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At this point, the delegation was one part Google, three parts US foreign-policy establishment, but I was still none the wiser. Handshakes out of the way, we got down to business. Schmidt was a good foil. His questions often skipped to the heart of the matter, betraying a powerful nonverbal structural intelligence.
It was the same intellect that had abstracted software-engineering principles to scale Google into a megacorp, ensuring that the corporate infrastructure always met the rate of growth. This was a person who understood how to build and maintain systems : systems of information and systems of people.
My world was new to him, but it was also a world of unfolding human processes, scale, and information flows.
I found Cohen a good listener, but a less interesting thinker, possessed of that relentless conviviality that routinely afflicts career generalists and Rhodes scholars. As you would expect from his foreign-policy background, Cohen had a knowledge of international flash points and conflicts and moved rapidly between them, detailing different scenarios to test my assertions. But it sometimes felt as if he was riffing on orthodoxies in a way that was designed to impress his former colleagues in official Washington.
Malcomson, older, was more pensive, his input thoughtful and generous. Shields was quiet for much of the conversation, taking notes, humoring the bigger egos around the table while she got on with the real work. As the interviewee I was expected to do most of the talking. I sought to guide them into my worldview. To their credit, I consider the interview perhaps the best I have given. I was out of my comfort zone and I liked it. We ate and then took a walk in the grounds, all the while on the record.
I asked Eric Schmidt to leak US government information requests to WikiLeaks, and he refused, suddenly nervous, citing the illegality of disclosing Patriot Act requests. And then as the evening came on it was done and they were gone, back to the unreal, remote halls of information empire, and I was left to get back to my work.
About the Secretary
That was the end of it, or so I thought. For three-quarters of a year we had painstakingly managed the publication, pulling in over a hundred global media partners, distributing documents in their regions of influence, and overseeing a worldwide, systematic publication and redaction system, fighting for maximum impact for our sources. I decided it was necessary to bring forward our publication schedule by four months and contact the State Department to get it on record that we had given them advance warning.
The situation would then be harder to spin into another legal or political assault.jira.uptrail.com/9234-smartphone-tracking.php
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Predictably, this statement was initially greeted with bureaucratic disbelief. We soon found ourselves in a reenactment of that scene in Dr. Strangelove , where Peter Sellers cold-calls the White House to warn of an impending nuclear war and is immediately put on hold. He told us he would call us back. We hung up, and waited. When the phone rang half an hour later, it was not the State Department on the other end of the line.
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He had just received an email from Lisa Shields seeking to confirm that it was indeed WikiLeaks calling the State Department. He could be placed in Egypt during the revolution, meeting with Wael Ghonim, the Google employee whose arrest and imprisonment hours later would make him a PR-friendly symbol of the uprising in the Western press. Meetings had been planned in Palestine and Turkey, both of which—claimed Stratfor emails—were killed by the senior Google leadership as too risky.
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State Department cables released as part of Cablegate reveal that Cohen had been in Afghanistan in , trying to convince the four major Afghan mobile phone companies to move their antennas onto US military bases. This sounds like a great idea. But if it was ever true, it has not been for decades.
The last forty years has seen a huge proliferation of think tanks and political NGOs whose purpose, beneath all the verbiage, is to execute political agendas by proxy. Eric Schmidt was born in Washington, DC, where his father had worked as a professor and economist for the Nixon Treasury. He attended high school in Arlington, Virginia, before graduating with a degree in engineering from Princeton. By the time he left Sun, sixteen years later, he had become part of its executive leadership.
There was nothing politically hapless about Eric Schmidt. I had been too eager to see a politically unambitious Silicon Valley engineer, a relic of the good old days of computer science graduate culture on the West Coast. On a personal level, Schmidt and Cohen are perfectly likable people. And that is a problem. Google is "different".
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Google is "visionary". Google is "the future". Google is "more than just a company". Google "gives back to the community". Google is "a force for good". In , Google arrived on the list of top-spending Washington, DC, lobbyists—a list typically stalked exclusively by the US Chamber of Commerce, military contractors, and the petrocarbon leviathans. In Autumn the Obama administration was trying to drum up support for US airstrikes against Syria. Despite setbacks, the administration continued to press for military action well into September with speeches and public announcements by both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry.
Secretary Kerry answers questions on Syria. Today via Hangout at 2pm ET. If anything has changed since those words were written, it is that Silicon Valley has grown restless with that passive role , aspiring instead to adorn the "hidden fist" like a velvet glove. Writing in , Schmidt and Cohen stated,.
This was one of many bold assertions made by Schmidt and Cohen in their book, which was eventually published in April By the time it came out, I had formally sought and received political asylum from the government of Ecuador, and taken refuge in its embassy in London. At that point I had already spent nearly a year in the embassy under police surveillance, blocked from safe passage out of the UK. Billed as a visionary forecast of global technological change, the book failed to deliver—failed even to imagine a future, good or bad, substantially different to the present.
The scholarship was poor—even degenerate. It did not seem to fit the profile of Schmidt, that sharp, quiet man in my living room. But reading on I began to see that the book was not a serious attempt at future history. It was a love song from Google to official Washington. For an American internet services monopoly to ensure global market dominance it cannot simply keep doing what it is doing, and let politics take care of itself.
American strategic and economic hegemony becomes a vital pillar of its market dominance. For these emails and more, see the collection of sources at when. This email is included in the collection of sources at when. This cable is included in the collection of sources at when.
In May , WikiLeaks revealed that the NSA had gained access to all Afghan mobile phone calls and was recording all of them for later retrieval. Collection available at: archive. See also the collection of sources at when. For more on Jared Cohen from the WikiLeaks archives see archive.
So Jared Cohen was at DoS then and played a major role in starting the organization. The main goal was just spreading the good word about the US. The Sourcewatch. Edelman, Inc.
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For the sponsors of Movements. See also a screenshot of the results listed for Eric and Wendy Schmidt on the Open Secrets website, archive. Rita E. Hauser profile on the New America Foundation website: archive. Jonathan Soros profile on the New America Foundation website: archive. Helene D. Gayle profile on the New America Foundation website: archive. Daniel Yergin profile on the New America Foundation website: archive. See the full board of directors on the New America Foundation website: archive. It is time for US President Barack Obama to demonstrate that he can order the offensive use of force in circumstances other than secret drone attacks or covert operations.
The result will change the strategic calculus not only in Damascus, but also in Moscow, not to mention Beijing and Tokyo. Jared Cohen has retweeted approval for Slaughter on the issue. In , Palantir was involved in the HBGary scandal, having been exposed as part of a group of contractors proposing to take down WikiLeaks. White House visitor records are available from its website, archive. Partially, this is a vestigial ethic from the Californian libertarian origins of online pro-privacy campaigning.
Partially, it is a symptom of the superior public relations enjoyed by Silicon Valley technology corporations, and the fact that those corporations also provide the bulk of private funding for the flagship digital privacy advocacy groups, leading to a conflict of interest. At the individual level, many of even the most committed privacy campaigners have an unacknowledged addiction to easy-to-use, privacy-destroying amenities like Gmail, Facebook and Apple products. As a result, privacy campaigners frequently overlook corporate surveillance abuses.