National Security Search Engine: Google Ranks Filled with CIA Agents

Google CIA feature photo

By Alan MacLeod

Mintpress News

Google – one of the largest and most influential organizations in the modern world – is filled with ex-CIA agents. Studying employment websites and databases, MintPress has ascertained that the Silicon Valley giant has recently hired dozens of professionals from the Central Intelligence Agency in recent years. Moreover, an inordinate number of these recruits work in highly politically sensitive fields, wielding considerable control over how its products work and what the world sees on its screens and in its search results.

A spook in every department

Chief amongst these is the trust and safety department, whose staff, in the words of then Google trust and safety vice president Kristie Canegallo, “[d]ecide what content is allowed on our platform” – in other words, setting the rules of the internet, determining what billions see and what they do not see. Before Google, Canegallo had been President Obama’s Deputy White House Chief of Staff for Implementation and is currently Chief of Staff at the Department of Homeland Security.

“We lied, we cheated, we stole”

Many of the team helping Canegallo make calls on what content should be allowed in Google searches and on platforms like YouTube were former CIA employees. For example:

  • Jacqueline Lopour spent more than ten years at the CIA, where she served as “a leading U.S. Government expert on security challenges in South Asia and the Middle East and the go-to writer of quickly needed papers for the U.S. President.” She joined Google in 2017 and is currently a senior intelligence collection and trust and safety manager.

  • Between 2010 and 2015, Jeff Lazarus was an economic and political analyst for the CIA. In 2017, he was hired as a policy advisor for trust and safety at Google, where he worked on suppressing “extremist content.” He moved to Apple in 2021.

  • Ryan Fugit spent eight years as a CIA officer. Then, in 2019, Google convinced him to leave and become a senior manager of trust and safety.
  • As a director of trust and safety, Bryan Weisbard led teams that adjudicated “the most sensitive YouTube trust and safety escalations globally” and “enforced” the most “urgent and highest priority” misinformation and sensitive content decisions. Between 2006 and 2010, he was an intelligence officer with the CIA. He is now a director at Facebook.
  • Like Lopour and Lazarus, Nick Rossman concentrated on Iraq while he was a CIA analyst (2009-2014). Since January, he has been a senior manager in Google’s trust and safety division.
  • Jacob Barrett, Google’s global lead for safe browsing operations, was an analytic lead and open source officer at the CIA between 2007 and 2013.
  • A 12-year CIA political and leadership analyst, Michelle Toborowski, left the agency in 2019 to take a job as the intelligence analyst lead in trust and safety at YouTube.

The problem with former CIA agents becoming the arbiters of what is true and what is false and what should be promoted and what should be deleted is that they cut their teeth at a notorious organization whose job it was to inject lies and false information into the public discourse to further the goals of the national security state. John Stockwell, former head of a CIA task force, explained on camera how his organization infiltrated media departments the world over, created fake newspapers and news agencies, and planted fake news about Washington’s enemies.


An inordinate amount of Google’s intelligence and security teams appear to come from the intelligence and security services. These include the following individuals:

  • Deborah Wituski, who between 1999 and 2018, rose up the CIA’s ranks, becoming chief of staff to the director. She left the agency for Google, where she is now vice president of global intelligence.
  • Chelsea Magnant also left the CIA for Google in 2018, leaving an 8-year career as a political analyst for a job as a global threat analyst for the tech giant.
  • Yong Suk Lee spent 22 years at the CIA, leaving to take a position in global risk analysis and global security at Google. In May, he was promoted to become a director.

  • Beth Schmierer worked as a strategic analyst for the CIA between 2006 and 2011. She then became a political officer at the State Department. She joined Google in January as a global threat analyst and is now an Americas intelligence manager for the company.
  • Toni Hipp joined Google as a global threat team manager (intelligence) in 2017 and is now a global affairs and public policy manager in strategy and operations. Before joining Google, she spent nearly six years at the CIA as a foreign policy analyst.
  • Jamie W. is the director of threat assessment for Google and the company’s former global intelligence manager. Before Google, she held a number of senior positions in the CIA, including chief of targeting for the near east region. Before her 13-year stint in the CIA, she also worked as an analyst for the FBI.
  • Meaghan Gruppo worked as an intelligence analyst and public affairs officer at the CIA from 2008 until 2014. Since 2018, she has worked in security risk analysis and threat management for Google.
  • Clinton Dallas’ LinkedIn profile notes that, until December, he was a CIA officer. In January of this year, he became a risk programs specialist at Google.


A spook in every department

Google employs ex-CIA agents in a myriad of different departments, a selection of which includes:

  • Michael Barlett. Between 2007 and 2017, Barlett was chief of operations at the CIA. Since 2019, he has worked as a risk lead in workforce solutions for Google.
  • Nicole Menkhoff. Menkhoff spent more than ten years as a weapons analyst at the CIA. In February 2015, she left the CIA for Google, where she was a senior human resources business partner and later became engineering chief of staff.
  • Candice Bryant. Bryant spent nearly 17 years at the CIA, where she rose to become its chief of public communications. In September, she was headhunted from the CIA by Google to become its executive communications manager.

  • Kyle Foster. Foster spent six years at the agency, then four more at the CIA’s venture capitalist wing, In-Q-Tel. He left In-Q-Tel in 2016 for a job as a software engineer at Google.
  • Joanna Gillia. Gillia was a leadership analyst at the CIA until 2014, the same year she took a job with Google. She worked in staffing until 2020.
  • Katherine Tobin. Tobin was a CIA branch chief between 2014 and 2018. She is now head of workspace innovation for Google.
  • Christine Lei. Lei left her job as an economic intelligence analyst for the CIA in 2015 for the post of executive compensation manager at Google, where she continues to work to this day.
  • Justin Schuh. Schuh retired last year after 11 years as engineering director for Google Chrome. Before Google, however, he had a long career in national security, working as an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Marine Corps, a global network exploitation analyst for the NSA, and a technical operations officer for the CIA.
  • Tom Franklin. Franklin worked as a program manager at the CIA between 2011 and 2013. Between 2015 and 2021, he was a product manager for Google.
  • Katherine Pham. According to her LinkedIn profile, Pham did “some cool stuff” at the CIA in 2016. Since October, she has been a software engineer for Google.



1 thought on “National Security Search Engine: Google Ranks Filled with CIA Agents

  1. Pingback: National Security Search Engine: Google Ranks Filled with CIA Agents — The Most Revolutionary Act | Vermont Folk Troth

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