Group Wants Ex-Google Staffer’s E-Mail

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The public interest group Consumer Watchdog filed a Freedom of
Information Act request on Thursday asking to see emails between President
Obama’s Deputy Chief Technology Officer Andrew
McLaughlin and his former employer, Google.

The critique that Google is closely tied to the administration picked
up some steam earlier this week thanks to an Internet privacy incident
by Google itself. The company’s social messaging tool Buzz allowed users
to view users most frequent contacts before Google made that
information private, and screen shots of McLaughlin’s contact list
showed he has almost three dozen Google employees listed as his

McLaughlin was Google’s top policy executive before he joined the Obama
administration, a hire Consumer Watchdog opposed because of concerns
over the revolving door between industry and government. The screen
shots that surfaced this week confirm that McLaughlin remains close with
his former employer, according to Consumer Watchdog, but it could also
just reflect that he was in contact with those e-mail addresses while he
was on staff at Google.

"The appointment was troubling when it was announced, but signs that
McLaughlin is continuing a cozy relationship with his former employer
while serving in the top White House Internet policy job are even more
disconcerting," said John M. Simpson, consumer advocate
for Consumer Watchdog. "The public has a right to see exactly what sort
of messages have been exchanged with his former employer and

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy did not have
an immediate response to the FOIA request.

Consumer Watchdog
Consumer Watchdog
Providing an effective voice for American consumers in an era when special interests dominate public discourse, government and politics. Non-partisan.

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