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What The Government Doesn’t Want Google to Say

Lawrence Lewitinn
Talking Numbers
What The Government Doesn’t Want Google to Say

Google wants to talk but the government wants the company to keep silent. What will that do to the stock?

Google wants to talk but the government wants the company to keep silent.

A week ago, the tech giant wrote Attorney General Eric Holder and FBI Director Robert Mueller requesting permission to release details about what data the government gets from Google. It is not known whether the request was also emailed to their Gmail accounts.

Yesterday, Google went to court, filing a “motion for the declaratory judgment of Google Inc.’s First Amendment right to publish aggregate information about FISA orders.” The motion includes a reference to the article that broke it all, when former government contractor Edward Snowden first revealed the existence of the PRISM program to British newspaper The Guardian. In the article, other companies besides Google were implicated in PRISM, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, AOL, and Apple. [Disclosure: Yahoo! is a partner with CNBC in Talking Numbers.]

Google took issue with The Guardian article and says it wants to set the record straight. It says in the motion if filed in court:

“On June 6, 2013, The Guardian newspaper published a story mischaracterizing the scope and nature of Google’s receipt and compliance with foreign intelligence surveillance requests. In particular, the story falsely alleged that Google provides the U.S. government with ‘direct access’ to its systems, allowing the government unfettered access to the records and communications of millions of users.”

Google lives by the trust its users has in the company, according to Victor Anthony, analyst at Topeka Capital Markets. Anthony says, “If the consumer of these services believes their information is being compromised maliciously, they could churn off.”

A small amount of worry has already hit the market, notes Anthony. “From a competitive perspective, we are hearing a number of smaller search engines are seeing an uptick in their usage due to these concerns.”

But will this uptick last? And, how exposed is Google compared to other companies?

We talk numbers with Victor Anthony and with CNBC contributor Steve Cortes, Founder of Veracruz TJM, on Google’s chart and what’s next.

To hear Anthony and Cortes analyze Google, watch the video above.


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