06:29 GMT07 March 2021
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    Hillary Clinton has hired Stephanie Hannon, Google’s director of product management for civic innovation and social impact, as chief technology officer for her potential presidential campaign, fueling accusations from Julian Assange that Google is in bed with the US government.

    "Google will be an important factor in the US elections of 2016," Assange said via video conference at a Madrid presentation for his book "When Google met WikiLeaks,” last year.

    Hannon does not appear to have any political campaign experience, but was part of the team who built Google Maps, including developing the transit tool that incorporates planning trips by public transportation.

    She’ll be working out of the New York City campaign office overseeing a team that will be building websites, apps, and other tools that the presidential hopeful will use to fundraise and connect with supporters, as well as “capture information about them,” the Washington Post reported.

    Assange claims that Google has been heavily tied to the United States government going all the way back to 2002, and that many on the team at Google are closely linked to US foreign policy.  He also notes that Google is the number one lobbyist in the United States, spending the most money to influence members of Congress.

    "It should be noted that the ties [of Google] with Hillary Clinton are especially strong. Many of those employed by Google have previously worked as her advisers or assistants," Assange said.

    WikiLeaks has also pointed out that Google was active in the controversial mass electronic surveillance data mining program PRISM, which was launched in 2007 by the NSA.

    "On the structural level, Google currently acts like the NSA, like a bait to lure as many users as it can and gather all the information about them – where they are, what they are searching for, what do they do in the networks. It creates "user profiles" and passes the information to US government," Assange stated.

    In June 2007, Assange met with Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, as well as the director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen, and the duo was accompanied by the vice president of the US Council on Foreign Relations Lisa Shields (Schmidt’s girlfriend) and current Department of State advisor Scott Malcomson.  Cohen had previously worked as an advisor for Hillary Clinton.  Assange has claimed that when the conversation turned to speaking about the accountability of WikiLeaks, Schmidt was not just there to represent Google.

    "The delegation that visited me was one fourth Google and three fourths the US Department of Foreign Affairs," Assange said.

    “It was at this point that I realized Eric Schmidt might not have been an emissary of Google alone. Whether officially or not, he had been keeping some company that placed him very close to Washington, DC, including a well-documented relationship with President Obama. Not only had Hillary Clinton’s people known that Eric Schmidt’s partner had visited me, but they had also elected to use her as a back channel. While WikiLeaks had been deeply involved in publishing the inner archive of the US State Department, the US State Department had, in effect, snuck into the WikiLeaks command center and hit me up for a free lunch.” Assange wrote in his book.


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    lobbyists, 2016 US Presidential Run, presidential elections, White House, Google, NSA, Hillary Clinton, US, Julian Assange
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