Facebook isn’t the only Silicon Valley firm with partisan oversight of what we see: the bipartisan billionaire class and their security state have partnered with tech firms since the dawn of the internet to control the parameters of users’ thinking.
by Morgan Artyukhina
Part 17 - Pentagon-Google cooperation
Alphabet’s Eric Schmidt, too, is connected to the U.S. security state as well as to the Democratic Party, again proving that a cross-party link is established where the material interests of the billionaire class are shared. A man who joined the Google team early-on in 2001, by 2011 Schmidt was able to step down from Google’s Chief Executive Officer to be the Executive Chairman of its Board of Directors with a $100 million equity award. He maintained that position through the 2015 restructuring of Google into the holding company Alphabet, Inc., stepping down in 2017 only to become chairman of the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Board, an advisory committee to the Secretary of Defense.
However, he stayed on at Alphabet as its technical advisor, swearing to Defense One that “there’s a rule” that he wasn’t allowed to be briefed on Google’s ongoing bid for the massive JEDI cloud computing contract from the Pentagon.
Google has in the past also worked directly with the Defense Department on the drone intel analysis AI dubbed “Project Maven,” as well as its present contract for the AI Next project with DARPA, the Google Earth project mentioned previously, and a host of other projects. The $10 billion JEDI contract was eventually given to Microsoft last month.
Likewise, Alphabet has been happy to oblige the State Department in conducting content purges similar to Twitter and Facebook, disabling accounts and channels it claims are “coordinated influence operations.” One incident in August 2019 saw YouTube disable 210 accounts for promoting content critical of the anti-Beijing protests in Hong Kong; the tech giant claimed on shaky evidence that the accounts were operating from mainland China.
Shane Huntley heads up Google’s Threat Analysis Group, which identified the “threat” and made the call to disable the accounts; before joining Google in 2010, he worked as a computer security research scientist for Australia’s Defence Science and Technology Organisation and then for the Australian government directly as a security software engineer.
One of the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing countries, Australian intelligence cooperates closely with New Zealand, the U.S., Canada and UK intelligence services, and has played a major role in forwarding the U.S.-led effort to undermine continued Chinese development.