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Google’s Chinese kowtow endangers security and freedom

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Google's Chinese kowtow endangers security and freedom

“Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them,” Lenin supposedly said. It’s a lesson Google, and America as a whole, may soon learn the hard way in dealing with Communist China. 

A few weeks ago, Eric Schmidt, who led Google from 2001 to 2015, testified before Congress that the Chinese Communist Party is quickly becoming a major threat on technology, especially ­artificial intelligence, or AI. 

“I am convinced that the threat of Chinese leadership in key technology areas is a national crisis,” he said. “AI will be leveraged to ­advance all dimensions of national power — from health care to food production to environmental sustainability . . . Within the next decade, China could surpass the United States as the world’s AI superpower.”

Schmidt was right to sound the alarm. But he stopped short of naming one of the main culprits: Google. 

In 2017, Google opened an artificial-intelligence laboratory in Beijing. The company is also collaborating on AI with two top-tier Chinese universities. 

Opening an AI lab was quite a turnaround for Google. The company had previously abandoned mainland China in 2010, after the Beijing regime demanded that Schmidt and his colleagues censor their search engine. 

Why the flip? Money. 

By 2017, ­recounts New York Times journalist Cade Metz in his new book, “Genius Makers,” “Google was having second thoughts about China. The market was too big to ignore.” 

Having wised up to the dangers posed by Beijing’s totalitarians, Google decided to sell them rope anyway. 

Worse, far from fulfilling the techno-utopian dream of spreading American values to the ends of the earth and facilitating a more open world — remember the early 2000s? — Google and other tech giants have now implemented one of Communist China’s core principles in the US homeland, namely, censorship.

Despite being a victim of unfair censorship in China, Google is now wielding the stick here in America. Google was one of several monopolistic Big Tech companies that helped purge Twitter alternative Parler from the Internet in January. 

Parler’s offense was supposedly not policing its user content ­aggressively enough. But the same — or worse — could have been said of Google. 

In 2019, reporters and activists pointed out that Google-owned YouTube’s algorithm promoted over-sexualized content involving children. “A network of pedophiles is hiding in plain sight” at YouTube, warned Wired magazine. The problem had plagued YouTube for years. By Google’s own standards, YouTube ought to have been taken off-line. 

Bottom line: We need pro-American tech companies. Google’s China saga reveals the stakes. 

One is an open Internet. China censors news, criticism and free speech. Chinese-style censorship of Web sites or apps is a threat to the ­Internet itself if it is applied by Google or other Big Tech companies outside China. 

The second is the question of who controls our century, China or the United States.

In 2018, Russian strongman Vladimir Putin predicted: “Whoever becomes the leader in this sphere [AI] will become the ruler of the world.”

The Chinese government recognizes this through its “Made in China 2025” policy. The goal is to dominate 10 high-tech fields in the next four years. AI is one of the 10.

With those stakes, US companies have a duty not to help a totalitarian ­adversary in any plausible way. Even though Google has said publicly that it doesn’t work with the Chinese military, at the end of the day, it simply has no control over how its tech in China is used. 

In China, unlike in the United States, there is no bright line ­dividing private enterprise and the regime. Businesses in China — and the technology they develop — are made to serve the Communist Party’s ends.

A major challenge for the Biden administration will be how to ­reclaim and secure our supply chains for critical goods. That should include medicine and other strategic commodities. But it shouldn’t stop there: We can’t permit Beijing to dominate the global flow of information and, with it, our ability to think freely.

Our government and corporations should be aligned on this principle: America mustn’t sell our long-term ­future for short-term gains. We can’t afford to sell rope to those who’d use it to hang us.

Rick Berman is president of the American Security Institute.

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Opinion

NY’s mad criminal ‘reforms’ are now claiming the lives of babies

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NY’s mad criminal ‘reforms’ are now claiming the lives of babies

Let’s start with a truth: Neither the police nor our other criminal-justices institutions are perfect. Their imperfections are worth the attention of those in a position to address them. But that effort must be undertaken without losing sight of another truth: Imperfect though they may be, these institutions are also essential to protecting communities from crime, particularly violent crime.

In recent years, New York leaders have turned their focus almost entirely to reforming the system’s imperfections, and they have lost sight of their public-safety mission. This has constrained the ability of the system to protect the public safety, which has dramatically declined the past year, judging by rising shootings and homicides across the state.

The price is high. Heartrending recent stories involving young children here remind us that, too often, it is the most vulnerable among us who suffer the burden of increased violence.

Take Dior Harris, an 11-month-old baby who had her life snatched from her this week in a drive-by shooting in Syracuse, where homicides are up again so far this year, after a 55 percent spike in 2020. The shooting also wounded two other girls, ages 3 and 8. The police have made an arrest in the case: Chavez R. Ocasio, 23. In addition to murder, he’s been charged with a parole violation, according to The Post.

That he was charged with a parole violation tells us something important: This was someone the system chose to release. Those who make a habit of keeping up with some of the horrific stories of criminal violence in New York and elsewhere know the pattern and its lesson: It’s repeat offenders — often out on bail, probation or parole — who are frequently behind the scourge of violence.

Or consider the story of 10-year-old Ayden Wolfe, who police allege was beaten to death in Gotham by his mother’s boyfriend, Ryan Cato, who was arrested and charged in the child’s murder. Cato, it turned out, had at least one open criminal case (and multiple priors) for a December arrest involving allegations of domestic violence.

Police haven’t yet been able to make an arrest in the shooting of a 12-year-old boy in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, last week. When interviewed by The Post, the boy’s grandmother said of the gun violence in the neighborhood, “It happens all the time.” She added, “Now in this city, it’s kill or be killed.”

Bed-Stuy is where 1-year-old Davell Gardner Jr. was shot and killed last summer while in his stroller at a neighborhood park. Police haven’t been able to make an arrest in that case, either. But a recent gun-trafficking indictment of four men reveals that repeat offenders may have played a role in the neighborhood’s summer violence.

Among those indicted was a New York City MTA worker, 49-year-old Vernal Douglas, who was allegedly heard on wiretaps discussing Gardner’s murder. He seemed to be lamenting the heat the case had brought to his alleged gun-trafficking business. One of Douglas’ codefendants is another 49-year-old, named Montoun Hart, who, according to news reports, narrowly dodged a 1997 murder charge after the judge tossed a confession he had allegedly given while under the influence.

Citing an NYPD spokesperson, Oxygen.com reported that in the years since that case, Hart has racked up a number of arrests involving drugs and firearms.

It’s not just New York, either. In Chicago, Kayden Swann, a 1-year-old boy, was shot in the head on April 6 in what police say was a road-rage incident. Swann was riding in the backseat of a car driven by an acquaintance of his grandmother, Jushawn Brown, who was arrested later that day on felony gun charges but released on bond.

Just outside Houston, in Passadena, Texas, Raymeon Means stands accused of shooting a 6-year-old girl. According to local reports, Means had at least two prior convictions involving children.

While the harms associated with the crime spike many American cities are still experiencing extend to victims of all ages, children are among the least capable of defending themselves and, therefore, among the most vulnerable. Unfortunately, none of these stories seems to have caused policymakers to second-guess their commitment to “reform” for its own sake, leaving us with a troubling question: If the murders and shootings of infants, toddlers, and preteens can’t shame lawmakers into rededicating themselves to safety, what will?

Rafael A. Mangual is a senior fellow and deputy director of legal policy at the Manhattan Institute.

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Opinion

NY Times wants to defund the police — except the one in its lobby

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NY Times wants to defund the police — except the one in its lobby

Last year, The New York Times ran an opinion piece titled “Yes, We Mean Literally Abolish The Police,” as well an editorial claiming “. . . too often in recent months, instead of a balm, the Police Department has become another source of trauma.”

These were an ugly par for the course regarding the Gray Lady’s regular mistreatment of New York’s Finest.

So why is a member of the NYPD patrolling the lobby of the Times’ office building? Isn’t the editorial board worried about this cop inflicting trauma on its workforce?

Scratch an advocate who favors defunding the police and you usually find someone with private armed security. In this case, a company such as The Times writes a check to the NYPD, which pays the officer, minus an administrative fee, to provide protection in full police regalia.

As accustomed as we are these days to rank hypocrisy, this example is particularly dangerous. The New York Times has regularly thrown gasoline on the fire of “defund the police,” suggesting the NYPD is a force for bad. Yet faced with worry that someone might slip through their lobby and into the newsroom, who do they turn to?

At least the Times has finally caught up with the opinion of black and Hispanic communities as far as policing goes. Polling has shown, for example, that huge majorities of black Americans absolutely do not want diminished police presence.

And now we know, no matter what fills the pages of their paper, that the Times doesn’t want that either.

As far as the billowing broadsheet is concerned, we should consider turning our neighborhoods into a cop-free social experiment, while its employees enjoy protection their own building. Stop lecturing us.

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Opinion

Harris’ hopeless ‘root cause’ prescription for the border

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Harris’ hopeless ‘root cause’ prescription for the border

It’s worse than we thought: Vice President Kamala Harris just identified the “root cause” of the surge in illegal migrants at the southern border: climate change.

There’s “the need for economic development” and “a need for resilience around extreme climate” because “severe climate experiences” have been “dampening” agriculture in the Northern Triangle nations where most of the border-crossers come from, she said.

Not a mention of the corrupt governments that prevent economic progress — and are sure to pocket the bulk of any foreign aid meant to develop those economies or make their farms more “resilient.”

Nor did she touch on the gangs that terrorize the common people there, giving them more urgent reason to flee.

Seems like the Biden administration’s strategy isn’t to back more competent leadership and tie aid to real-world results. It will be to pour even more cash into the Green New Deal and throw another billion at bad governments. 

This isn’t an answer, it’s a recipe for burning money.

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