Growing White House ties to Google draw protest
Consumer groups object to expected selection of Google exec to deputy CTO post
Computerworld - When he was a senator, President Barack Obama pitched the idea of of what was widely called a "Google-enabled government" to illustrate his interest in making public data easily searchable and accessible. But the White House's reported plan to appoint another Google Inc. executive to a top tech advisory post is, for some, carrying the idea too far.
Andrew McLaughlin, Google's director of global public policy, is expected to be appointed U.S. deputy chief technology officer, reporting to federal CTO Aneesh Chopra. Both are new White House positions.
Two groups, the Center for Digital Democracy and Consumer Watchdog, yesterday urged Obama (PDF document) not to appoint McLaughlin to the post. In a letter signed by Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy and and John Simpson, consumer advocate at Consumer Watchdog, the groups said that McLaughlin "has been a lobbyist for the biggest digital marketing company in the world, and we believe no special-interest connected person should assume a position of vital importance to the country's future."
It's the same argument they would have made had Obama appointed someone from Microsoft Corp. or Yahoo Inc. to a similar position, according to the letter.
The consumer groups also cited earlier appointments of Google executives and managers to help make the case that Google's White House reach is too deep. Google's CEO, Eric Schmidt, who advised the Obama transition team, was recently appointed to the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology. Other Google employees now working for the White House include Katie Stanton, a former Google project manager who now leads citizen participation efforts, and Sonal Shah, former head of development at Google.org, the company's philanthropic arm, who directs a new White House Office of Social Innovation.
While the appointments are obvious points of intersection between Google and the new administration, the concern raised about Google's influence is much deeper.
For example, Google's settlement of a lawsuit brought against it by major authors and publishers is getting scrutiny from the Department of Justice, and the Federal Trade Commission is investigating the company's hiring practices and links to Apple.
"There are an increasing number of emerging issues that will likely pit the commercial interests of Google against the rights of American citizens, including protecting our privacy and consumer rights online," the two groups wrote.
Obama and tech
- China set to surpass U.S. in R&D spending in 10 years
- Outgoing federal CIO warns of 'an IT cartel'
- @whitehouse takes on Twitter Town Hall
- Obama's CIO quits
- Little new in Obama cybersecurity proposal
- Feds update IT plan following Obama's 'horrible' comment
- Obama's online trusted ID plan greeted with caution
- U.S. Census tech makeover includes 'oasis' for innovation
- Obama seeks big boost in cybersecurity spending
- QuickPoll: Is Obama's 98% 4G broadband coverage goal realistic?
Read more about Government IT in Computerworld's Government IT Topic Center.
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you think getting it right from day one is always what matters, you probably haven't been following technology too closely.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Bring Networks and Applications Closer--Cisco ONE
- A series of sweeping trends is placing new requirements on the tried-and-true network model--requiring network infrastructure and applications to communicate. Get the open...
- Lippis Research Reviews the Cisco Catalyst 2960-X
- In this Lippis Report Research Note, Lippis Research reviews the latest edition of the "most popular access switch on the planet" -- the...
- Design Guide--Scaling Up to a Campus-Wide LAN
- Is it time to scale your network environment to a campus wired LAN? Here's the framework you need to set up your LAN...
- Comprehensive Security: Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- With a rich and comprehensive set of security features, Cisco Catalyst 2960-X and 2960-XR Series Switches can help you address networking megatrends such...
- Be Energy Efficient--The Cisco Catalyst 2960 Series
- How much energy could be saved if all 230 million Layer 2 and 3 fixed managed switch ports sold in 2012 were as... All Government IT White Papers
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- Vblock™ Specialized System for SAP HANA® Overview video from DJ Long about the new Vblock Specialized System for SAP HANA®.
- The Power of the Citrix Mobility Solution, XenMobile Does everything become a smartphone? Or does the smartphone begin to do everything? How can we afford to support BYOD? Rather, how can...
- BYOD Happens: How to Secure Mobility How to navigate the journey of securing mobility, including the BYOD corruption of IT, the top ten mobility strategies, and the mobility management...
- Fighting Fraud Videos: IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager Short videos about IBM Intelligent Investigation Manager (IIM) for Fraud. IIM optimizes the investigation of fraud for customers across many industries in both...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 20, 2013.