US Marine General Joseph Dunford has cast criticism upon Google, claiming that the omnipresent tech company is “indirectly benefiting the Chinese military” while simultaneously turning a blind eye to the Department of Defense.
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff spoke of the company during a Thursday Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, expressing his displeasure towards Google’s desire to work with Communist China.
“We watch with great concern when industry partners work in China knowing that there is that indirect benefit,” Dunford said. “Frankly, ‘indirect’ may be not a full characterization of the way it really is, it is more of a direct benefit to the Chinese military.”
Google -who has drawn criticism in recent years for embracing what many perceive as “thought police-like” censorship ideologies and attempting to control what users see- dropped out of working with the DoD last year, scrapping a $10 billion cloud computing contract with claims that the company’s new ethical guidelines conflict with the deal.
Meanwhile, Google is more than eager to do business in China, a nation known for practicing internet censorship, surveillance of citizens, cracking down on dissidents and even instituting a social credit score based on obedience to the Chinese Communist Party.
According to the Daily Mail, the tech company dropped plans to create a censored search engine for the People’s Republic of China, but only after significant backlash.
“The way I described it to our industry partners is: Look, we’re the good guys,” Dunford said of the DOD’s posture with Google. “The values that we represent and the system we represent is the one that will allow and has allowed you to thrive.”
In Silicon Valley, however, Google CEO Sundar Pichai wants to work with China over the Department of Defense, despite the fact that the Chinese are universally known for technology theft, a sentiment reflected by Acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan.
“$5 trillion of [China’s] economy is state-owned enterprises,” Shanahan said at the SASC hearing on Thursday. “So the technology that has developed in the civil world transfers to the military world, it’s a direct pipeline. Not only is there a transfer, there is systemic theft of US technology that facilitates even faster development of emerging technology. The talent is in this country. We need to use the talent in this country and the talent in this country needs to support our great power competition.”
So much for a company whose motto was once “Don’t Be Evil.”
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