The sheer enormity of Google, and their tentacle-like grasp on the modern digital world, have come under scrutiny in recent years…and with good reason.
We have to constantly take stock of what we’re letting these enormous tech companies to get away with. Not only are Americans increasingly allowing these corporations to monitor and monetize our browsing habits, but they are doing so with blatantly nefarious purposes. Our internet “history” is routinely razed by Google and others, and then sold to the highest bidder. Oftentimes this information is gleaned by advertisers who then cater their consumer-targeting efforts in such a way as to weasel their way into our wallets subconsciously, using our own mindfulness against us.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg with Google, whose massive tech infrastructure is now being utilized by corporations with far more insidious machinations.
Take Chinese telecom company Huawei, for example, who have been routinely accused of using their supposedly innocuous hardware to spy on the entire American digital infrastructure. Google’s close relationship with these state actors is finally coming under scrutiny, however, thanks to the work of several American legislators.
Sens. Josh Hawley (R-MO), Tom Cotton (R-AK), and Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai Wednesday, demanding answers about the company’s relationship with China’s Huawei after reports the search giant claimed that were not conducting substantial business in China.
The senators said that Google put its “profits before country” with its partnership with Huawei.
The trio of Republican senators demanded answers from Pichai after reports revealed that Google and Huawei were collaborating on a Huawei-branded smart speaker and were“even closer than previously understood.”
These concerns have been exacerbated by the apparent lack of truthfulness by Google in the matter.
The senators noted that in July, Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of global government affairs and public policy, “denied, under oath, that Google has been conducting any substantial business in China.”
The Republican lawmakers said that the Huawei-branded smart speakers would allow for them to surveil Americans’ personal conversations.
“These devices can enable untrustworthy companies to listen in on Americans’ conversations,” they wrote. “Your attempts three weeks ago to downplay your involvement in China, plus new revelations about your close relationship with Huawei, raise serious questions.”
Having Amazon’s Alexa listen in on your discussion about dinner plans is one thing, but what happens when an FBI agent or high-level legislator is being essentially wiretapped by a Huawei smart speaker at home?
And, if Huawei is willing and able to create this technology with Google’s help, what’s to say that Google itself won’t soon be compromised by less-than-benevolent Beijing bad guys?
To secure our nation, we must remain vigilant with our privacy…even if that mean sacrificing some of our modern-day convenience.
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