technological underpinnings of WikiLeaks. Some time later Jared Cohen arrived.
Three months after the meeting Malcomson would enter the State Department as the lead speechwriter and principal advisor to Susan Rice then US ambassador to the United Nations, now national security advisor. He had previously served as a senior advisor at the United Nations, and is a longtime member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
At the time of writing, he is the director of communications at the International Crisis Group. Handshakes out of the way, we got down to business. His questions often skipped to the heart of the matter, betraying a powerful nonverbal structural intelligence.
It was the same intellect that had abstracted software-engineering principles to scale Google into a megacorp, ensuring that the corporate infrastructure always met the rate of growth. This was a person who understood how to build and maintain systems: My world was new to him, but it was also a world of unfolding human processes, scale, and information flows. He grasped structural relationships quickly, but struggled to verbalize many of them, often shoehorning geopolitical subtleties into Silicon Valley marketese or the ossified State Department microlanguage of his companions.
I found Cohen a good listener, but a less interesting thinker, possessed of that relentless conviviality that routinely afflicts career generalists and Rhodes scholars.
- Google’s Government Relationship Questioned
- Google's relationship with Government questioned
- New Google-Like Tool Transforms Government’s Relationship with Advocacy Orgs
As you would expect from his foreign-policy background, Cohen had a knowledge of international flash points and conflicts and moved rapidly between them, detailing different scenarios to test my assertions. But it sometimes felt as if he was riffing on orthodoxies in a way that was designed to impress his former colleagues in official Washington.
Malcomson, older, was more pensive, his input thoughtful and generous. Shields was quiet for much of the conversation, taking notes, humoring the bigger egos around the table while she got on with the real work.
As the interviewee I was expected to do most of the talking. I sought to guide them into my worldview. To their credit, I consider the interview perhaps the best I have given. I was out of my comfort zone and I liked it. We ate and then took a walk in the grounds, all the while on the record. I asked Eric Schmidt to leak US government information requests to WikiLeaks, and he refused, suddenly nervous, citing the illegality of disclosing Patriot Act requests.
And then as the evening came on it was done and they were gone, back to the unreal, remote halls of information empire, and I was left to get back to my work. That was the end of it, or so I thought. For three-quarters of a year we had painstakingly managed the publication, pulling in over a hundred global media partners, distributing documents in their regions of influence, and overseeing a worldwide, systematic publication and redaction system, fighting for maximum impact for our sources.
But in an act of gross negligence the Guardian newspaper—our former partner—had published the confidential decryption password to allcables in a chapter heading in its book, rushed out hastily in February At the rate the information was spreading, we estimated that within two weeks most intelligence agencies, contractors, and middlemen would have all the cables, but the public would not.
I decided it was necessary to bring forward our publication schedule by four months and contact the State Department to get it on record that we had given them advance warning. The situation would then be harder to spin into another legal or political assault.
Predictably, this statement was initially greeted with bureaucratic disbelief. We soon found ourselves in a reenactment of that scene in Dr. Strangelove, where Peter Sellers cold-calls the White House to warn of an impending nuclear war and is immediately put on hold. He told us he would call us back.
We hung up, and waited. Sarah Harrison and Julian Assange call the U. State Department in September When the phone rang half an hour later, it was not the State Department on the other end of the line.
He had just received an email from Lisa Shields seeking to confirm that it was indeed WikiLeaks calling the State Department. It was at this point that I realized Eric Schmidt might not have been an emissary of Google alone. Whether officially or not, he had been keeping some company that placed him very close to Washington, DC, including a well-documented relationship with President Obama.
But at the time it was a novel thought. Google had turned up on their radar. He could be placed in Egypt during the revolution, meeting with Wael Ghonim, the Google employee whose arrest and imprisonment hours later would make him a PR-friendly symbol of the uprising in the Western press. Meetings had been planned in Palestine and Turkey, both of which—claimed Stratfor emails—were killed by the senior Google leadership as too risky.
In reality they are doing things the CIA cannot do. State Department cables released as part of Cablegate reveal that Cohen had been in Afghanistan intrying to convince the four major Afghan mobile phone companies to move their antennas onto US military bases.
This sounds like a great idea. But if it was ever true, it has not been for decades. The last forty years has seen a huge proliferation of think tanks and political NGOs whose purpose, beneath all the verbiage, is to execute political agendas by proxy.
It is not just obvious neocon front groups like Foreign Policy Initiative. Scan the memberships of the biggest US think tanks and institutes and the same names keep cropping up. And that makes you the kind of leaders we need. Bernstein after he resigned from Human Rights Watch which he had originally founded because he felt it should not cover Israeli and US human rights abuses.
Google Ideas is bigger, but it follows the same game plan.
Google and governments: The delicate relationship
He attended high school in Arlington, Virginia, before graduating with a degree in engineering from Princeton. By the time he left Sun, sixteen years later, he had become part of its executive leadership.
The foundation and its staff serves as an influence mill, using its network of approved national security, foreign policy, and technology pundits to place hundreds of articles and op-eds per year.
By Schmidt had become chairman of its board of directors. I had been too eager to see a politically unambitious Silicon Valley engineer, a relic of the good old days of computer science graduate culture on the West Coast.