Google is “directly engaged” with the presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton, Wikileaks’ Julian Assange stated during an international forum Tuesday.
Speaking to the “New Era of Journalism: Farewell to Mainstream” symposium, hosted at Moscow’s Rossiya Segodnya International Multimedia Press Center, the Wikileaks founder warned of the tech giant’s close involvement with both Hillary as well as the Washington power structure.
“[Google] is directly engaged in Hillary Clinton’s campaign,” Assange said. “The chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt, set up a company to run the digital component of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”
As reported by Quartz in late 2015, an under-the-radar startup known as “The Groundwork” was funded by Schmidt “to ensure that Clinton has the engineering talent needed to win the election.”
By utilizing “data analytics and digital outreach as vital ingredients that allow candidates to find, court, and turn out critical voter blocs,” The Groundwork could significantly boost Clinton’s exposure.
“Groundwork has been tasked with building the technological infrastructure to ingest massive amounts of information about voters, and develop tools that will help the campaign target them for fundraising, advertising, outreach, and get-out-the-vote efforts,” the article states.
Assange went on to further build his case by noting the prevalence of Google power players that emerged in the former secretary of state’s emails as well.
“We should understand that Google… is intensely aligned with U.S. exceptionalism… personally at the top aligned with Hillary Clinton’s election campaign and almost certainly once Hillary Clinton becomes president, those people in Google, like Jared Cohen, will be placed into positions around the new Clinton presidency…”
Cohen, the founder of “Google Ideas,” a foreign policy-focused think tank now known as “Jigsaw,” was revealed in the email release to be collaborating with Clinton and media outlet Al Jazeera in an attempt to facilitate regime change in Syria.
“Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from,” Cohen wrote.
“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.”
Google’s dominance over digital information, according to senior research psychologists, could even sway the election – a disturbing premise given the tech juggernaut’s proclivity for Clinton.
“Through five experiments in two countries, they found that biased rankings in search results can shift the opinions of undecided voters by 20% or more, sometimes even reaching as high as 80% in some demographic groups,” writes Fortune’s Michael Addady. “If Google tweaks its algorithm to show more positive search results for a candidate, the researchers say, the searcher may form a more positive opinion of him or her.”
Controlling the majority of the world’s smart phones, Assange adds, raises even more serious concerns in light of the company’s growing and monopolistic influence.
“Google controls 80 percent of the smart phone market through its control of Android and if you control the device itself – that people use to read – then anything that they connect to through that device you have control over as well.”
Although the tech empire’s political leanings are relatively well known, its ties to power are most obvious not in Clinton but in current President Barack Obama.
“Google has gotten into bed with the Obama administration in a very significant way,” Assange stated. “It is the company that visits the White House more than any other – averaged once per week in the last 4 years.”
As noted by The Intercept’s David Dayen in April, between “January 2009 and October 2015, Google staffers gathered at the White House on 427 separate occasions.”
“All told, 182 White House employees and 169 Google employees attended the meetings, with participation from almost every domestic policy and national security player in the West Wing,” Dayen writes.
Wikileaks, which has been targeted by Clinton continually for its release of sensitive documents, remains heavily engaged in the 2016 election – most notably with its searchable database archive for over 30,000 emails sent to and from Clinton’s private email server.