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Report: Google criticized for "extensive" use of NDAs with cities when building data centers



The last week of major technical criticism has been centered around Amazon's excerpt from New York for its HQ2 after local complaints of tax havens. A new report today looks at Google's use of non-disclosure agreements when building data centers around the United States

As a service company offering everything from search to email to video streaming and advertising, it is crucial for Google to maintain one strong infrastructure. For this purpose, Google announced only new US facilities and expansion plans for 2019 this week.

The Washington Post today describes how Google's "secret level around data center deals is unusual." Google and other companies Often make cities sign non-disclosure agreements that prevent local officials from disclosing any details.

Activist groups claim that this prevents citizens from making input on how local resources are used before it is too late. For example, in Midlothian, Texas, news was not presented that a data center was developed before the city gave more than $ 1

0 million in tax breaks.

It was only after the project was formally approved two months later that Google was behind the project. According to FOIA requests from WaPo Google makes equal use of "different name" subsidiaries.

Sometimes, Google formed several subsidiaries with different names to handle various aspects of negotiations for the same site, according to the documents. In Midlothian, for example, Google created Sharka to negotiate the tax reduction and site plans, and used its own Delaware company, Jet Stream LLC, to negotiate land purchase with a private owner.

Google claims that this secret is due to the critical nature of data centers and the ability of competitors to "draw sensitive conclusions about the company's technology" from water and energy consumption. This in turn results in the company keeping "publicly relevant information out of sight" at the expense of local people.

Lenoir, NC, where Google announced in 2007, would build a data center, agree to treat as commercial information on the use of energy and water, the number of employees to be hired by the data center, and how much capital the company will invest under documents. Google's subsidiary, Tapaha Dynamics LLC, then relocated to exempt such trade secrets from disclosure laws that allow residents to disclose public information.

A flash point is over Google's extensive use of water necessary to cool plants. In South Carolina, residents feared that the data center could "threaten society's drinking supplies." The report Washington Post is available here.


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