It’s a tough call about who is more evil: the government or Google. In this case, it looks like their evilness canceled each other out and became a greater good!
Well, now we’ve learned that one of those who apparently got swept up in the Buzz privacy imbroglio was none other than Andrew McLaughlin, the controversial Deputy Chief Technology Officer in the Obama White House who was formerly Google’s top lobbyist.
McLaughlin works in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and is in charge of all Internet policy for the Administration. The two key components of OSTP’s mission are the creation of an “Open and Transparent Democracy”, and ironically, “Safeguarding the Privacy of Every American” by … “holding businesses accountable for violations of personal privacy.” (More on this in a moment.)
McLaughlin’s Buzz profile (which he quickly made private after his contacts were exposed) is enlightening to say the least. It includes a treasure trove of movers and shakers in high-tech, Internet public policy, and venture capital circles.
But it includes much, much more. At least 28 of the folks Google Buzz pulled from McLaughlin’s Gmail contact list are employed by…Google! And, as you can see from the screenshots below (captured before he made his contact lists private) McLaughlin’s Gmail appears to include a “who’s who” of Google senior lobbyists and lawyers from across the globe:
This story should disturb everyone and surprise no one.
Every totalitarian government have those complicit with their aims. With a statist in charge, Google has found a natural partner in their ownership aims.
In this case, the government got bit by the Google bug. They’ll refine their methods. This kind of information sharing is only good as long as it’s your privacy being violated.
Related from Money: How Google plays the angles in Washington. You don’t say?