The digital world was once considered a bit of a whimsical place, filled with opportunities to live out the futuristic dreams of our pop culture imagination.
We were convinced that technology was going to bring us closer to our Jetsons-style future. Flying cars, household robots, and instant, portable communication were all just over the horizon to us, as if Hannah Barbara had discovered a crystal ball.
And while flying cars are still a way off, Amazon’s Alexa is looking to go mobile in the near future, and FaceTime calls are actually so blasé at this point that they’re annoying. We’re already over it.
This rapid blossoming of technology comes at a price, however, and Americans are swiftly surrendering their privacy in order to spread their digital cash around. This is particularly scary when we stop and think about just who is in charge of some of these massively invasive internet corporations with whom we trust our entire lives.
Google is one of the most prominent players here, amassing an enormous chunk of America’s internet traffic on any given day. Now, after accusations of Chinese espionage have been leveled against them, the internet’s most powerful entity could find themselves in the midst of a major federal investigation.
President Trump on Tuesday morning said his administration will “take a look” into Google following statements made earlier this week by billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel. Shares of Alphabet were slightly lower in pre-market trading.
“Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason,” Trump said in a tweet. “He accuses Google of working with the Chinese Government… A great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone! The Trump Administration will take a look!”
Thiel wasn’t the only one making accusations either.
On Tuesday, fellow Palantir co-founder Joe Londsdale echoed Thiel’s comments on CNBC.
“Google is not a patriotic company,” he said. “Everyone in [Silicon] Valley knows that the Chinese government is very involved,” Lonsdale told “Squawk Alley” in an interview, though he didn’t point to any clear evidence. “It’s something we don’t talk about a lot. It was very courageous of [Thiel] to talk about it.”
Recently, a Google executive was caught on hidden camera saying that the company was working to “prevent another Trump situation” in 2020.
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