Google’s bad day in Congress came at the worst possible time

Google had a very bad day before Congress yesterday — or rather, the empty chair with a “Google” sign on it did. Because of a personnel standoff, Google wasn’t present at the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, which left Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg time to defend their companies’ records and senators free to rain down criticism on Google. Senators hit the company over its decision to tail off US military contracts, its reported censorship-friendly apps for China, and general failure to respond to legitimate concerns. It was a political turning point in the making, a moment former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler is calling “a strategic mistake of virtually incalculable proportions.”

Google has more to worry about…

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