Google and the Obama Administration

Google Ministry of Truth

Google Makes Most of Close Ties to White House

By Brody Mullins

WASHINGTON—As the federal government was wrapping up its antitrust investigation of Google Inc., company executives had a flurry of meetings with top officials at the White House and Federal Trade Commission, the agency running the probe.

Google co-founder Larry Page met with FTC officials to discuss settlement talks, according to visitor logs and emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Google Chairman Eric Schmidt met with Pete Rouse, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, in the White House.

Lifting the covers on ‘Obamoogle’

An antitrust probe went away while Google snuggled with Obama

– Monday, March 30, 2015

During this past week as we’ve been swamped with bad news pouring out of every corner of the globe, it wouldn’t be surprising if you missed one of the more shocking revelations about White House actions that would make even Richard Nixon blush.

The Wall Street Journal revealed that it had obtained a 2012 Federal Trade Commission report detailing the closeness of Google and the Obama administration while the FTC was engaging in an antitrust investigation of the Internet giant.

It’s usually the case that you get more interesting information when the details were supposed to remain secret, and that’s the case here. The FTC, responding to an open-records request, accidentally sent 160 pages of a private 2012 report to the The Wall Street Journal, detailing their antitrust investigation into Google.

What was disclosed paints a picture of unusual activity between the White HouseGoogle and the FTC while the antitrust investigation was being conducted. Ultimately, the FTC staff recommended bringing a lawsuit against Google on antitrust grounds. Despite this, the commission voted 5-0 against charges.

Read More: https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/mar/30/tammy-bruce-obamagoogle-connection/

THE ANDROID ADMINISTRATION

Google’s Remarkably Close Relationship With the Obama White House, in Two Charts

April 22 2016

WHEN PRESIDENT OBAMA announced his support last week for a Federal Communications Commission plan to open the market for cable set-top boxes — a big win for consumers, but also for Google — the cable and telecommunications giants who used to have a near-stranglehold on tech policy were furious. AT&T chief lobbyist Jim Cicconi lashed out at what he called White House intervention on behalf of “the Google proposal.”

He’s hardly the first to suggest that the Obama administration has become too close to the Silicon Valley juggernaut.

Over the past seven years, Google has created a remarkable partnership with the Obama White House, providing expertise, services, advice, and personnel for vital government projects.

Precisely how much influence this buys Google isn’t always clear. But consider that over in the European Union, Google is now facing two major antitrust charges for abusing its dominance in mobile operating systems and search. By contrast, in the U.S., a strong case to sanction Google was quashed by a presidentially appointed commission.

It’s a relationship that bears watching. “Americans know surprisingly little about what Google wants and gets from our government,” said Anne Weismann, executive director of Campaign for Accountability, a nonprofit watchdog organization. Seeking to change that, Weismann’s group is spearheading a data transparency project about Google’s interactions in Washington.

Read More: https://theintercept.com/2016/04/22/googles-remarkably-close-relationship-with-the-obama-white-house-in-two-charts/

 

Political Correctness Mixed w/ Government-run Healthcare and Censorship/Unpersoning

Ashton Birdie Alex Jones Deplatformed UnPersoned

Socialism and Political Correctness are a Dangerous Mix

Unfortunately instead of working to depoliticize tech, it’s far more likely that we will see increased politicization of other vital parts of American life – and perhaps none is more dangerous than that applied to healthcare.

While it is easy to mock the economic illiteracy of politicians like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, there is no question that her brand of democratic socialism is growing in popularity – and not just on the left. It’s worth remembering that only a few years ago candidate Donald Trump gave his own endorsement to a healthcare vision similar to that held by AOC and Bernie Sanders.

Consider the troubling potential of a progressive government that drops all pretense of valuing free speech, and then giving that government complete control of the healthcare system.

While this perhaps sounds like the makings of an outlandish dystopian novel, imagine the sort of policies we’ve already seen come from the executive branch. Under the Obama Administration, we saw the use of the IRSDepartment of Homeland Security, and even intelligence agencies to target and punish political opponents. Meanwhile, the progressive left has increasingly identified those who believe the “wrong ideas” – such as skeptics of anthropogenic climate change – as dangerous threats guilty of the crimes equivalent to murder.

In an age where a new generation of doctors increasingly rejects the Hippocratic oath, a government take over of medical care – as the honest advocates of “Medicare for All” propose – could inevitably lead to politicized regulators making life and death decisions for Americans.

Now does this mean I think it’s likely that a President Ocasio-Cortez would instruct a “political death panel” to not provide Alex Jones with life saving treatment? Not necessarily. The issue, however, is that the greater control the state has on medicine, the more decisions are influenced by the concerns of government, rather than the needs of patients. In such a dark timeline, if socialized healthcare forced America to face the sort of medical rationing that Britain’s prized National Health Service has been reduced to, it would be fair to wonder if Gavin McInnes would receive the same sort of treatment as an Ezra Klein.

Read More: https://mises.org/wire/state-influencing-big-techs-unpersoning-imagine-if-it-take-overs-healthcare-0?utm_source=samizdat&utm_medium=partner&utm_campaign=free

The State Is Influencing Big Tech’s “Unpersoning” — Now Imagine If It Takes Over Healthcare


12/11/2018

let’s consider some of the overlooked causes behind the increased censorship from Silicon Valley.

While Republican politicians relish in collecting cheap soundbites railing against the censorship practices of widely despised tech executives, few are willing to point out the obvious influence of government in Big Tech’s growing hostility to free speech.

For example, just recently Facebook announced it was following the lead of Tumblr by cracking down on “sexualized content” on its platform. While both decisions were widely ridiculed by users and pundits alike, largely ignored was the role that recent Congressional laws aimed at cracking down on sex trafficking played in sparking the new policy. Similarly, “anti-hate speech” laws from Europe had very real consequences for American social media users as mechanisms designed to police speech oversees are inevitably used to manage content throughout their global communities.

While tech censorship began with isolated bans on individual social media platforms, it has evolved over time into a far more sinister crackdown of modern-day thought criminals. Alex Jones, for example, saw multiple social media accounts closed in a coordinated campaign earlier this year in what’s been likened to a modern version of Orwell’s “unpersoning.” Increasingly we are seeing financial services platforms, such as PayPal and Patreon, become another particularly effective form of censorship for those found guilty of violating the norms of political correctness.

First let’s consider some of the overlooked causes behind the increased censorship from Silicon Valley.

While Republican politicians relish in collecting cheap soundbites railing against the censorship practices of widely despised tech executives, few are willing to point out the obvious influence of government in Big Tech’s growing hostility to free speech.

For example, just recently Facebook announced it was following the lead of Tumblr by cracking down on “sexualized content” on its platform. While both decisions were widely ridiculed by users and pundits alike, largely ignored was the role that recent Congressional laws aimed at cracking down on sex trafficking played in sparking the new policy. Similarly, “anti-hate speech” laws from Europe had very real consequences for American social media users as mechanisms designed to police speech oversees are inevitably used to manage content throughout their global communities.

While tech censorship began with isolated bans on individual social media platforms, it has evolved over time into a far more sinister crackdown of modern-day thought criminals. Alex Jones, for example, saw multiple social media accounts closed in a coordinated campaign earlier this year in what’s been likened to a modern version of Orwell’s “unpersoning.” Increasingly we are seeing financial services platforms, such as PayPal and Patreon, become another particularly effective form of censorship for those found guilty of violating the norms of political correctness.

The traditional libertarian response to these issues is to simply build another platform, but that seems increasingly impotent in the face of the union between Big Tech and state.

Gab, for example, is a product that arose in direct response to increased censorship on Twitter. The app has found itself deplatformed from both major phone app stores, even before user Robert Barnes killed 11 people at a Pennsylvania synagogue earlier this year and heightened law enforcement’s attention to the site. It’s worth noting that Facebook, a prolific donor to America’s political class, did not receive similar treatment when it was used to broadcast torture and murder. Similarly, cryptocurrency exchanges have faced backlash from government officialstraditional financial services companies, and tech companies in their effort to build alternatives to state-controlled financial networks.

Of course the answer to this new era of Big Brother (Sister?) isn’t government regulation, as many on the populist right advocate. The history of government involvement in communication platforms has been one of increased censorship. Instead, the best way to confront the Silicon Valley’s censorship is to recognize the inherently perverse influence of government and pursue a separation of tech and state. For example, attack all forms of state privileges enjoyed by companies that don’t recognize freedom of speech: such as government contracts, and liability waivers. Additionally, allow private citizens to sue when companies violate their terms of service or mislabel themselves as “open platforms.”

Read More: https://mises.org/wire/state-influencing-big-techs-unpersoning-imagine-if-it-take-overs-healthcare-0