back to article Google leak-hunting team put under unwelcome spotlight

"If you're considering sharing confidential information to a reporter – or to anyone externally – for the love of all that's Googley, please reconsider! Not only could it cost you your job, but it also betrays the values that makes us a community." So reads an ominous email titled "INTERNAL ONLY. REALLY" sent from the head of …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    More to this than meets the eye.

    "Brian Katz – a former State department special agent who also oversees executive protection at Google"

    This guy doesn't just work for Google. Brian Katz is also a military strategy advisor, essentially complicit in the genocide over in Syria.

    https://www.cnas.org/people/brian-katz

    MIC acolyte, through and through.

    Watch Google closely.

    1. tom dial Silver badge

      Re: More to this than meets the eye.

      The Brian Katz who is subject of this article appears not to be the same Brian Katz who is Next Generation National Security Fellow, 2017 at the Center for New American Security and Country Director for Syria in the Office of the Secretary of defense. The CNAS biographical information does not mention previous employment at Google, but indicates a B.S. in Economics from Duke University and an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins. The Brian Katz of Google claims a B.A. in Criminology from the University of Miami (FL).

      "Brian Katz" is not an uncommon name and care in distinguishing among its various bearers is worthwhile - a Google search easily finds at least two attorneys named Brian Katz, one of whom appears to have the same middle initial as Google's security guy.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More to this than meets the eye.

      Didn't he also famously say "All your base are belong to us."

      1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

        Re: More to this than meets the eye.

        No, but all your Brian Katz are belong to us.

  2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Big Brother

    Bottom line. ..

    We are eternally vigilant for anyone who may fail to demonstrate the necessary level of loyalty to the company.

    For your own good of course.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The Cult of Google...

    'We are the native people's now':

    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/may/02/google-microsoft-pact-antitrust-surveillance-capitalism

  4. RyokuMas Silver badge
    Devil

    Don't be evil...

    Nice to see them eating their own dogfood...

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Don't be evil...

      They seem to have done away with that slogan a long time ago.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Irony?

    So let's see if I've got this straight. Google, a company that specialises in helping people find other people's published info, and indeed comes very close to appropriating it for their own ends (e.g. news feeds) and makes little effort to distinguish between other people's leaked and legit info or respond well to take down requests, doesn't like other people doing the same thing to them?

    Understandable, but surely there's a little bit of pot calling kettle...

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Irony?

      Not really. All employment contracts have confidentiality clauses and if your business is mainly around IP then you need your employees to understand that careless talk costs jobs as the recent Waymo vs. Uber case highlights. And then there are possible effects of the share price of a publicly traded company to worry about: leak stuff about success or failure of a product division and the company can be open to lawsuits from shareholders. Conversely, the board has a duty, cf. VW, to inform shareholders of potential risks.

      Of course, there's a significant difference between putting the company's repository online and passing on water cooler gossip.

      If Fadell wasn't technically an employee then it can be assumed he had extra clauses in his contract to go along with the fat paycheck or stock options he was given. Guess the courts will get to decide.

      1. Warm Braw Silver badge

        Re: Irony?

        If Fadell wasn't technically an employee

        You've got the wrong guy. It's the "John Doe" that was ruled not technically an employee. That ruling was made because he was in a supervisory position with the authority to promote other members of staff: this is apparently sufficient to remove protections that would otherwise apply to "workers". Talk about the "squeezed middle"...

      2. bazza Silver badge

        Re: Irony?

        @Charlie Clark,

        "Not really. All employment contracts have confidentiality clauses and if your business is mainly around IP then you need your employees to understand that careless talk costs jobs as the recent...

        Right, but how many times has Google declined to take down / de-index leaked data because "it is in the public interest"? I'd guess loads of times.

        The problem with the big tech companies is that they want to be seen as private concerns with all the privacy rights that come along with that status. But really they're performing a very public role these days and are gathering a vast amount of data on all members of the public regardless of whether or not they actually use the company services (Android's collection of caller ID information, Facebook's tagging / tracking of all faces, regardless of whether they belong to Facebook users, etc.). That is a very quasi-governmental level of data acquisition, except that it's all done for the benefit of their shareholders, not the tax payer.

        Given that out of the ordinary status, perhaps their internal affairs, corruptions, and issues should be more in the public domain. After all, given some of the things we here about Si Valley (misogyny, sexism, ageism, abuses of employment law, etc), why should companies performing such a major public function be allowed to hide that all away? If a government department carried on its affairs in the same way there'd be a tremendous political scandal. And so there should be for companies processing our data with / without our permission.

  6. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    "Fredo, you’re my older brother, and I love you. But don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.”

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