Google’s decision to help China is paving the way for Beijing’s ‘digital dictatorship.’ Ultimately, Washington must make a political decision to criminalize such collaboration.
General Joseph Dunford, America’s top military officer, has announced he will be meeting with Google representatives this week to talk about the company’s assistance to China’s People’s Liberation Army.
Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, first stoked the controversy over Google on March 14 during his appearance before the Senate Armed Services Committee. “The work that Google is doing in China is indirectly benefiting the Chinese military,” he said.
“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” he added later. “Frankly, ‘indirect’ maybe not be a full characterization of the way it really is. It’s more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”
Google issued a firm denial in response to Dunford’s comments. “We are not working with the Chinese military,” a spokesperson said. “We are working with the U.S. government, including the Department of Defense, in many areas including cybersecurity, recruiting and healthcare.”
But Dunford is correct. The denial, even if technically accurate, is nonetheless misleading. Google maintains arrangements that it either knows or should know directly benefit the Chinese military.
For instance, in December 2017 the company announced the formation of the Google AI China Center in Beijing.
GOOGLE EXECUTIVES ARE carrying out a secret internal assessment of work on a censored search engine for China, The Intercept has learned.
A small group of top managers at the internet giant are conducting a “performance review” of the controversial effort to build the search platform, known as Dragonfly, which was designed to blacklist information about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest.
Performance reviews at Google are undertaken annually to evaluate employees’ output and development. They are usually carried out in an open, peer review-style process: Workers grade each other’s projects and the results are then assessed by management, who can reward employees with promotion if they are deemed ready to progress at the company.
In the case of Dragonfly, however, the peer review aspect has been removed, subverting the normal procedure. In a move described as highly unusual by two Google sources, executives set up a separate group of closed “review committees,” comprised of senior managers who had all previously been briefed about the China search engine.
- Pichai is in Washington to address Google’s work in China, where it’s reportedly planning a censored search engine that would comply with the Chinese government’s strict laws for internet use.
- The meeting appears to be a positive step for the Google executive, who has drawn criticism from Republican lawmakers for what they claim is political bias across Google’s platforms.
- Trump previously said the company, along with Facebook and Twitter, was “treading on very, very troubled territory.”
(Reuters) – Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd is seeking to sell Grindr LLC, the popular gay dating app it has owned since 2016, after a U.S. government national security panel raised concerns about its ownership, according to people familiar with the matter.
The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has informed Kunlun that its ownership of West Hollywood, California-based Grindr constitutes a national security risk, the two sources said.
CFIUS’ specific concerns and whether any attempt was made to mitigate them could not be learned. The United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app developers over the safety of personal data they handle, especially if some of it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel.