Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) plays a far more politicized role than a normal tech company from Silicon Valley typically plays. An article on Newsweek published an extract form the co-founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, by the name ‘When Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) met WikiLeaks’ and shed some light on this issue.
There are two stars of this story, Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, and Jared Cohen, director of Google ideas. Both play a critical role in performing activities that CIA cannot perform, and exploit the structure of civil society to this end.
Assange went as far as naming Cohen Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s “director of regime change.” From Egypt, Palestine, Iran and Syria to Turkey and even Afghanistan, Mr. Cohen can be placed in these countries at crucial times attending high level meetings. Assange shows that his roles varied from orchestrating arrests that could be used as PR-friendly symbols of the uprising in the Western Press to organising Google Ideas’ projects on “repressive societies” for Iranian communities.
Cohen used to be part of the Department of State and therefore his job description at Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) was not that much of a surprise. Our next candidate, Mr. Shmidt, given his tech background seems a little drawn away from such endeavours, in theory at least. However, in reality that is hardly the case.
His membership of a Washington, D.C- based group, New America Foundation, of which he was one of the principal funders as of 2013, according to the article, is reflective of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s political involvement. The group is essentially, in Assange’s words, an influence mill that publishes hundreds of articles and op-eds every year.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) has been the subject of government interference from its very inception as Assange mentions that the research that Google was based on received partial funding from the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The picture becomes a even more fuzzy if you consider the lobbying that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) indulges in, as it raises the question whether it’s the tech giant or the U.S. government who is the pawn in this story. According to the article which quoted figures from a 2012 list of top-spending Washington D.C. lobbyists, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) topped the military aerospace giant with its $18.2 million spending, as compared to Lockheed’s $15.3 million.
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