‘Google is not a patriotic company,’ says co-founder of data-mining company Palantir
Joe Lonsdale said on CNBC on Monday that his fellow Palantir co-founder Peter Thiel was “courageous” for speaking out against Alphabet’s Google.
“Google is not a patriotic company,” said Lonsdale, also a founding partner of technology investment firm 8VC.
Lonsdale was responding to the criticism levied since Thiel on Sunday said the FBI and the CIA should investigate whether Google has been infiltrated by Chinese intelligence.
Thiel, also a Facebook board member and a supporter of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, was speaking at the National Conservatism Conference in Washington, D.C., and Axios reported on his speech.
“Everyone in [Silicon] Valley knows that the Chinese government is very involved,” Lonsdale told “Squawk Alley” in an interview, though he didn’t point to any clear evidence. “It’s something we don’t talk about a lot. It was very courageous of [Thiel] to talk about it.”
Google, responding to Thiel’s comments, said, “As we have said before, we do not work with the Chinese military.”
The environment at Google is very “academic,” Lonsdale said, where people want to share their work across the world. “There’s nationalists in China coming and taking whatever they can learn and taking it back and using it for their own nationalist purposes.”
Lonsdale also commented on Google’s contract with the Defense Department, which expired earlier this year and was not renewed. “When Google made the choice ‘we’re not going to help the U.S., but we’re going to continue to work in China,’ it was very clear,” Lonsdale said of the company’s patriotism.
Silicon Valley-based Palantir, the data analytics miner, has worked with many agencies of the U.S. government, including the Defense Department, CIA and FBI. Lonsdale on Monday called Palantir “probably the most patriotic in the Valley.”