FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Law and Order: Google’s Intent
It’s been a while since we peeked in at Google’s doings. The proud champion of unprecedented FCC power grabs toward Net Neutrality regulation of the Internet (for which opposition is growing in the Senate) is still under fire for two broad breaches of the public’s trust: The Andrew McLaughlin lobbying from the White House, and the massive privacy breaches in the Street View program.
Google’s long been the pet company of digital libertarian types, but now they’re starting to wake up to the truth. Privacy International has come out strongly against Google for its invasive electronic spying on people’s homes, and the recording of large amounts of personal data corresponding with people’s home street addresses. PI has read Google’s internal audit of the breaches of the public trust, and has said the audit proves “criminal intent” to spy on people.
Google is likely to face prosecution in Germany, Australia, and possibly Britain for this criminal activity. Don’t be evil? More like, don’t get caught.
Of course their eyes and ears in the White House, Andrew McLaughlin, are already in hot water here in the USA as well for his illicit lobbying for his former employer from his job in the White House as Deputy CTO. He’s been officially reprimanded for wrongdoing, with reports coming out that he was even lobbying shamelessly for Google ally Clearwire while working on Haiti earthquake relief.
Darrell Issa isn’t letting it go at that, though. He thinks the White House was too quick to give a slap on the wrist to one of its own, and that the Obama administration is too quick to allow a corporate shill to continue to use the White House for those private aims. Quoth The Hill:
McLaughlin was reprimanded in May by Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren for using his personal e-mail address to discuss policy issues with his former colleagues, including Alan Davidson, Google’s director of U.S. Public Policy. The White House has claimed the breach was inadvertant and had “no influence on policy decisions within the federal government.”
Issa rejected that claim in his letter, highlighting what he terms “questionable” e-mail exchanges obtained by the nonprofit Consumer Watchdog where McLaughlin appears to discuss policy and press strategies with Davidson and other Google employees. In another exchange, McLaughlin assures Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf that the White House is not shying away from its commitment to net neutrality.
We’ve got to stop the Obama White House and FCC in its Net Neutrality push. The thing stinks from the head down.