Jared Cohen, Google Executive, Former State Department Employee
Hillary Clinton’s emails reveal how Google wanted to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using a mapping tool.
At a time when America's foreign policy was to topple Assad, the tech giant - whose corporate motto is 'Don't Be Evil' - sought to encourage further defections from the leader's regime and boost the confidence of the opposition.
The plan's details were passed along to Clinton's team by a Google executive Jared Cohen, who was a senior advisor to Clinton until 2010 and is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The 34-year-old left his State Department position after being poached by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt to run Google Ideas, now known as Jigsaw.
The revelation comes as Google’s plans to expand Internet access in Cuba were revealed by President Barack Obama on Monday.
Obama, who is on a historic trip to the communist nation, said in an interview with ABC News: ‘One of the things that we’ll be announcing here is that Google has a deal to start setting up more WiFi and broadband access on the island.’
Google also planned to stealthily hand the reins over to Al-Jazeera to ensure the data is broadcast into Syria, encouraging further defections and give confidence to the opposition.
Cohen wrote: ‘Please keep close hold, but my team is planning to launch a tool on Sunday that will publicly track and map the defections in Syria and which parts of the government they are coming from.
Elaborating on the plan to get the information to their intended recipients, Cohen added: ‘Given how hard it is to get information into Syria right now, we are partnering with Al-Jazeera who will take primary ownership over the tool we have built, track the data, verify it, and broadcast it back into Syria.’
Cohen also include an attachment, a PDF called 'Defection Tracker', showing what the tool will look like in the email.
He added: ‘Please keep this very close hold and let me know if there is anything eke [sic] you think we need to account for or think about before we launch.
‘We believe this can have an important impact.’
Google's code of conduct famously opens with the company's corporate motto: 'Don't Be Evil'.
Parent company Alphabet, whose executive chairman is Schmidt, dropped the slogan last year, changing its code of conduct to encourage employees to 'do the right thing.'
Google Ideas was founded in 2010 by Schmidt to understand and tackle global challenges.
Cohen left his job on the State Department’s Policy Planning Committee, where he was an advisor to Condoleezza Rice and later Clinton, when Schmidt approached him to head the New York-based 'think/do tank'.
The company later became Jigsaw, with Cohen still serving as President.
Its mission is 'to use technology to tackle the toughest geopolitical challenges, from countering violent extremism to thwarting online censorship to mitigating the threats associated with digital attacks.'
Meanwhile, Jigsaw has come under scrutiny for its attempts to incite regime changes and its close ties to the State Department.
Does Google basically work for the White House? Internet giant revealed to have offered to help overthrow Assad as Obama reveals broadband for Cuba
Tech giant planned to visually map those defecting from Assad's regime
Tool's aim were highlighted in email from Google Ideas chief Jared Cohen
Cohen left a job at the State Department in 2010 to run Google's think tank
His plan was to encourage more to defect and give confidence to opposition
Google planned to give ownership of the tool to network Al-Jazeera
The network would ensure the information found its way into Syria
It comes as it emerged Google has a deal to expand Internet access in Cuba
By KHALEDA RAHMAN FOR DAILYMAIL.COM
PUBLISHED: 11:51 EST, 21 March 2016 | UPDATED: 17:17 EST, 21 March 2016