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.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- 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.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- The Business Value of Continuous Delivery
- Download this whitepaper to learn more about the business value of Continuous Delivery and see why it could be a game changer for...
- Ten Factors Shaping the Future of Application Delivery
- Download this research report conducted by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) to learn how those that are seeking to accelerate application delivery are leveraging...
- Software Asset Management: Ensuring Today's Assets
- Today's trends like BYOD and SaaS are new and exciting in terms of how they will help make our jobs more productive but...
- Trends Shaping Software Management: 2014
- Most IT executives recognize the relationship between mobile computing and worker productivity, and have long issued notebook computers and other mobile devices to... All Government IT White Papers
- On-demand webinar - 7 Keys to Service Catalog Implementation Success Watch this webinar to learn 7 crucial keys to make your service catalog a success!
- Transform Your IT Service Management Watch this webinar, to learn how EasyVista can increase IT productivity & efficiency and deliver streamlined & integrated IT Service & Asset Mgmt.
- IBM FlashSystem V840: Leveraging Software-Defined Flash to Drive Your Business With end-to-end, tightly integrated functionality and super-fast flash technology, products like IBM FlashSystem V840 Enterprise Performance Solution empower businesses to leverage the efficiency...
- Leveraging Flash Storage to Accelerate Oracle Real Application Clusters Join this webinar to understand the latest solid-state storage trends, the specific applications driving solid-state storage deployments and the benefits of deploying the...
- Top 4 Digital Signage Fails Join RMG Networks for a look at four of the most common reasons digital signage fails in corporate businesses. Learn about strategies to...
- All Government IT Webcasts