Google, according to a major tech executive, is not a “patriotic company.”
The charge comes from Joe Lonsdale, a co-founder of Palantir Technologies with Peter Thiel, who on Sunday called for an investigation of the “seemingly treasonous” acts of Google.
CNBC reported Monday that Lonsdale called Thiel “courageous” for speaking out.
“Google is not a patriotic company,” he told the network.
Lonsdale, in a CNBC interview, was responding to the backlash against Thiel for his criticism of Google.
He said the FBI and CIA should investigate whether Chinese intelligence has infiltrated Google.
Thiel was speaking at a meeting in Washington of the National Conservatism Conference when he raised questions about Google’s relationship with China.
“Number one, how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI (artificial intelligence)?” he said. “Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?”
He said those questions should be asked by the FBI and CIA.
“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the US military,” Thiel said, according to Axios.
A Google official claimed the company does not work with the Chinese military.
Lonsdale later told CNBC’s “Squawk Alley,” “Everyone in [Silicon] Valley knows that the Chinese government is very involved.
“It’s something we don’t talk about a lot. It was very courageous of [Thiel] to talk about it.”
CNBC reported Lonsdale also commented on Google’s contract with the Defense Department, which expired earlier this year and was not renewed.
When Google made the choice “we’re not going to help the U.S., but we’re going to continue to work in China,” it was very clear, he said.