Do you remember when Al Gore bragged on the campaign circuit that he invented the Internets? Well, there is a kernel of truth in that bombast, as the World Wide Web started as a government project within the military, called the Advanced Research Projects Agency, or the renowned ARPANet.
You may be surprised to hear this but a similar thing has happened with Google Search. Yes, the garage story of Larry Page and Sergey Brin actually has some origins within the intelligence community's Massive Digital Data Systems (MDDS) project. While it was not directly cited as the grant that made Google's search engine possible, that was its aim when it fronted Standford researchers with cash to establish exactly those queries. In addition, intelligence officials met with young whizkid Sergey Bring on several occasions to follow the progress of his research into the data mining and finding goals set by the project.
Google's founders then left Stanford, and the rest is history, but fast forward to today, and Google is in hot water with the government. Remember how President Trump complained
last week that Google's search results are not featuring conservative news sources when one searches for "Trump news"? Well, he warned them they are stepping on thin ice, and, sure enough, the CEOs of Google, Facebook and Twitter are now invited on Capitol Hill for the dog-and-pony show called a congressional hearing, initiated by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Google, however, is having none of it, and won't send its CEO Sundar Pichai, but rather offered Kent Walker, an SVP of Global Affairs. Bazinga! It also issued a winded rebuttal
, while analysts simply state that larger, more established publications like the New York Times, Washington Post, or CNN, have understandably more weight in the search algorithms, than, say, Breitbart or InfoWars.
It's not clear how the negotiations will end, but if Google is represented by an empty chair in the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, it won't help to dissuade President Trump supporters that there is something fishy with its search algorithms. This Wednesday is shaping up to be fun.