Donald Trump has said his administration will probe accusations that Google has been infiltrated after working with China’s military, days after billionaire entrepreneur Peter Thiel called for the tech giant to be investigated.
The US president tweeted on Tuesday that he would “take a look” at Thiel’s assertion that Google was in cahoots with Beijing and should face a federal investigation. During a speech on Sunday, the co-founder of PayPal urged the FBI and CIA to take action, suggesting that Google may be “thoroughly infiltrated” by Chinese intelligence. Thiel failed to provide evidence when pressed further about his incendiary claims, stressing that he was simply “raising questions” about Google’s relationship with Beijing.
“Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason. He accuses Google of working with the Chinese Government.” @foxandfriends A great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone! The Trump Administration will take a look!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 16 июля 2019 г.
Peter Thiel tells Tucker Carlson that Chinese state security is “likely” to have inflitrated Google, but once again offers no proof beyond conjecture.
“it’s just hidden in plain sight.”
— Teddy Schleifer (@teddyschleifer) 16 июля 2019 г.
Thiel’s ambiguity didn’t appear to bother Trump, however, with the US president describing the tech investor as a “great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone.”
Thiel, a long-time Trump supporter, is not the only public figure to have raised alarm about Google’s alleged ties to the Chinese military. In March, Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, claimed Beijing’s armed forces “indirectly benefited” from Google’s work in China. President Trump has also joined in the chorus of critics, lamenting in an angry tweet in March that “Google is helping China and their military, but not the US. Terrible!” Google has denied the claims while highlighting its contracts with the Pentagon. Its relationship with the US government has had its rocky moments, however. The tech giant scrapped a controversial AI project with the Department of Defense in June, after employees raised ethical concerns.
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