- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 18, 2019

Former Obama Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Thursday echoed concerns about Google potentially helping China’s military.

“If you’re working in China, you don’t know whether you’re working on a project for the military or not,” Mr. Carter said on CNBC. “There is a duty to this country. We’re in debt to the society that we live in.”

Mr. Carter, who also served as an adviser in the George W. Bush administration, was responding to tech investor Peter Thiel’s accusation that Google has made a “seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the U.S. military.”

Mr. Thiel, a prominent supporter of President Trump, has asked for a government investigation, and Mr. Trump said his administration will “take a look” at the claim.

“He made a very big statement about Google. … When you say that, you know, Google is involved with China in not a very positive way for our country,” the president said in a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. “I know that our other agencies will be looking at it. And we’ll see if there’s any truth to it. But that’s a very big statement, made by somebody who’s highly respected.”

Google has denied working for China’s military.

Mr. Carter didn’t characterize Google’s actions as “treasonous,” but he said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box” that Google made a “mistake” in not moving ahead with the Pentagon’s work on artificial intelligence. Its contract with the Defense Department expired this year and wasn’t renewed.

Mr. Trump has said he plans to call in the heads of big-tech companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter for a White House meeting soon over concerns that the social-media platforms are treating conservatives unfairly.

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