ORACLE HAS provided funding for the Campaign for Accountability (CfA), a non-profit advocacy group that runs a Google Transparency Project.
A notice on the group's website explains that it uses "research, litigation and aggressive communications to expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life", focusing on how "millions of Americans' lives are negatively impacted by decisions behind the doors of corporate boardrooms, government offices and shadowy non-profit groups".
The CfA fights for LGBT rights and investigates government spying on civilians, but the Google Transparency Project makes it a perfect bedfellow for Oracle, which is still smarting from the recent defeat over Java APIs after a court found in favour of Google's 'fair use' of the APIs in building Android.
The Google Transparency Project's current "featured project" is about the company's "427 White House visits during Obama's presidency". The campaign describes this as "extraordinary access to the Obama White House", and alleges a large number of "intimate gatherings" of one-to-one or "small groups of Google executives".
The irony of a non-profit group that talks about the machinations of "corporate boardrooms" and "shadowy non-profit groups" taking direct funding from an angry Larry Ellison is pretty sweet, but Oracle is totally straight-faced about its reasoning.
"Oracle is absolutely a contributor (one of many) to the Transparency Project. This is important information for the public to know. It is 100 per cent public records and accurate," Ken Glueck, Oracle senior vice president, told Fortune.
But if "one of many", what are the rest? Microsoft, for one, has categorically denied funding the CfA. CEO Satya Nadella has turned away from the Google-baiting antics of his predecessors since taking over the reins.
But it's interesting to consider how deep the big corporate sponsorship of the campaign may go, and whether the whole thing is just another PR astroturfing project dressed up as a serious public initiative. µ
Stop laughing at the back Iain iPhone
AI want to break free
Not making friends, but influencing people
But eager game streaming beavers will have to wait until 2020