Google just inadvertently reminded me that it cannot be trusted to support the American people against our enemies.
The technology giant has long shown a concerning deference to America’s new Cold War adversary, China. Until it was canceled under immense pressure from Congress, Google’s Dragonfly effort was working to provide China with a Communist Party-approved search engine. That engine would have prevented returns-on-search for queries banned by President Xi Jinping’s thugs. The Chinese would also almost certainly have hacked Dragonfly to track unacceptable searchers.
It was never quite clear why Google, which claims the motto, “Do the right thing,” was happy to work with China.
This one-party state, after all, turns millions of its own citizens into slaves for the sole sin of their faith, beats others into submission, and provides everyone else with prejudice or forced disappearance.
Except that it was clear. Money. Google saw Dragonfly as the acceptable price tag for access to an increasingly lucrative Chinese market. CEO Sundar Pichai defended Dragonfly as all good because it would handle “well over 99 percent of [user search] queries.” It was always an absurd excuse. Imagine if Google and the internet were around during the 1950s. Imagine, then, that Pichai defended Google supporting KGB oppression and monitoring of Russians because “only one percent of Russians will get caught searching for illegitimate truths.”
Sadly, in Pichai’s dictionary, being woke only extends to censoring internal emails. The assisted oppression of 1.4 billion people? No problem.
Unfortunately, Google has less interest in serving the American people than it does in kneeling to Xi.
Pichai and former Alphabet CEO Larry Page have shown a shared penchant for ignoring the people’s representatives in Congress. And where Google rejects contracts in service of the U.S. military, other technology firms such as Amazon have shown that civilian economic activity and patriotism need not be mutually exclusive. In the same way, Google’s support for China’s spy firm, Huawei, only ended when the Trump administration regulated to that effect.
Side note here. Yes, you are reading correctly that Google is happier to work for Communist China than it is for the Pentagon. This corporate ethos might not serve the company’s public relations brand so well in the increasingly likely event that the United States and China one day go to war.
So, why did the past few days remind me of all this?
Well, because on Thursday, I learned that my Blogger page (Blogger is part of Google), which I use to collate my articles, has likely been hacked by Russia. The only page on my site that isn’t working is the Russia page, which should have around 200 links but now simply says, “Sorry, the page you were looking for in this blog does not exist.” Considering that the Russian government likes to play various games with me and gets upset with my writing (a few examples here, here, here, here, here, and here) and that I had a 1000% spike in traffic the day the page went offline, I’m quite confident the Russians are responsible for disappearing my page.
Google, however, is not terribly concerned that an American journalist and paying consumer (I have to rent my Blogger page) might have been hacked by a hostile power that likes to throw journalists out of windows. Three emails to Google’s press team have gone unresponded, as did one to Pichai. I thought I would at least receive an email saying that Google takes cyberthreats seriously. But what I actually received on Sunday was an email telling me to put a post on Blogger’s help forum so that other users could advise me. When I twice asked for a specific support email or contact, none was given. That’s the sum of it.
So, yes, it might have nice logos, but Google doesn’t look like it will be much of an ally to 21st-century freedom. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/reminder-google-cant-be-trusted-on-china