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Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt To Testify Before Senate Committee After Yearlong Campaign By Consumer Watchdog For Congressional Hearings

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Fri, Jul 8, 2011 at 3:08 pm

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Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt To Testify Before Senate Committee After Yearlong Campaign By Consumer Watchdog For Congressional Hearings

SANTA MONICA, CA  – Google’s Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee’s antitrust subcommittee in September the committee said today. The announcement comes after an intensive campaign by Consumer Watchdog to require Schmidt’s sworn testimony before Congress that included two widely viewed satirical videos.

Watch the satirical video “Mr Schmidt goes to Washington,” which debuted last January in Washington on a mobile digital billboard, here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/video/mr-schmidt-goes-washington

Watch the first video, “Don’t Be Evil?” launched on a Times Square digital billboard, here:
http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/video/google-dont-be-evil

“A top Google executive will finally face serious questioning about the company’s behavior,” said John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog’s Privacy Project. “Schmidt was CEO for the past decade, so it’s appropriate he be called.  Now that Larry Page has taken over that position, he should also be held accountable and be required to testify as well. Given Google’s inconsistencies between actions and statements in the past, we trust Schmidt’s testimony will be given under oath.”

The nonprofit, nonpartisan public interest group first called for Schmidt to appear to explain the Internet giant’s Wi-Spy scandal in which its Street View cars gathered information from private Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries.  Consumer Watchdog has also pushed for a full-blown antitrust investigation of Google, which the Federal Trade Commission recently launched.

Consumer Watchdog has been calling for Schmidt’s sworn testimony before Congress for over a year. The two popular online satirical animated videos making the case for his testimony  have received more than half a million views.

Last month when Schmidt and Page declined to testify and Google offered Chief Counsel David Drummond, Consumer Watchdog said the full Senate Judiciary Committee should subpoena the two top executives.

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Consumer Watchdog is a non-partisan public interest organization with offices in Santa Monica, CA and Washington, D.C.  For more information, visit us on the web at http://www.ConsumerWatchdog.org

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This post was written by:

John M. Simpson

- who has written 362 posts on Inside Google.

John M. Simpson is a leading voice on technological privacy and stem cell research issues. His investigations this year of Google’s online privacy practices and book publishing agreements triggered intense media scrutiny and federal interest in the online giant’s business practices. His critique of patents on human embryonic stem cells has been key to expanding the ability of American scientists to conduct stem cell research. He has ensured that California’s taxpayer-funded stem cell research will lead to broadly accessible and affordable medicine and not just government-subsidized profiteering. Prior to joining Consumer Watchdog in 2005, he was executive editor of Tribune Media Services International, a syndication company. Before that, he was deputy editor of USA Today and editor of its international edition. Simpson taught journalism a Dublin City University in Ireland, and consulted for The Irish Times and The Gleaner in Jamaica. He served as president of the World Editors Forum. He holds a B.A. in philosophy from Harpur College of SUNY Binghamton and was a Gannett Fellow at the Center for Asian and Pacific Studies at the University of Hawaii. He has an M.A. in Communication Management from USC’s Annenberg School for Communication.

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