Watchdog Group Alleges Improper Relations Between Google And White House
January 26, 2011 by Special To Personal Liberty
The bipartisan nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog has urged Federal lawmakers to investigate the relationship between Google and President Barack Obama's administration.
Accompanied by a 32-page report called Lost in the Cloud: Google and the United States Government, Consumer Watchdog has issued a letter to the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that details how the corporation has benefited from its close ties to Obama and his staff. For example, the group claims that NASA's Moffett Airfield, which is a taxpayer-subsidized airport, has become a personal launching pad for Google executives.
The report also alleges that Google CEO Eric Schmidt took a Moffett-originating flight to the Cannes Film Festival and other company execs have taken off to the Caribbean. However, the group claims that humanitarian groups have been denied access to the airport.
Furthermore, Consumer Watchdog has requested that legislators investigate the lack of Federal response to Google's breach of user privacy last year. The Website was embroiled in controversy after its Street View function collected personal information from users, such as email passwords and browsing habits. The Federal Trade Commission closed its investigation of Google in October and levied no fines, claiming that the Website had sufficiently addressed its problems.
Last week, Google announced that Schmidt will leave his CEO post in April but will remain executive chairman. Bloomberg reports that Schmidt, who will be succeeded by Website co-founder Larry Page, will receive an equity award package of $100 million. According to Google, Schmidt's new role will include several responsibilities, such as improving government relations.