Google’s Extensive Financial Supports To Academics & Policy Experts

Posted by Trilok Singh
July 19, 2017

Self-Published

CFA NGO (Campaign for Accountability) Executive Director, Daniel Stevens, “Google uses its immense wealth and power to attempt to influence policy makers at every level. At a minimum, regulators should be aware that the allegedly independent legal and academic work on which they rely has been brought to them by Google.”

National Level, VSSKK NGO Managing Director (MD), Trilok Singh, “CFA is a small nonprofit organization. In contrast, Google is one of the largest, most powerful and richest companies on the planet”. But “Number of International as well as National NGOs Study reports indicates that the highly involvement of Google in order to providing the huge funds for ‘Academic research’, ‘Policy experts’ etc., with the goals of maximizing own business policy interest”… While Leslie Miller, Google’s Director of Public Policy said that, The report is highly misleading. 

VSSKK MD, Oracle has funded many hundreds of articles, research papers, symposia and reports. Oracle is not alone—you can easily find similar activity by companies and organizations funded by competitors, like AT&T, the MPAA, ICOMP, FairSearch and dozens more; including hundreds of pieces directly targeting Google… The irony of discussing disclosures and transparency with the “Campaign for Accountability” is that this group consistently refuses to name its corporate funders like oracle.

Oracle Is Funding a New Anti-Google Group

“Oracle is absolutely a contributor (one of many) to the Transparency Project. This is important information for the public to know. It is 100%  public records and accurate,” Ken Glueck, Senior Vice President of Oracle (ORCL, +0.02%). Oracle’s hidden hand is not a huge surprise since the company has a history of sneaky PR tactics, and is still embroiled in a bitter intellectual property lawsuit with Google (GOOG, +1.26%) . But who are the other contributors? Microsoft, which has run secret anti-Google campaigns in the past, said it is not a contributor.

More significantly, “We think our work speaks for itself. Over the past 18 months, the Google Transparency Project has documented more than 425 White House meetings by Google lobbyists, 250 revolving door hires between Google and government and more than 325 academic papers paid for by the company to help advance its policy interests”.

Recent Reports said that, funded by the company have been authored by academics and economists hailing from some of the nation’s leading law schools and universities, including Stanford, Harvard and MIT, as well as some of the most prestigious universities in Europe, including Oxford, Edinburgh, and the Berlin School of Economics. May be they move towards such as Indian Universities like DU, JNU etc…

Further, We know that The Google-funded studies came from a wide variety of sources, and often blurred the line between academic research and paid advocacy by the company’s consultants. Google has paid scholars millions to produce hundreds of papers supporting its policy interests. Here you may see the e.g.,

More Recently, CFA released a new report, “Google Academics Inc., revealing Google’s extensive financial support for academics and policy experts”. Further, “CFA identified 329+ research papers published between 2005 and 2017 on “Public Policy” matters of interest to Google that were in some way funded by the company… 

Between 2011 and 2013, Google funded academics authored at least 50 studies on antitrust issues. Among others, studies included (See this link) Google and the Limits of Antitrust: The Case Against the Case Against Google, authored by Geoffrey Manne with the International Center for Law & Economics (ICLE) and Joshua Wright from George Mason University and Search, Essential Facilities, and the Antitrust Duty to Deal by Marina Lao at Seton Hall University.

Google-funded studies on copyright issues also surged in 2012, as the company fought anti-piracy bills in Congress. See, Figure : 3.

Leslie Miller, Google’s Director of Public Policy, wrote a blog post responding to Campaign for Accountability’s (CfA) new reportGoogle Academics Inc.  In response, CFA Executive Director, Daniel Stevens, released the following statement.

“Campaign for Accountability released a report about our funding of academic research. It claims to list hundreds of papers we’ve “in some way funded.”  The report is highly misleading. For example, the report attributes to Google any work that was supported by any organization to which we belong or have ever donated (such as CCIA).

Miller, “We run many research programs that provide funding and resources to the external research community. This helps public and private institutions pursue research on important topics in computer science, technology, and a wide range of public policy and legal issues”…

VSSKK MD, Google’s paid-policy research has broad reach and may have influenced policymakers unaware of the company’s role. Google lobbyists and lawyers pushed Google-funded research to journalists, the White House, Congress, and agency regulators investigating its conduct, such as the Federal Trade Commission, often without disclosing that the funding.  Further, “Whenever Google’s bad behavior is exposed, it invariably points the finger at someone else.  Instead of deflecting blame, Google should address its record of academic astroturfing, which puts it in the same league as Big Oil and Big Tobacco etc…

Here, Exploring the full database of papers by Google-funded academics.

While Mr. Stevens, “What’s good for Google is not necessarily good for the country. Google-funded academics should disclose the source of their funding to ensure their work is evaluated in context and the government makes decisions that benefit all Americans, not just Google employees and stockholders.”

Research across Google is advancing the state-of-the-art in almost every domain of computer science. The scale at which Google operates allows research teams integrated throughout Google to pursue work of strategic interest, and makes the innovation behind our products possible…Google publishes hundreds of research papers each year. Publishing is important to us; it enables us to collaborate and share ideas with, as well as learn from, the broader scientific community. Submissions are often made stronger by the fact that ideas have been tested through real product implementation by the time of publication… Let us see whats Next in upcoming year…

Source : trilok.org.in Google’s Extensive Financial Supports To Academics & Policy Experts

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