Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Pichai in the dock; Google accused of spying for China by the US Congress

As is known, the four biggies, the wealthiest people in the world, are presently being cross-examined by the United States Congress. Yes, you got it! These are top men of Amazon, Facebook, Google and Apple, namely Jeff Bezos, Mrk Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Tim Cook.

Washington Post has today published a lowdown in the first session of testimony on Wednesday which is probing their antitrust excesses.

Even as we don’t overlook the fact that Washington Post is owned by Amazon boss, Jeff Bezos, the testimony-session is worth keeping an eye.

As per Post, Google chief Sundar Pichai in particular had a harrowing time in front of the Congressmen and their barrage of probing questions.

Google was accused not just of antitrust violations but also of theft, aid to the Chinese military surveillance of Americans, killing off news publishers, lying to Congress and betraying the United States.

Some of the questions went like this:

“Why does Google steal content from honest business?”

 “Any business that wants to be found on the Web must pay Google a tax.”

“Maybe it’s that your company is aligned with the Chinese Communist Party’s corporate espionage policies where the strategy is to steal whatever can’t be produced domestically.”

“Google buys up companies for the purpose of surveilling Americans, and because of Google’s dominance users have no choice but to surrender.”

The point was made in the session that Google had pulled out of an artificial-intelligence project with the US military.

“Peter Thiel (co-founder of PayPal) said that Google’s activities with China are treasonous. He accused you of treason,” the question was directed at Pichai, “Why would an American company with American values so directly aid the Chinese military but have ethical concerns about working alongside the US Military?”

Washington Post claims that Pichai, an American Indian, was extremely evasive.

Lawmakers were said to have done their homework very well.

Bezos was accused of bullying third-party sellers, selling counterfeit goods and using anticompetitive practices to drive competitors out of business.

Zuckerberg was accused of violating antitrust law in buying Instagram and spreading disinformation and destroying journalism

Cook was accused of abusive practices with Apple’s App Store.

But Google’s Pichai faced the worst music in nearly six-hour hearing. It was alleged that Google had become the gateway to the Internet. It used its surveillance to identify competitive threats and crushed them.”

Post claims that there was rare bipartisan accord in hostility toward Google.

Pichai was told that “a lot of Americans have lost faith in Google.”

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