Screengrab from https://twitter.com/HawleyMO/status/1106247367177764865

In June of last year, Google refused to renew a contract with the Pentagon for a major artificial intelligence project:

Google, hoping to head off a rebellion by employees upset that the technology they were working on could be used for lethal purposes, will not renew a contract with the Pentagon for artificial intelligence work when a current deal expires next year.

Diane Greene, who is the head of the Google Cloud business that won a contract with the Pentagon’s Project Maven, said during a weekly meeting with employees on Friday that the company was backing away from its A.I. work with the military, according to a person familiar with the discussion but not permitted to speak publicly about it.

At the same time, we know Google is willingly working with China on population control technologies, like the Dragonfly search engine which essentially censors websites that are subversive.

On Thursday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford testified before the Senate Armed Service Committee that the situation had reached a point where Google was refusing to work with the US military and aiding the Chinese armed forces:

Via the New York Post:

“The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Thursday.

“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit. Frankly, ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is, it is more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan had more to say:

“Five trillion dollars of their [China’s] economy is state-owned enterprises,” Shanahan said. “So the technology that has developed in the civil world transfers to the military world, it’s a direct pipeline. Not only is there a transfer, there is systemic theft of US technology that facilitates even faster development of emerging technology,” he said.

Some on the right have made reasoned, even impassioned cases, for why Google and Facebook and other tech monoliths should be left alone and not pestered with a horde of vicious anti-trust attorneys. Between the impulse of these mega-corporations to act as nannies and censors in our private lives and this willingness described by Dunford to actively aid our enemies while refusing to assist our own armed forces, I see no political or social reason that Google should not get the same treatment the Rosenbergs got. Yes, it might take an extra click or two to find something but we can’t allow a multi-billion dollar corporation that has access to all manner of data about America and Americans to refuse to acknowledge that it has a loyalty to the nation.

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