It has been confirmed that the former Chief Executive Officer of Google, Eric Schmidt will be heading the Pentagon’s new Innovation Advisory Board (IAB). The yet-to-be constituted board will be made up of 12 members handpicked by Mr Schmidt and the United States Defense Secretary, Ashton Carter.
Already, Google had been dabbling in robotics and artificial intelligence, working on behalf of the Pentagon through the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
The Free Thought Project reports that Google’s autonomous car is a result of the initiative of the DARPA program with the Pentagon. Further, according to the Pentagon, the IAB would advise them on Google-y topics such as rapid prototyping, iterative product development, business analytics, mobile apps and the cloud.
The Pentagon believed getting Schmidt involved in the IAB would make the Department of Defense more streamlined, efficient and innovative than its competitors in the international defense arena. However, many observers are worried that the Internet search engine giant is getting too close to one of the biggest Defense Headquarters in the world. Many believe that Google have reached technological capabilities that seem almost like science-fiction.
The company’s latest invention is a neural network with a “superhuman” ability to determine the location of almost any image. It has even been argued that Google could rig the 2016 American election just by adjusting its search algorithms.
Another equally important worry, for some observers, is Google’s immense collection of personal data that amounts to its own secret surveillance program. Reported, the secret personal data collection is not limited to only online: Google’s Street View cars were recently caught collecting information from wi-fi hubs ranging from people’s medical histories, sexual preference to marital infidelity.
Although Google has said that this mass data collection is in the interests of the American public, many observers see it as a propaganda campaign by the company. Given that top officials of Google are getting involved in the operations of the Pentagon, the company will be more inclined to give personal data to the military. Some people believe Google will provide more data for more to be killed. According to the Free Thought Project, the Pentagon has been authorized after 9/11, to grow its own spy program and kill anyone in the world at any time, including U.S. citizens.
Therefore, the partnership between Schmidt and the U.S. military is very disturbing for citizens alike.
But even before this announcement that Mr Schmidt will join the Pentagon, Julian Assange had already provided some perspective on the Google-Pentagon relationship.
The Wikileaks founder had suggested that Google’s friendly relationship with both the Defense Department and the State Departments’, represents an existential threat to the utility of the Internet for the ordinary user around the world.
Mr Assange stated boldly that “Google’s geopolitical aspirations are firmly enmeshed with the foreign policy agenda of the United States”, further adding that “as Google’s monopolistic control of the Internet grows, the company will increasingly influence choices and behavior to steer outcomes in the favor of US and corporate interests.”
This revelation by Assange is disturbing. Some observers are beginning to realize that Assange may have been right. The signs are now clear. The developer of the world’s largest search engine is joining forces with the world’s largest military machine.
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