Billionaire investor, Facebook board member, and Trump supporter Peter Thiel recently called on the FBI and CIA to investigate Google for the “seemingly treasonous” act of aiding the Chinese military.
Axios reports that Peter Thiel, the billionaire Silicon Valley investor, Facebook board member, and longtime supporter of President Donald Trump, called on the FBI and CIA to investigate Google for allegedly aiding the Chinese military during his speech at the recent National Conservatism Conference. During the speech, Thiel noted “three questions that should be asked” by the federal government of tech giant Google.
Number one, how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI?
Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?
Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the US military… because they are making the sort of bad, short-term rationalistic [decision] that if the technology doesn’t go out the front door, it gets stolen out the backdoor anyway?
Thiel added that these questions “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA, and I’m not sure quite how to put this, I would like them to be asked in a not excessively gentle manner.” Thiel has been a long time supporter of Artificial Intelligence, joining Elon Musk and Reid Hoffman in pledging to commit a total of $1 billion to the non-profit group OpenAI in 2015.
Google has come under fire previously for its relationship with China, particularly the development of a censored Chinese search engine codenamed Project Dragonfly. During a speech before the Hudson Institute in 2018, Vice President Mike Pence criticized what he believes is China’s theft of U.S. technology, urging Google to take action on the issue. Pence said during the speech that other business leaders are hesitant to enter the Chinese market “if it means turning over their intellectual property or abetting Beijing’s oppression.”
Pence called on Google to listen to these other leaders and that “more must follow suit.” He also called on Google to end the development of its censored Chinese search engine project known as Dragonfly: “For example, Google should immediately end development of the ‘Dragonfly’ app that will strengthen Communist Party censorship and compromise the privacy of Chinese customers,” said Pence.
In an interview with Tucker Carlson, Chinese policy expert Dr. Michael Pillsbury noted that eight years ago, Google co-founder Sergey Brin received praise for refusing to do business with the Chinese government, a decision which now appears to have been completely reversed. “Fast forward eight years and Google has reversed itself, but done so secretly.”
Recently, e-commerce giant Amazon faced pressure from employees to cut ties with Peter Thiel’s Palantir, a data mining firm that is employed by ICE in its efforts to carry out deportations. Amazon employees are now circulating a letter from June 2018 in which they called for executives to ban Palantir from Amazon Web Services; Palantir’s software utilizes Amazon’s cloud computing unit.