When “Don’t Be Evil” became really evil
There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind that the United States, in its unquenchable thirst for economic advantage and global dominance has become a hydra-like evil, a killing machine fighting on multiple fronts of genocidal proportions. As Dissident Voice puts it:
“The US has become a serial perpetrator of genocide with the blood of many millions of innocents spilled in pursuit of imperial hegemony” adding “Every major military action by the US since World War II has first and foremost been an act of genocide.”
Confirmation of the carnage continues in Iraq and Afghanistan, with a Syrian ground war looking ever more likely by the day that could turn very ugly and drag world powers into a global conflict. Libya is back in US crosshairs as it descends into outright anarchy as a direct result of America’s failed actions first time around.
The Pentagon is at the heart of America’s colossal military capability and is due to spend in both 2016 and 2017 around $585 billion a year. To mask the millions of innocent civilians being murdered by the Pentagon’s war machine the US has constructed a technique of facilitation by either absorbing or utilising mainstream media and continually distributing misinformation, disinformation and propaganda to ensure the public is living in a state of fear and hence, co-opted.
The protection of the internet, information accessible by us all from different sources, allows us to scrutinise government and their agencies, at least to some degree. Currently, there are ethical questions being raised against government agencies such as the illegal deep surveillance actions of GCHQ and the NSA when it comes to the protection of privacy and our communications. This is especially true in times of (geo)political or economic uncertainty.
Four months ago, Google created a new holding company called Alphabet. Its new code of conduct omits its founding strap-line “Don’t Be Evil”. In its place is the statement that “Employees of Alphabet and its subsidiaries and controlled affiliates should do the right thing—follow the law, act honorably, and treat each other with respect.”
It seems strange then that new executive chairman of Alphabet, Eric Schmidt has decided to accept the offer of leading the Pentagon advisory board with a view to “bringing Silicon Valley innovation and best practices to the US military.”
How Schmidt is comfortable working so closely with the worlds most efficient killing machine, that acts in self interest whilst continually breaking international law is something of a conundrum. One might ask; what type of best practice can Schmidt bring to the table in the game of global genocide?
Strange also that when considering the worlds biggest internet search engine. It was the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in 1973 that initiated a research program to investigate techniques and technologies for interlinking packet networks of various kinds. Now known as the Internet. DARPA is and has been at the forefront of the Pentagon’s technological achievement for decades. Why does it need someone who freeloads on the back of its own invention?
In the meantime, what does this say about the ethics of Google and it’s leadership.
In recent times it has emerged that the worlds largest corporation and biggest data gatherer has had no dilemma considering professional ethics when it came to handing over data about its own users to the US government.
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Schmidt has form. He already has dubious and suspicious ties with the power structures of the American government. Reading Julian Assange’s critique of Schmidt in what was supposed to be an interview for a book makes for interesting reading (HERE). Clearly, this meeting was about pressuring Assange into handling over documents the government knew would be damaging and embarrassing and did not want public opinion to go negative. Schmidt was unexpectedly accompanied by someone from the government.
The American government, armed with its awesome genocidal capabilities continues its delivery of death and destruction worldwide in search of new revenue streams. No-one has been arrested for the lies and deceit that was the precursor to recent middle east conflicts that has killed millions, displaced even more and now the biggest cause of the implosion of the European Union as a refugee crisis with scale to that of the last world war takes its grip.
Does Eric Schmidt see that his corporation, having just overtaken Apple as the worlds biggest, now need the same level of bias to win economically over the long-term? Or is there something else going on?
“The internet can be considered the first weapon of mass construction, which we can deploy to destroy hate and conflict and to propagate peace and democracy,” said Riccardo Luna, editor-in-chief of the Italian edition of Wired magazine who put forward the internet as a Nobel peace prize contestant.
Many commentators of the internet speak of its revolutionary potential. They see the integration not just of data, markets and individual platforms but on the game changing effects the internet is having on global cooperation and inevitable political change.
Much of this goes against the wishes of the political class and business elite. They are used to rigging markets, operating via cartel agreements, buying their way into the pockets of ‘democracy’. The neoliberal economic model despises competition.
Recent research has seen how Google could swing an election by as much as 20 per cent and already there is the existence of evidence that Google could be tilting the outcomes of the coming election in America.
“I couldn’t even believe what we got,” said Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology. “It seemed impossible … to be able to shift that many undecided voters toward whoever we chose.”
Facebook admitted back in 2014 in a study later published as “a 61-million-person experiment in social influence and political mobilization”that they could “shape who actually voted to a significant degree.”
What is more concerning is a recent article published by Quartz which is both quite intriguing and very worrying. It focuses in on a company you’ve never heard of called “Groundwork.” It’s a startup company backed by Eric Schmidt whose sole purpose appears to be to get Hillary Clinton elected President. As Quartz opines “it is one of a series of quiet investments by Schmidt that recognize how modern political campaigns are run, with data analytics and digital outreach as vital ingredients that allow candidates to find, court, and turn out critical voter blocs.“
It is also no coincidence that Michael Slaby, who runs Groundwork was the chief technology officer for president Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign. And, it’s no coincidence that former Google executive Stephanie Hannon is the Clinton campaign’s chief technology officer and Schmidt is one of the most powerful, influential and wealthy donors of the Democratic party.
Epstein went on to say “What we actually found was astonishing. The proportion of people favouring the search engine’s top-ranked candidate increased by 48.4 per cent, and all five of our measures shifted toward that candidate. What’s more, 75 per cent of the people in the bias groups seemed to have been completely unaware that they were viewing biased search rankings.”
Google is an American outfit, it doesn’t want to contribute to say – Britain, as evidenced by the scandal that has seen them pay next to no tax relative to their revenue and profits whilst operating there. It’s total disregard to the general welfare of the country, given that it uses Britain’s infrastructure at taxpayers cost, goes counter to its own code of conduct. Will Google start to tilt the June EU referendum? Who would know?
America instigated the entire EU project back in the 1950’s as yet another exploitation project – (read Origins of the EU – USA Covert Operations to Assimilate Europe Into A Federal State) The last thing it wants now is Britain to be the epicentre of an independence movement within Europe. And America has already started threatening Britain with increased political and economic isolation along with potentially less assurances on defence in the event of a ‘Brexit’.
The addition of the executive chairman of the worlds biggest search engine to one of the most evil organisations in the history of humanity is a dark moment for the people of the world. Schmidt has obviously has his reasons and so does Google whilst forgetting within a few short months that they “should do the right thing – follow the law, act honorably, and treat everyone with respect” – something impossible when working for the Pentagon as such an influential level.
Data gathering, opinion changing, search engine results bias, propaganda, disinformation; election rigging; these are now the techniques to be expected in future. Conspiracy theory? One only has to consider how profoundly undemocratic TTIP is to see all of the above in action.
Graham Vanbergen – truepublica.org.uk