WASHINGTON, DC — Consumer Watchdog today asked the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee to investigate Google’s misrepresentations about its “cloud computing” services as the Internet giant has tried to sell them to the federal government, as well as state and municipal governments.
In a letter to Darrell Issa, (R-CA), Jamie Court, president of the nonpartisan, nonprofit public interest group, and John M. Simpson, director or its Privacy Project wrote:
“Making misrepresentations to government agencies, particularly involving security clearance, again shows the arrogance of Google engineers, who give little respect to civil society and its accepted rules of conduct. We again urge your committee to hold hearings.”
Recently unsealed federal court filings and Los Angeles City documents have shown that the company has been misrepresenting its so-called “cloud computing” services as it has tried to sell them to federal, state, and local governments. Google claimed its Government Cloud service had Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) certification, when it did not. The U.S. Justice Department pointed out the discrepancy in a brief unsealed last Friday ( http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/doj_brief.pdf ).
Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, in a project Google has tried to portray as a marquee for its government services, the company has failed to deliver on promises to provide the security necessary to put the city police department’s email on the Google system. The failure prompted a notice of deficiency from the city that was revealed this week (http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/googdeficiency.pdf ). The notice to CSC, which is installing the system, and Google said:
“These failures are wholly unacceptable to the City of Los Angeles. CSC and Google have repeatedly committed to meet particular deliverables on specific dates, only to reveal, at the last minute, that the set deliverables/dates will not be met. CSC and Google’s behavior goes beyond a mere failure to communicate in a timely manner, and instead, on several occasions, has risen to the level of misrepresentation.”
Read Consumer Watchdog’s letter to Issa here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrissa041411.pdf
Consumer Watchdog first wrote Issa in January seeking a hearing into how Google inappropriately, benefited from its close ties to the Obama Administration, including how NASA’s Moffett Airfield, near Google’s world headquarters, has been turned into a taxpayer-subsidized private airport for Google executives used for corporate junkets.
Read the report, “Lost in the Cloud: Google and the US Government” here: http://insidegoogle.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/GOOGGovfinal012411.pdf
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Consumer Watchdog, is a nonprofit, nonpartisan consumer advocacy organization with offices in Washington, DC and Santa Monica, CA. Consumer Watchdog’s website is www.consumerwatchdog.org. Visit our new Google Privacy and Accountability Project website: http://insidegoogle.com.