Breaking news: Google
OK, that's a joke. You can come out of your survivalist bunker now, and please get rid of that ridiculous tinfoil hat. There is no government statement making Google anything but just another private company, and Google itself makes no claims to working on behalf of the nation.
But Google sure is mixing it up in national and international affairs lately. Take a look:
- The company is setting copyright and publishing standards as well as numerous library policies with its controversial efforts to digitize books and make them searchable. What's next -- revised copyright legislation?
- When Google threatens to move out of the Chinese market, it dang near causes an international incident. Would our secretary of state get involved if Ford
(NYSE:F)stopped selling cars in China, or if Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT)wouldn't develop a Cantonese version of Windows 8? I don't know, but Hillary Rodham Clinton sure stepped in to defend Google's actions.
- Google will send sensitive information about its Web traffic to the National Security Agency in a joint effort to stop international cybercrime. You don't get much deeper into U.S. affairs without a serious security clearance. Is Google the next Raytheon
(NYSE:RTN)or Lockheed Martin (NYSE:LMT), only with fewer guns and more pocket protectors?
- In the 2008 presidential elections, Google CEO Eric Schmidt actively campaigned for a junior senator from Illinois, and then served on President Obama's transition advisory board. Deep, deep links into the White House here, folks. Google even hosts Q&A sessions with the president through YouTube videos these days.
- While you might expect the likes of Google, Amazon.com
(NASDAQ:AMZN), and eBay (NASDAQ:EBAY)to lobby for an open Internet, Google also asks our leaders to finance clean energy research. How many search engines do you see on that campaign trail?
Some of us might get nervous when one company with no ties to the defense industry gets this involved in how the nation is run. Me, I see a responsible business that isn't afraid to do the right thing even if it hurts, or to ask for change when there's something wrong on a national or even global level. The "don't be evil" mantra is more than just hot air.
That's what I think. How about you? Vent your spleen or wax poetic over Google's government ties in the comments section below.
Fool contributor Anders Bylund owns shares in Google, but he holds no other position in any of the companies discussed here. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Google is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers choice. Amazon.com, eBay, and Ford Motor are Motley Fool Stock Advisor recommendations. Motley Fool Options has recommended a bull call spread position on eBay and a diagonal call position on Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days. You can check out Anders' holdings and a concise bio if you like, and The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.