Google CEO Sundar Pichai is expected to be grilled on Capitol Hill Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee as Republicans seek answers to allegations of conservative censorship and the company’s data filtering practices.
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Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) told FOX Business that it is important for Congress to shed a light on Google’s business practices that has allowed it to become a dominant force in the market.
“We need to make sure that we expose what their practices are and we are very pleased that Mr. Pichai is coming to answer these questions,” Congressman Goodlatte said. “He’s going to be put on the spot with a lot of tough questions and the answers are difficult.”
Google is facing pushback over its plans for Project Dragonfly, a censored search engine in China. Goodlatte said American tech companies bare a responsibility to stand for the principles of free speech and privacy when conducting businesses with foreign adversaries.
“Google needs to be held accountable for, if they are going to do business in China, people need to be aware of what terms they are doing it on” he said.
In a prepared statement ahead of the congressional hearing on Tuesday, Pichai said Google values the morals and freedoms that has allowed the search engine to serve its users.
“Even as we expand into new markets we never forget our American roots,” he wrote. “It’s no coincidence that a company dedicated to the free flow of information was founded right here in the U.S.
Lawmakers have questioned Google’s patriotism after the tech giant passed on a $10 billion Defense Department’s pending cloud storage contract, known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), citing its artificial intelligence principles.
Goodlatte said he plans on asking Pichai why Google decided to move away from supporting the U.S. military.
“Why is it that you and your employees do not want to help the United States’ Department of Defense keep Americans safe and keep all of the issues, trade and free government and so on around the world safe by supporting the needs of our military?,” he said.