Google’s corporate motto is “Don’t Be Evil,” but after year of using its Washington, D.C. lobbying to trash other tech companies, the “Google Transparency Project,” funded by a secretive cabal of Silicon Valley interests, is producing a steady stream of investigative reporting exposés on Google’s crony capitalism.
Breitbart News recently noted that Oracle Corporation was the first Silicon Valley tech giant to acknowledge that it is part of the funding for the project, which has set up headquarters in Washington, D.C. with a mission to “out” Google’s dicey lobbying practices and detail Google’s cozy relationships with President Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
The latest in a string of reports from the project is the revelation that high-ranking Google executives were granted more than 20 “intimate” meetings with President Barack Obama. The project also identified 258 instances of “revolving door” activity (involving 251 individuals) between Google and related firms on the one hand, and the federal government on the other.
In a direct attack on Hillary Clinton’s deep and secretive connection to Google, the Google Transparency Project has documented that 18 former State Department officials joined Google as executives, and five Google officials secured senior posts at the State Department in the last seven years.
As a major government contractor, Silicon Valley tried to maintain a neutral stance on political lobbying and campaign contributions for decades. But in recent years, the concentration of tech giants has earned the nickname “Valley of the Democrats” from the TechCrunch blog because of its symbiotic business relationship with Washington.
Google harvested financial value from its political clout by essentially being able to rewrite the “Net Neutrality” regulatory language that made “Everybody Equal, But Google Much More Equal.” Just before a partisan vote of approval by the three Democrat appointees on the five-member Federal Communications Commission, Google executives were allowed to see the proposed 332-page draft of the Net Neutrality regulations and to sway the Democrats to accept changes favoring Google’s interests, while seriously undermining business models of other tech companies.
The Google Transparency Project says it wants to offer the type of “objective research and commentary” used by other Washington, D.C. “think tanks” that seek to influence public policy. But the public policy the project is most interested in influencing is to restrict the behavior of a competitor that many in the tech industry now perceive is acting like a monopolist to crush its competition.
Last month, the project published, “Google Pulled White House Strings to Kill Telecom Treaty,” which alleges that Google executives and the nonprofits they funded were assisted by the White House and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in dominating a U.S. delegation that derailed a 193-nation effort to expand Internet freedom of access at the 2012 Dubai World Conference on International Telecommunications/
With Google blatantly using its political and social media clout over the last seven years to win high-profile battles against AT&T, Yelp, Microsoft, Oracle and others, there is nothing illegal or unethical about rivals pulling back the veil to expose Google’s cronyism.
Former U.S. Department of Justice chief economist Daniel Rubinfeld, an emeritus professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law, told the SiliconValley.com blog: “I don’t see any of this as nefarious.” He added, “It’s changing times. Companies are battling each other on many more fronts than they used to.”