How independent are the largest corporations in the world? It is often portrayed that companies such as Google are simply private corporations that have very few connections to the establishment. Yet, as It turns out, there are endless connections between many corporate giants and the military-intelligence complex.
We got a glimpse into this relationship back in 2016, when the former CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt, who, at the time, was Executive Chairman of Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc, became the head of a new innovation board at the Pentagon. Later that year, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, joined the same board at the Pentagon.
Google and DARPA
The ties between Google and US government agencies run much deeper than this, however. The relationship started even before the tech company was founded in the late 1990s. In 1994, the US government launched the Digital Library Initiative (DLI). This initiative awarded research grants to various university projects, mostly those who focused on developments in the early and emerging internet, with the overarching aim of this initiative being the creation of a global digital library.
Multiple organizations were involved in selecting projects for DLI funds. Three of these organizations were the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), and The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is the arm of the US Department of Defense that funds and develops emerging technologies.
One project that received funding through the DLI was at Stanford University, called The Stanford Integrated Digital Library Project. Between 1994 and 1999, the project received over $4.5 million in awards. The description of the award is very interesting, as it essentially describes what Google became: