On the Opening of Google’s New Public Policy Office

by on January 18, 2008 · 0 comments

Today the Cato Daily Digest is pointing people to an essay by David Boaz titled “Parasite Economy Latches onto New Host.” Thus we celebrate the opening of Google’s new policy office here in Washington, D.C.

I celebrated the traditional way also, by attending last night’s party. It was typically Googley, with good food, drinks in glowing glasses with curly straws, etc.

Happily, late in the evening, I got a chance to talk to a Googler very high in the food chain, and delivered (eloquently, I’m sure) the same message I delivered at Wednesday’s AFF forum: If Google wants not to be evil, it should openly and strongly oppose the government’s claimed authority to issue “National Security Letters.”

NSLs are alien to our constitution, of course, but Google has a business interest in ending them as well. Its office strategy is not viable while the government can credibly claim a right to unilaterally access data.

Its interesting, the faraway look people get in their eyes when you tell them what they should do, they know you’re right, and they’re not going to do it.

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