Billionaire investor Peter Thiel urged the FBI and CIA to investigate whether Google has been infiltrated by the Chinese during his remarks at the National Conservatism Conference on Sunday.
Thiel, who sits on the board of Facebook, suggested that Google’s decision to work with the Chinese military is “treasonous” and likely occurred because the company’s management has been compromised by Chinese intelligence. He suggested three questions that the authorities might pose to Google executives to expose Beijing’s infiltration.
“Number one, how many foreign intelligence agencies have infiltrated your Manhattan Project for AI (artificial intelligence)?” Thiel asked, according to Axios. “Number two, does Google’s senior management consider itself to have been thoroughly infiltrated by Chinese intelligence?”
“Number three, is it because they consider themselves to be so thoroughly infiltrated that they have engaged in the seemingly treasonous decision to work with the Chinese military and not with the US military,” he added.
Last year, Google’s parent company Alphabet chose not to renew a contract with the Pentagon to develop artificial intelligence for the military. Google employees spoke out against the project, known as Operation Maven, out of concern that it would be used to improve the accuracy of drone strikes.
The company has also come under fire for agreeing to enable state censorship through its search engine as a precondition for accessing the Chinese market. During his remarks on Sunday, Thiel praised President Trump’s use of tariffs against China as a “signature achievement” and suggested that the current 25 percent tariff should be though of as a “floor not a ceiling,” Bloomberg reported.