The WikiLeaks revelations about Google and the company’s role in politics, security, and underhandedness should have caused an uproar. The Mountain View company’s alleged role in assisting the NSA in spying on Americans should have prompted an investigation. Google meddling in politics in foreign nations should have seen the search giant banned on five continents. Google “should have” been sanctioned many times, but it never has been. Here’s a look at how a company that swore it would “do no evil” does good.
Google’s Digital News Initiative is very much like the NGOs Billionaire George Soros has spawned across Europe. When the company announced the move to spread €150 million euro all about the European media landscape, even detractors underestimated the world’s biggest Internet conglomerate. The Guardian ran a piece at the time that shows how little is known regarding what Google is really doing. To quote the Guardian piece by the astute Jane Martinson, who is head of media at the Guardian:
“The Digital News Initiative is likely to be seen as an attempt by the company to improve its image after being accused of distorting internet search results and acting anti-competitively by European regulators two weeks ago.”
The idea Google was simply trying to sway opinion was a nice misdirect though. For €150 million euros the Mountain View company could easily have bought favorable votes in Europe. Today we can see the real goals behind this and other investments in European media. The EU Parliament’s recent decision to create an anti-propaganda media is not simply a coincidental add-on for Europe information channels. Since this groundbreaking legislation passed, Europe’s contra-Russia click has wasted no time moving forward to grasp information in a grip. Elmar Brok, the most powerful man in the EU, was once nicknamed “Mr. Bertelsmann” for his key role at one of the world’s biggest media conglomerates. Brok’s role in pushing the so-called Anti-Eu Propaganda drafts through parliament betray his decades long role in manipulating policy. Brok’s hate for Russia shines through, but the greater reach he has is better reflected in German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s almost immediate proclamation. The Debrief, which is part of Bauer Media Group, which also benefits from Google’s money, disseminates this to their readers:
“German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared a clamp down on ‘fake news’ on social media in her first address to parliament since announcing she will be seeking re-election next year.”
While I am sure the news I am giving you is anything but “fake”, it is also clear to hundreds of millions that German media is completely controlled by a very few players. On Bauer Media, it is significant to note their own news where the relationship with Google is concerned. Their own website delivers news of their magazines’ spread across the digital landscape:
“The majority of our magazines around the world are available digitally. With more than 130 titles, we’re the number 1 in Apple News, the largest publisher in Germany with 40 online newspapers, and our magazines dominate the Google Play Newsstand.”
Euronews, one of the media outlets that takes part in the Digital News Initiative, reports on the parliament move with this lead in:
“Russia and Islamist terrorist groups are increasingly targeting the EU with propaganda – the warning in a resolution approved by MEPs, which aims to combat anti-Europe campaigns.”
It is probably just another massive coincidence that Bauer Media’s most recent addition to its board, Witold Wozniak, was the head of the media conglomerate’s Polish operations before 2015. Since the EU Anti-Propaganda documents were drafted and presented by the former Polish Foreign Affairs Minister and current EU Chair of the European Parliament Security and Defence Subcommittee, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, it’s probably normal that I have concerns the Anti-Propaganda legislation is itself legislation to create a bigger propaganda arm. Needless to say, the influence on opinion the brands of Bauer in Poland have is tremendous. My point being well made, let’s return to Google’s larger scope of operations in Europe.
When I was a tech journalists reporting on Silicon Valley innovation, Google brainwashed us all into believing the data they gleaned from us would be super-secret, held like a sort of Holy Grail from Gmail to search, to the myriad Google products. Gradually, inevitably, all that data was eventually used against us for such things as targeted advertising. As we learned much later, the US Government played a much larger role collaborating with Google than anyone was told. This Salon article reveals the deep cooperation Google had with the US Government even before the search giant had made its monopoly on search. I recall reporting about a Chinese hacker army as early as 2008, but Salon tells the real story. The story is a vampire spike in the heart of free media and personal privacy, into the heart of the American Constitution for that matter, but few have broadcasts its significance.
Shane Harris did Americans and the world a service researching and writing this piece, which gives details of the moment the NSA and US intelligence welded itself to public business. The report interjects the names and faces, the brands and the cliché terms we’ve only recently seen dominate political news. Hillary Clinton, the Obama Administration, the NSA, Chinese hackers, a worldwide hacker compendium, security firms, and secret security clearances for Google execs, the puzzling network we saw competitive in the Clinton-Trump presidential campaign, has been at war far longer than those two have been at odds. I could go on indefinitely, but again my point is made. The report I refer to is an excerpt from the Author’s book: “@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex”. So, if Frau Merkel wishes to accuse me of being a “fake news” evangelist she’ll need to condemn Salon and Mr. Harris, along with about 200,000 others.
Now we hear that Google and Bertelsman have joined hands to create yet another media mechanism. According to the news and Google’s blog, the two companies will create 10,000 Android scholarships, ostensibly to allow European programmers to “innovate” smart-device technologies. Some readers may fail to see the significance of this added “coincidence”, but I will explain succinctly. With about 50% of the European population getting their news via mobile, what is the potential for controlling what is “absorbed” through those devices? Once again the EU rule-makers in the spotlight accusing Google and Android, while at the same time opening up the flood gates for giant media corporations to do whatever they please. Or more probably, to distribute the party line to all Europe’s citizens? Whether the chicken or the egg is in control of the “message”, it’s unarguable that the language permeates Angela Merkel’s, Barack Obama’s, Hillary Clinton’s, Googles, Bertelsmann’s, and the Brussels “fake news” tangent.
The “fake news” Europeans need to worry about is not pro-Putin, it’s not permeating the German psyche. The real fake news is the drumming beat of CDU fists in Berlin. The fake message is Android notifying you when Mrs. Merkel comes on next to tell you why millions of refugees need your money. The illegitimate news is baked in a Washington think tank, approved by the White House, paid for by media moguls and billionaires, and disseminated via controlled channels. Now, since independent and dissenting media has turned up the social media and non-traditional heat, Google and companies like Bertelmann and Axel Springer, in collaboration with governments, create tools and the legislatures (laws) to use them to further control the message. Take a look at the fruit of Round 1 of Google’s Digital News Initiative, something called “Project Shield”. On the face of it, this project can help news sites defeat DDoS attacks by third parties by “filtering” and supposedly blocking attacks etc. The reality is the same as when Google first propagandized us to believe in agnostic and altruistic Internet business. View from the perspective of “The Godfather” of film fame for instance. Project Shield and these other initiatives simply make the public an offer they cannot refuse.
Rolled all-into-one; the Google and media conglomerate initiatives, the EU parliamentary cadence against Russia, the NATO expansionism, this new EU propaganda arm, and the western world’s old order exercise a massive control. If George Orwell could imagine it, the elites have set it in place. Standing back, viewing the policies and rhetoric mimicked continually, we can see the real game behind. Power, the continuation of it, is the ultimate goal, and it would not surprise me to discover Google was a formulate entity of power all along. The urban legend that such Internet monopolies as Microsoft, Google, Amazon and the rest just “happen” seems less likely day by day. The “Fake Story” parroted from the White House to Whitehall and from the Bundeskanzlerin is a figment of the same imagination that said Google will “Do no evil”. At least this is the view of a few millions. Me and scores of other dissenters are not “faking”, these corporate-government strategies, deals, and laws are dangerous. This is what the “free press” was originally tasked with.
Phil Butler, is a policy investigator and analyst, a political scientist and expert on Eastern Europe, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.