Accusations have been flying against the way Google is using its financial muscle to influence the Democratic party’s representatives, including President Barrack Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. In what could be the tipping point in Silicon Valley’s ire against the search engine giant, Oracle has now joined the fray and is funding the Google Transparency Project, or GTP for short.
What is the Google Transparency Project?
Last year’s Net Neutrality vote taken by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was intended to stop internet service providers from controlling what data could and couldn’t be accessed by the public.
On the one side, the FCC was trying to prevent a two-tiered Internet system that benefited some and not others. This is what FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said at the time:
“We cannot have a two-tiered Internet with fast lanes that speed the traffic of the privileged and leave the rest of us lagging behind. We cannot have gatekeepers who tell us what we can and cannot do and where we can and cannot go online, and we do not need blocking, throttling, or paid prioritization schemes that undermine the Internet as we know it.”
On the other side, proponents believe that the FCC’s ruling would only make things worse because it would put regulatory control in the hands of the government. And that’s where Google comes into the picture. The world’s biggest search engine company has already contributed more that $16 million in lobbying the Democrats, and many feel that they are applying a self-serving tactic to get more benefits for themselves.
Case in point is the fact that Google CEO Eric Schmidt got an early copy of the draft document just before it went in for the vote, and apparently recommended some changes that would benefit the parent company Alphabet. This is what Breitbart says:
“As a demonstration of just how powerful Google’s relationship with Washington had become, the week before the February 2015 vote by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve a wildly controversial “Net Neutrality” Internet regulatory regime, Google was uniquely given a copy of the 332-page draft document and then met with FCC Chairman Wheeler and the FCC’s two other Democratic commissioners, Mignon Clyburn and Jessica Rosenworcel. According to Politico‘s sources, Google was able to offer extraordinarily self-serving tweaks to the regulation just before the five-member Commission voted along party lines for the new rules.”
As a result of public outrage, an anti-Google lobby was started to keep track of everything that Google was doing that was influencing the government. From policy conferences being dominated by Google-funded speakers to Google’s meetings at the White House to Obama using Google as his secret media weapon, everything that Google thought it was doing surreptitiously is now in the open.
Oracle has now made public its financial support for the GTP, and that’s partly because it lost a $9 billion lawsuit against Google that accused the latter of stealing code from Oracle to use on the Android operating system.
As it stands, the latest news on the project is that Obama’s government is setting up the United States Digital Service, an initiative to marry “top technology talent with the best public servants to improve the usefulness and reliability of the country’s most important digital services.” No points for guessing that a large part of that department consists of Google ex-employees.
The chief accusation is that Google is trying to manipulate Obama’s regime – which extends to the possible future President of the United States Hillary Clinton – as much as possible so it can increase its control over the world of online digital content.
At the individual user level this has tremendous implications. Google already knows what we’re doing online on a minute to minute basis, and if it intends to use its political clout to control what we get access to and what we don’t, we could be seeing the end of Internet Freedom as we know it.
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