Watchdog says Google has "unusually" close ties to Obama

Posted by STARR KESHET

A government watchdog has accused President Barack Obama of maintaining "unusually close" ties to Google.

According to the National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), the search giant's unhealthy relationship with the administration may be allowing it to escape penalty for a recent privacy breach involving the inadvertent collection of passwords and e-mails by Google street cars.

As such, the NLPC has asked the House to investigate the incident, as well as "a growing body of evidence" that the Obama's intimate ties with the Mountain View-based company has "resulted in favoritism" on multiple federal policy issues.

Watchdog says Google has "unusually" close ties to Obama"Like Halliburton in the previous administration, Google has an exceptionally close relationship with the [Obama White House]," NLPC Chariman Kenneth Boehm wrote in a letter to the House obtained by The Hill.

"[Indeed], less than a week before Google's announcement, President Obama went to the home of Google executive Marissa Mayer for a $30,000-per-person Democratic Party fundraiser.

"The FTC's decision to close its investigation into Google's unauthorized gathering of private data through its Google Street View program is troubling enough.

"But looked at in the context of this Administration's extraordinarily close relationship with Google, no fair-minded person could look at the record so far and not believe that further investigation is warranted."