"Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool… that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from," the email says.
"Our logic behind this is that while many people are tracking the atrocities, nobody is visually representing and mapping the defections, which we believe are important in encouraging more to defect and giving confidence to the opposition."
This system was to be given to Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based international news broadcaster, but not until consulting with senior staff at the US government: "Please keep this very close hold and let me know if there is anything [else] you think we need to account for or think about before we launch. We believe this can have an important impact," the email states.
Among other recipients were deputy secretary of state Bill Burns; Alec Ross, a senior Clinton advisor; and Clinton's deputy chief of staff, Jake Sullivan. Sullivan subsequently forwarded Cohen's email to Clinton, describing it as "a pretty cool idea."
According to the Washington Examiner, Cohen attempted to incite uprisings using social media before he joined "Google Ideas." WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has for years referred to Cohen as Google's "director of regime change."