Sen. Hawley Keeps Hammer Down on Google

Freshman Senator Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) continues to press Google on its reluctance to continue working with the Defense Department on a military project while working with China on artificial intelligence, which Defense Department officials argue could help the Chinese military. 

According to Hawley's office, he fired off a letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai following a meeting between Google execs and President Trump--and Defense Department officials--over the issue Google's decision not to renew a contract with the Defense Department to use AI to improve military drones--some employees had argued working on the military project conflicted with Google's corporate values. 

Related: Sen. Hawley Stakes Out, Stalks, Big Tech 

When pressed by Hawley during a Hill hearing two weeks ago, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford agreed with Hawley that Google's relationship with China is problematic. 

Sen. Hawley: Big Tech's Sweetheart Deal Must End 

"I understand that today you have met with General Dunford and the President of the United States to address these concerns," Hawley wrote Pichai. "Now meet with the American people by addressing publicly the work your company does in China, the benefits it may provide to the Chinese government and military, and your reluctance to partner or aid the Armed Forces of the United States."     

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.