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Obama urged to halt Google government takeover

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Cade Metz
The Register
Saturday, June 6, 2009

Two consumer watchdogs – including the aptly-named Consumer Watchdog – have urged US President Barack Obama to avoid appointing Google’s director of global public policy as the country’s deputy chief technology officer.

According to various press reports, Obama is set to fill the new deputy CTO post with über-Googler Andrew McLaughlin, who took hold of the company’s public-policy efforts roughly five years ago after a stint at ICANN.

Google has confirmed that McLaughlin has left the company. And Consumer Watchdog has joined the Center for Digital Democracy in firing a letter (PDF) at Obama, asking the leader of the free world to stop the appointment before it happens. With an executive order, Obama moved to destroy the revolving door between the executive branch and corporate lobbyists, and the growling watchdogs argue that a McLaughlin appointment would undermine those efforts.

“Mr. McLaughlin’s appointment, we believe, must be evaluated in the context of the strong ethical rules your administration has implemented to end the revolving door between lobbyists and the executive branch,” the letter reads. “Given Mr. McLaughlin’s role over the years at Google, and most recently his position with its political action committee, any post at the White House would violate the intent of your executive order.

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This article was posted: Saturday, June 6, 2009 at 3:26 am





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