In my Observer column last Sunday I contrasted the old military-industrial complex that so worried President Eisenhower with the emerging military-information complex (the core of which consists of the four Internet giants: Google, Facebook, Yahoo and Microsoft). What I should have guessed is that the two complexes are beginning to merge.
Consider, for example, this interesting Pando Daily piece by Yasha Levine, which says, in part:
Last week, I detailed how Google does much more than simply provide us civvies with email and search apps. It sells its tech to enhance the surveillance operations of the biggest and most powerful intel agencies in the world: NSA, FBI, CIA, DEA and NGA — the whole murky alphabet soup.
In some cases — like the company’s dealings with the NSA and its sister agency, the NGA — Google deals with government agencies directly. But in recent years, Google has increasingly taken the role of subcontractor: selling its wares to military and intelligence agencies by partnering with established military contractors. It’s a very deliberate strategy on Google’s part, allowing it to more effectively sink its hooks into the nepotistic, old boy government networks of America’s military-intelligence-industrial complex.
Over the past decade, Google Federal (as the company’s D.C. operation is called) has partnered up with old school establishment military contractors like Lockheed Martin, as well as smaller boutique outfits — including one closely connected to the CIA and former mercenary firm, Blackwater.
This approach began around 2006.
Around that time, Google Federal began beefing up its lobbying muscle and hiring sales reps with military/intelligence/contractor work experience — including at least one person, enterprise manager Jim Young, who used to work for the CIA. The company then began making the rounds, seeking out partnerships with with established military contractors. The goal was to use their deep connections to the military-industrial complex to hard sell Google technology.
Don’t you just love that corporate moniker: Google Federal! So now we have a tripartite complex: military-industrial-information.