Microsoft and Google collaborating with China, says AG Barr

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Google "G" logo (Image credit: Windows Central)

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Source: Android Central (Image credit: Source: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Attorney General William Barr has blasted U.S. tech companies.
  • He says some corporations have been "too willing to collaborate" with China.
  • He named Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.

U.S. Attorney General William Barr has accused U.S. tech companies of being "too willing" to collaborate with China and the CCP.

As reported by Reuters:

U.S. Attorney General William Barr took aim at Hollywood companies, including Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) on Thursday as well as large technology firms like Apple, Alphabet's Google and Microsoft Corp over company actions with China.

Barr reportedly said that "Corporations such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple have shown themselves all too willing to collaborate with the (Chinese Communist Party)," and also criticized Hollywood for censoring films "to appease the Chinese Communist Party."

Speaking at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum in Michigan, he said "I suspect Walt Disney would be disheartened to see how the company he founded deals with the foreign dictatorships of our day."

Barr also spoke about how, whilst U.S. tech companies tend to focus on their next quarterly earnings report, the CCP "thinks in terms of centuries and decades." He criticized America's big tech companies for allowing themselves "to become pawns of Chinese influence."

Regarding Apple specifically, Barr postulated that Apple's iPhone wouldn't even be sold in China "if they were impervious to penetration by Chinese authorities." Essentially, Barr is accusing Apple of somehow giving the Chinese government some kind of backdoor access to iOS that it doesn't give to America. Apple has repeatedly and publicly stated that it cannot create a backdoor to iOS security without irreversibly compromising the security of iOS.

Barr said that U.S. tech companies should "stand together" against the CCP's "corrupt and dictatorial rule."

Stephen Warwick
  • Yeah, I really care what Trump's attack dog has to say. Doesn't he have some other state AG to fire or case that he needs to force to be dropped?
  • I think Barr takes a lot of heat he doesn't necessarily deserve. It seems to me that his modus-operandi has generally been one of restraint and trying not to overstep his bounds. This is quite rare in modern politics on either side, and nothing like the power grab from the administration. Right now you have both the president and congress trying to set themselves up as kings. Barr is stuck in the middle trying to act constitutionally and is making both sides mad.
  • Barr is Trump's most effective enabler. Hands down. What you're saying is detached from reality.
  • No, that is. Barr is steady, thoughtful, incredibly bright, and a man of integrity. Unlike most in Washington, he's a public servant, not a parasite.
  • Do you really believe that?! Come on! Trump orchestrates everything he does, which is why he was chosen. Thesye is nothing more corrupt than Trump choosing who leads an investigation into himself and Barr didn't recuse himself. That alone is there most anti-American move that Trump has committed. Worse than saying he doesn't like POWs, or failing to take action against Russia targeting our troops.
  • The House Democrats did all they could to destroy Trump -- including using a fake dossier paid for by Hillary and the DNC and coercing Trump associates to frame him -- and came up with zero. Stop being so credulous.
  • Zero, eh? That's funny, although the democrats showed their uselessness in their ineffective 'investigation'. I will let someone more knowledgeable than myself take that one. All I will say is that I bet you also think he's doing a great job leading the nation through this pandemic too, right?
  • I don't do conspiracy theories. Only facts, you should try it. Stop getting your news from facebook and other bs sources!
  • You must not pay attention to politics. He's specifically intervened in cases regarding the President or allies close to the President. That's why he was hired.
  • I do pay attention. To all of it. Not just one side or the other. And I try really hard not to jump to a conclusion or into any particular bandwagon. I read a lot, and I try to avoid shallow opinion pieces on anything that matters. Yes, I listen to NPR on the way to work. No, I don't watch Fox News. (Don't even own a TV for that matter.) I form my own opinions and don't simply regurgitate whatever the TV tells me to believe just because I like what is being said.
  • And you don't see how Trump put Barr in place because he would shield him from the Mueller investigation? Just read Barr's summary and the investigation itself, it is un-American to appoint the head of your investigation! Imagine if you were able to hand pick the judge at your trial! There is nothing more corrupt.
  • Setting all that aside, the reality is USA doesn't give a darn F about Freedom , they just want to poke their eyes and noses and hands and b u t t s in someone's bloody business, did folks forget NSA ? snowden the guy who gave a darn about real freedom and our right to have a private life...? , yeah the reality is USA aint free, its as they say " a trap" , thats why IT corps do what it takes to hide their information somewhere else, sadly china could be one of those places... so either we way are at a lose-lose situation. but I do know that china isn't the only place where these tech corps store their data, so at least they aren't heavily relying on China.
  • So your suggesting this isn't true or is not a concern?
  • It is true in some cases. Barr is the last person you'd want prosecuting big tech companies, for this or antitrust or anything. Ultimately the goal is the data. Barr is Trump's smartest and most effective enabler.
  • Microsoft Research Asia is headquartered in Bejing. It's an ongoing concern, but not in the Sinophobic way pushed by this administration.
  • So just because he's in trumps circle it is immediately not relevant or factual. Got it.
  • Well, that's usually the safest bet as of late. 😜
  • Yes. This is exactly the case. Even his personal lawyer and campaign manager have both been prosecuted, not to mention the numerous other Trump people who were indicted and went to jail. He isn't known for choosing the best people, only yes men who will take the fall.
  • well we all know if googles involved its going to be bad so ya .
  • Says the bullhorn in Russia's pocket... 🙄
  • Says the guy who is doing the most work to make his own country an authoritarian one. While we should criticize companies enabling nondemocratic regimes (and Russia counts, Bill), let's not be naive and think Barr is doing this for the good of democracy. It's the exact opposite. He wants their data.
  • Andrew I love your comments on the tech articles here (genuinely agree with you on most and like reading your insights), but it saddens me when I see your partisan attacks on these political topics. Barr and Trump are not friends or long-time associates. Where Barr has gone on record speaking about Trump, I’ve only heard 2 things: 1) They meet regularly, and 2) Trump’s tweeting makes his job impossible. Barr does hold a particular legal philosophy about the role of the presidency and the executive that suits Trump’s view. Barr is of the school (as am I), that the Constitution vests the entire power of the executive branch in the President of the United States, and that the President, as the embodiment of the Executive Branch, individually, is equal (not greater nor lesser) to the entire Congress and the Supreme Court (equal to each of them separately, not equal to both of them combined). That’s what creates our system of checks and balances, but only the President consolidates all of the power of one of the 3 branches into a single person. I suspect in Trump’s case that’s far more personal (his own power) than it is for Barr, who holds that view as a matter of legal philosophy. Barr believes that if the president is weaker than Congress (the primary branch that's understandably attempting to weaken POTUS), that weakens the country. When you view Barr’s words and actions through that lens, you can see that what he’s doing that happens to help Trump is intended to support the power of the presidency overall, not a particular office holder. My personal view (don't know about Barr on this), is that the checks and balances are critical -- each branch must be equal, or we drift toward an authoritarian government, government bloat and overreach, and lose the fundamental protections of the Constitution. It's the gridlock and forced power sharing between the branches that so brilliantly protects our democracy and therefore all of us.
  • Also, notice how these specific accusations are without any basis. And notice how Trump's own corrupt dealings with the Chinese government while in office don't get mentioned.
  • I think that you have confused Trump for Biden. It's Biden that's owned by the Chinese. It's Biden's entire family that has grown rich from his 40+ years in politics. Trump has sacrificed his wealth for the good of the United States. Biden has sacrificed the United States for the benefit of his family. Try watching something other than CNN.
  • Try watching something other than Fox News.
  • hahahahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahaha "Trump has sacrificed his wealth for the good of the united states" hahahahahahahahahhaha
  • Your post is sarcasm, right? Like all the licensing and trademark right that Donnie's daughter's company got, just a few months after he was elected?
  • Andrew, lacking specifics? Do you believe the information we have received on China's IP theft, building islands in the China Sea to expand military reach, retracting Hong Kong's freedom (in violation of the agreement when the UK turned Hong Kong over to China), oppression of the Tibetan Monks (the Dalai Lama lives in exile), the Great Firewall of China to keep outside political influences away from their people, censorship, "disappearing" of those who speak against the government, the erasure of the Tiananmen Square Massacre from their history, to list just a small fraction of the reports, are all false? Do you think that's the fake news from our government spanning administrations of both Democrat and Republican administrations?
  • I'm seeing a lot of if trump said it, it must be wrong going on. Can we all just agree that China has a history of human rights violations and is bad? And IF a company is working with them in a malicious way, it's bad?
  • Have proof of a "malicious way" for these companies?
  • Nope, I'm saying it's not inherintly a lie because Trump said it. Just like it's not inherintly the truth if Trump said it. We need more information. So the sooner we all get behind a singular cause of wanting more info, the sooner we can make good decisions in either direction.
  • I need proof. I can't believe anything Lyingdonald says because he lies soooo much. But sure, if its true that something malicious is being done then these companies should be held accountable.
  • Yeah, if that were proven to be the case then I am all for nailing them on it, but I am done believing anything coming from this Administration without several independent verifications.
  • Only if you can invert that statement and say the same about the US Empire. mmmkay.
  • He left out AMAZON for some reason. I've never known Bill "lapdog" Barr to pass up any opportunity to bash the Jeff Bezos-owned company. Interesting isn't it that this comes almost one week to the day after the companies he listed filed a joint lawsuits to overturn the Trump administration's XO to block entry of, and expel any foreign H1B contract workers in the US (which all these companies use as their backbone for work.) Yeah. No coincidence there......
  • Amazon works with the CIA.
    Amazon stores their data.
    Bezos owns WaPo WaPo is forbidden from writing negative stories about any partners of WaPo, including the CIA and Amazon. Amazon is a friend to the Military Industrial Complex which is why they get a pass. Oh, Ring, an Amazon subsidiary is also collaborating with HOAs and Real estate moguls to create a real-time warrant-less surveillance web for Police and other law enforcement initiatives. Amazon is playing for the good guys.
  • I don't like China, but as far as I know, USA is not at war with China.
  • Bill Barr is a dumb and corrupt AG.
  • Ad hominem attacks reveal more about the critic than the person being insulted. If you disagree with Barr and believe that US tech companies should do more business with China, rather than less, then make that case. When your argument is, “Barr is Trump’s lap dog” or other puerile comments to that effect, all it tells me as a reader is that you have no logic to dispute Barr’s assessment. That leads undecided readers to conclude Barr must be right, because it appears (right or wrong) that his critics have no counter argument. If your goal is to persuade, avoid the personal attacks and insults.
  • Thanks for this. Both "Trump is unreservedly awesome" and "orange man bad" are such myopic positions from people who watch too much sports. There sadly seems to be no room in people's minds nuance, reasoned discussion, or any attempt to understand where the "other side" is coming from. Just mud slinging and personal insults. Because, you know, that has been convincing people of the reasonableness positions since kindergarten.
  • Barr can bark all he wants...The US and other tech companies will continue collaborating with China...!