Google, the world's leading corporation for technological innovation has placed itself at the very frontline of public concern for the collection and sharing of our personal information.
In cooperation with secretive programs authorized by FISA and the Patriot Act, Google acts as a proxy for the U.S. Government to violate our 4th Amendment Rights to the protection from unwarranted and unreasonable searches and seizures.
Though Google publicly denies any wrong-doing, the very laws that govern the secret collection of our personal data and meta-data also forbid companies like Google from revealing to the public how much and how wide-spread the sharing of our information really is.
Google says that the government does not have direct access to their server and data base, but how can we believe this? And what of indirect or back door access to the data they collect? Just how secure is the personal information they collect from their users? And WHY do they need to collect and store this information in the first place?
Google says it does not spy on its users, however it is well documented that the CIA has heavily funded Google from its earliest stages. So how are we to believe these organizations that pride themselves on their secrecy? We demand full transparency from Google, and the immediate stoppage of data sharing.
To this, we would like to pose the question of how, if corporations like Google, who behave as de facto agencies for the Federal Government, can claim the rights of personhood under the law?
Corporate personhood has proven to allow our government – in collusion and cooperation with companies such as Google – the ability to sidestep the Constitution and therefore we say, Corporations Are Not People. Corporate personhood is unconstitutional and we demand that this status be abolished.
Locally, here in Venice, the home to Google’s Southern California office, Google is also a part of a system that is gentrifying our community.
Google brings with it the redevelopment of all of North Venice to cater to their upwardly mobile employees, with high-end shops, restaurants and luxury apartments that infringe on the neighborhoods of our lowest income families. Google brings with it a lot of prestige and money, but no jobs and no opportunities for the poorest in our community, who need it the most.
If Google is to be in Venice, then Venice demands that Google behave as a good neighbor and give back to Venice, and to our low income families that have called Venice home for generations.
To address these issues, on Wednesday, June 12, 2013, POWER (People Organized for Westside Renewal) delivered a letter to Google in Venice, to call for a meeting to discuss these important issues and to find ways that Google can become part of the solution.
We now wait on Google’s response. Until then, we would like to put the company on notice, Google: We’re Watching You!