04 Feb 2020 Google’s Threat to America’s Founding Principles
In late March, a case brought by one Big Tech giant against another – Google LLC v. Oracle America Inc. – will be argued before the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court. At issue is whether or not Google’s theft of Oracle’s Java code for the Android smartphone operating system is a violation of property rights.
In a commentary featured on the Issues & Insights website, National Center General Counsel and Free Enterprise Project (FEP) Director Justin Danhof, Esq., writes that this case “further demonstrates Google’s tyrannical tendencies.” He suggests that the Court rule against Google to strike back at the company’s “pattern of illicit behavior [that] threaten[s] the future of copyright law.”
And Justin notes that this is just one example of how Google necessarily has cast aside its former motto of “Don’t be Evil,” since corporate leadership “can’t make such a claim with a straight face.”
Shockingly, as Justin explains, Google’s assault on property rights might be one of its lesser assaults on America’s founding principles.
There have been multiple revelations about how the company sought to lend support to Hillary Clinton and tried to defeat Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election. Video and memos obtained and made public by Breitbart and by Google leaders and employees demonstrate that Google staff were actively engaged in electioneering.
That any company has the power to sway a national election should frighten all Americans. And that a company would use such power should offend us all.
Justin’s thoughts are not just a product of Internet research and regurgitation. Through FEP, he has actually taken on Google personally at its annual shareholder meetings and utilizing behind-the-scenes activism. FEP has put shareholder proposals on the company’s proxy statement and has held its leadership to account with tough questions.
In recent years, it is hard to fathom a greater bully than Google. During its first shareholder meeting following Trump’s victory, I asked Eric Schmidt, then chairman of Google’s parent company Alphabet, if conservatives and their worldviews were welcome at the company. Schmidt dismissed my question by wildly claiming that everyone at the company – and indeed the collective tech industry – was in unanimous agreement politically and philosophically. After the meeting, however, a strange thing happened: I started to receive emails from “closeted” conservative Google employees thanking me for standing up for them. I remember thinking that these emails sounded like they were written by folks in prison.
Not long after the shareholder meeting, Google engineer James Damore penned his now-famous memo calling on the company to take strides in achieving true diversity rather than just hiring and promoting based on skin color and race. Google, ever the oppressor, fired him. The message was clear: dissent is not welcome in Mountain View, California.
To read all of Justin’s Issues & Insights commentary – “When the Bully Controls the Search” – click here.