Consumer group feels Google's relationship with government inappropriate

Consumer Watchdog feels that Google is getting special treatment from the US government because of a secret relationship Google has with it. The group is asking the public to speak up and get congress to question Google over their 'Wi-Spy' incident.

The Wi-Spy incident refers to the Wi-Fi data that the Google Street View cars collected which contained emails, passwords, web traffic and other potentially revealing personal information. Consumer Watchdog calls the data gathering the largest wire-tapping scandal the world has seen and feels that a privacy breach this big should not be handled in secret. They want Google CEO Eric Schmidt to testify before Congress.

The group released a 32 page report titled Lost in the Cloud: Google and the US Government. The report alleges that Google's influence in the Obama Administration, DHS, FCC, NASA, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Department of Defense, and NSA has helped keep federal authorities from properly responding to the wireless data collection.

The group didn't focus on just the wireless data collection, they also want Congress to look into why NASA's Moffett Airfield, a tax payer funded airfield, is used as a private airport for Google executives. The report went on to question how Google handles private information stating:

The search giant has a legitimate need to cooperate with the government’s mammoth and secretive code breaking agency in its efforts to defend the integrity of US computer networks. But NSA also has legal power to force Google to hand over the private information of its users. How Google executives handle this potentially conflicted relationship is largely unknown: neither Google nor the NSA are talking.

According to NetworkWorld, after the report was released a Google spokesperson questioned the objectiveness of the report saying that Consumer Watchdog works closely with some of Google's rivals.

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18 Comments

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Google involved in a privacy breach? Wow, that is a brand new idea never before heard. Amazing how long it takes some people to catch on.

No tin foil needed. Just a big dose of reality for those that hug Google like a giant fuzzy teddy bear. (Betcha didn't know that the eyes are really webcams)

Well its hard to believe that Google isn't in bed with US GOV. Google has managed to push construction projects forward in a fraction of time over other companies/individuals.

In years past the US Gov wanted to make the US Postal Service the solo email & Messenging provider for all americans. Fees for each email would be assessed and message.
This went by the way side when consumers didn't want to participate.
It only makes sense now that USGOV is supporting a large scale network solution that allows them control, and spying on a majority of corporate and educational institutions. Students are FORCED to use the school email systems that is now provided by GOOGLE APS...
Its only a matter of time, Control will no longer be an option but part of a manditory service feature that we Americans will have to participate in...

Recently my college forced all students and instructors to use the schools email accounts (google provided) for all academic. As a student it only make sense to just switch everything over to a school provided account....
Black OP's is in motion... US funded, Chinese controlled society... We are all pawns.

nidaros said,
Well its hard to believe that Google isn't in bed with US GOV. Google has managed to push construction projects forward in a fraction of time over other companies/individuals.

In years past the US Gov wanted to make the US Postal Service the solo email & Messenging provider for all americans. Fees for each email would be assessed and message.
This went by the way side when consumers didn't want to participate.
It only makes sense now that USGOV is supporting a large scale network solution that allows them control, and spying on a majority of corporate and educational institutions. Students are FORCED to use the school email systems that is now provided by GOOGLE APS...
Its only a matter of time, Control will no longer be an option but part of a manditory service feature that we Americans will have to participate in...

Recently my college forced all students and instructors to use the schools email accounts (google provided) for all academic. As a student it only make sense to just switch everything over to a school provided account....
Black OP's is in motion... US funded, Chinese controlled society... We are all pawns.

Yeah...right...It has nothing to do with having to retain records of all transactions between student and teacher. You claim teacherA told you that you could do something outside the standard. TeacherA denies such a conversation every happened, what do we do now? Check the teacher's mail? If the teacher's mail has no record, and the backup failed that night, they can't check your "sent" messages, unless they control that too. This level of CYA is why most business, which all schools are regardless of public/private status, maintain that everyone use the same mail.

This is ridiculous. Someone take this tin-foil wearing group and toss them in the trash, tired of hearing about all this so-called worry about Google is trying to take over the world/taking all your data for evil things. Just shut up. They are a company, trying to make money, they expand their business a lot to expand their revenue. They make mistakes, just like Microsoft and Apple... they admitted to the Wi-Fi problem and fixed it. Jesus christ. /rant

OceanMotion said,
The information Google and other companies like Facebook must be a gold mine for agencies.

Exactly, I wonder how much customer info they share?

OceanMotion said,
The information Google and other companies like Facebook must be a gold mine for agencies.

Less taxes in exchange for sharing some of the company's customer's info with the gov? Deal.

roadwarrior said,
Break out the tin foil.

I often like to wear a copper hat to prevent the Level 12 watcher spiders from scanning my brain.