This alarming claim was made during his in interviews with the BBC and Sky News. The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has accused Google of behaving like a “privatised version of the NSA” in the way it gathers, saves, and indexes people’s data.
However, it’s not new issue. Google related apps and games collect personal information, daily, about their users.
Quoting from a report by the Guardian:
“Some apps, the documents state, can share users’ most sensitive information such as sexual orientation – and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.”
The New York Times also reported:
“It effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system.”
Speaking from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has lived since June 2012 under political asylum, Assange clearyly explains how Google works, saying:
“Google’s business model is the spy. It makes more than 80 percent of its money by collecting information about people, pooling it together, storing it, indexing it, building profiles of people to predict their interests and behavior, and then selling those profiles principally to advertisers, but also others.
So the result is that Google, in terms of how it works, its actual practice, is almost identical to the National Security Agency or GCHQ.”
As the whistleblower Edward Snowden exposed that the US National Security Agency (NSA) have been spying on millions of people worldwide, Julian Assange confirmed and made a compare between Google and NSA, remarking that ‘Google is deeply involved in US foreign policy’.
Quoting from Assange interviews:
“They are formally listed as part of the defense industrial base since 2009. They have been engaged with the Prism system, where nearly all information collected by Google is available to the NSA. At the institutional level, Google is deeply involved in US foreign policy.
Google has tricked people into believing that it is “a playful, humane organization” and not a “big, bad US corporation, but in fact it has become just that… it is now arguably the most influential commercial organization.
Google has now spread to every country, every single person, who has access to the internet.”
He also added that Google has been working with the NSA since 2002, and is included as part of the defense industrial base since 2009. He said:
“Google has become, in its behavior, a privatized version of the NSA. It’s not that it’s doing things that are illegal. It’s not.
That is the same procedure that the National Security Agency or GCHQ goes through, and that’s why the National Security Agency has then latched on top of what Google is collecting.
Google has been involved since at least 2002 working with the NSA; in terms of contracts they are formally listed as part of the defense industrial base. Since 2009 they’ve been engaged in the PRISM system where information collected by Google, nearly all information collected by Google, is available to the National Security Agency.
Google has been reasonably successful in the U.S. debate shifting its collaboration with the NSA towards the NSA itself.”
During his time at the Ecuadorian Embassy, the 43-year-old Australian, Assange, has been preparing his new book titled “When Google Met WikiLeaks,” which includes details about his meeting with Google chairman, Eric Schmidt in 2011.
There are good reasons to be nervous about Google (such as their efforts to buy up many robotics and AI companies), although the company occasionally demonstrates some saving grace. Despite gathering and selling our data wholesale, they have previously sued the United States government for the right to inform customers about what data they decide to share with the NSA and friends.