President Donald Trump said Tuesday that his administration will look into whether Google is working with the Chinese government after billionaire and Facebook board member Peter Thiel accused the Silicon Valley giant of doing so.
“Billionaire Tech Investor Peter Thiel believes Google should be investigated for treason. He accuses Google of working with the Chinese Government.” the president tweeted, quoting the Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends.
“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) July 16, 2019
“A great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone!” he added of Thiel.
“The Trump Administration will take a look!” he concluded.
Speaking Sunday at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C., Thiel, one of the president’s biggest supporters in the technology space, raised three questions that the search engine giant should be asked, according to Axios.
“Number one, how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI (artificial intelligence)?” asked Thiel. “Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?”
The billionaire said those questions “need to be asked by the FBI, by the CIA.”
“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,” he said.
Breitbart News tech correspondent Lucas Nolan reported:
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 Gooogle 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 response to Thiel’s remarks, a Google spokesperson told CNBC: “As we have said before, we do not work with the Chinese military.”