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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