Wednesday, July 19, 2017

"Those reports on Google funding academic research may be 99% nonsense — but we should talk about that 1%"


So let’s talk a bit about the Google Transparency Project. Its parent organization, the Campaign for Accountability, has only existed for about two years (lengthy Wikipedia entry notwithstanding), and therefore hasn’t had to file IRS Form 990 yet, the main way that non-profits disclose their funding and other financial records to the government and to the public. In fact, the Campaign’s only known funder is Oracle, which has been waging a well-documented legal and media relations battle against Google for years.


Again, the Campaign for Accountability’s only known funder is Oracle, and as I tweeted earlier this week, academics are just collateral damage in the Oracle/Google wars. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the GTP report and the first set of stories based on it went up just in time for the Net Neutrality Day of Action. Support for net neutrality is one of the few major policy differences between Google and many other ICT companies. I strongly suspect that part of the goal here is to undermine policy research and advocacy that support net neutrality.