MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA - In a stunning announcement, Eric Schmidt, head of Alphabet, Inc., the holding company that owns Google, said today in a press conference at Google's headquarters in Mountain View, California, that at midnight on New Year's Eve of this year, the iconic Google search engine will become property of a new nonprofit organization called Unlimited Years of Search, or UYS.
"We consider this to be a well-earned gift to the American public," said Schmidt. "We don't own the internet, after all, and our search engine is just an index to what's out there - just a kind of library catalogue. That catalogue should be owned by the public, not a private company. It's pretty obvious when you think about it."
In a joint statement issued by Stephanie Hannon, former Google executive and Chief Technology Officer for Hillary Clinton, and Megan Smith, former Google executive and Chief Technology Officer for Barack Obama, Schmidt's announcement drew strong praise.
"Google has always given away everything for free without asking for anything in return except of course a trivial amount of information about its users (LOL)," wrote Hannon and Smith. "Now it's making the ultimate contribution to society. It's breathtaking and overwhelming and it really makes us want to cry, both together, like at the same time."
Valued by the donor at $1.15 trillion, Schmidt said this is the largest charitable gift ever given by any corporation or individual anywhere in the world. Other large charitable gifts by Microsoft founder Bill Gates or Saudi Arabia's Prince Al-Waheed bin Talal are in the mere tens of billions of dollars and pale in comparison to Google's.
Asked specifically about Mr. Gates' $10 billion gift to provide vaccines for people in Africa, Schmidt said, "Gates is an ass who doesn't know how to dress, and everyone knows it."
Schmidt was surprisingly forthright about Google's motives for making the unprecedented donation.
"We actually got the idea from Donald Trump," Schmidt said. "Trump might be a crude, witless, self-absorbed, hair-challenged horndog, but he's not an idiot. That billion dollar loss he declared 25 years ago got him off the hook from paying federal taxes for 18 years. We figure our trillion dollar gift will spare us taxes for about a century."
Asked how the new charity is supposed to get the money to maintain and grow the search engine's massive index of 60 billion web pages, Schmidt introduced Amy Singhal, current head of Google search and future head of the new nonprofit.
According to Singhal, "We were worried about this at first, but then we contacted our friends at the NSA and the CIA, and they were just great. They helped fund the development of the Google search engine when its creators, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, peace be upon them, were graduate students at Stanford. The agencies were looking for a tool that could track what everyone was looking for on the internet, hoping they could catch people looking for directions on how to build bombs and all that. Our search engine has worked really well for them over the years, so I'm happy to announce that the NSA and the CIA have agreed to provide all of UYS's operating costs - about $10 billion a year - for at least the next ten years."
"We knew they'd come through," Singhal added. "It's one hand washing someone else's foot, after all."
Asked to comment on the high dollar value Schmidt has put on the tax deduction, Allie Dubois, director of the IRS and a former Google executive, said, "Hey, we all trust Google, right? They always give us the right answer, they've got a cool name, and they have amazing stock options."
When asked whether his company had built in any "back doors" that would allow it to continue to track user searches after the transfer to the nonprofit organization was complete, Schmidt replied, "Well, it's true we dropped our 'Do no evil' motto back in 2015, but internally we still have a very similar motto: 'Do no evil unless it's convenient.' I hope that answers your question. Or not. I don't really care."
"Anyway," Schmidt added, "even without the back doors, we believe in maintaining good relationships with our former employees, about 1,000 of whom now work for or run the NSA, the CIA, and a dozen other branches of the U.S. government. Some of them had to take pay cuts, too, but our people really believe in the whole government thing. Either way, I think we're good."
Industry insider Michael Doran, asked about Schmidt's announcement, said Alphabet has probably been planning this move for years. "The search engine was their cash cow," said Doran, "but they knew they couldn't depend on it forever. That's why, a few years ago, they started selling imitation iPhones, self-driving cars that hardly ever crash, laptops that spy on students, eyeglasses that spy on everyone, amazingly realistic sex dolls that use sophisticated A.I. to continuously improve the rotation of their hips - they're awesome, by the way - and of course, their recent breakthrough product: smart butt wipes.
"The only product they had before that," said Doran, "was Google users, and that was creepy and dishonest. They secretly tracked everything we did and then sold the information to advertisers. They knew they couldn't get away with that forever - that at some point they had to start selling real products, just like Wal-Mart and Apple and most other businesses do - uh, except for Facebook and Twitter, of course."
According to Doran, the company might also have legal motives for parting with the search engine. "They are probably concerned about the growing number of anti-trust actions initiated against them by governments around the world, most of which have to do with the shady way Google has been using its search rankings and search suggestions to control what people buy, what they believe, how they think, and how they vote."
Google was fined €7 billion (about $8 billion) by the European Union last year for fixing elections in the U.K. and Germany using biased search rankings and biased search suggestions. By shedding its search engine, said Doran, "Google should be able to stop other anti-trust actions in their tracks."
Doran also suggested that the donation was made "simply because Google doesn't need the search engine anymore." Said Doran, "With Google now collecting more and more data about us by recording everything we say through its home and mobile voice-command apps, the search engine has been dropping in value to the company every year. Apparently its value as a tax write-off now exceeds its value as an information collector."
Another insider, who asked that his name be withheld, was more skeptical, calling the massive donation "a whole lot of [expletive deleted]."
"By saying '[expletive deleted] you' to the anti-trust agencies," he said, "and with all the tax benefits it will get from the donation, Google will be making a [expletive deleted] killing off this. And they're still monitoring us 24/7 over more than 200 [expletive deleted] platforms, including [expletive deleted] Gmail, [expletive deleted] Google Chrome, [expletive deleted] Google Analytics, [expletive deleted] Google Docs, [expletive deleted] Google Maps, and the whole [expletive deleted] Android system, not to mention the [multiple expletives deleted] Google Assistant that now records every [expletive deleted] thing we say, even the [expletive deleted] grunts we make while we're sitting on [expletive deleted] toilet taking a [expletive deleted]. Smart butt wipes, my [expletive deleted].
"UYS," said our source, "really stands for 'Up Yours, Suckers.'"
Informed of Google's donation, Sylvain Zimmer, head of Common Search, a small nonprofit organization that has been trying to set up an independent public search engine for the past ten years, commented, "Well, at one level I'm shocked and disappointed, but at least now we'll finally have a true public gateway to the internet - one beyond the influence and shenanigans of a private company."
EPSTEIN (@DrREpstein) is Senior Research Psychologist at the American Institute for Behavioral Research and Technology and the author of 15 books and more than 250 articles on internet privacy, artificial intelligence, and other topics.