From the NYT, today
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/202 ... e=Homepage
Laurence Berland had just gotten out of the subway in New York, some 3,000 miles from his desk in San Francisco, when he learned that Google had fired him. It was the Monday before Thanksgiving, and the news came to him, bad-breakup-style, via email. “Following a thorough investigation, the company has found that you committed several acts in violation of Google’s policies,” the note said. It did not elaborate on what he had done to violate these policies.
Berland, an engineer who had spent more than a decade at the company, had reason to expect he might be fired. He had been suspended a few weeks earlier after subscribing to the open calendars of several senior Google employees, whom he suspected of meeting with outside consultants to suppress organizing activity at the company. During a subsequent meeting at which he was questioned by Google investigators, he had the feeling that they were pressuring him to say something that could be grounds for termination. Then, the Friday before he was fired, he had spoken at a well-publicized rally of his co-workers outside Google’s San Francisco offices, accusing the company of silencing dissent.
Even so, the timing and manner of his dismissal surprised him. “I thought they’d do it when all the media attention died down,” he said. “When the suspensions and the rally were no longer on people’s minds.” Instead, at a moment when the spotlight was shining brightly, Google had escalated — as if to make a point.
Berland was one of at least four employees Google fired that day. All four were locked in an ongoing conflict with the company, as they and other activists had stepped forward to denounce both its treatment of workers and its relationship with certain customers, like U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Berland’s terminated colleagues were even more shocked by the turn of events than he was. Rebecca Rivers, a software engineer based in Boulder, Colo., was dismissed over the phone after accessing internal documents. Rivers had only recently come out as transgender and was pursuing a medical transition. “I came out at Google expecting to stay at Google through the entire transition,” she said. “It’s terrifying to think about going to a job interview, because I’m so scared of how other companies treat trans employees.”
Sophie Waldman and Paul Duke, the two other Googlers fired that day, had not received so much as a warning, much less a suspension. Though they had been questioned by corporate security two months earlier about whether they had circulated documents referring to Customs and Border Protection contracts, they had been allowed to continue their work without incident. Waldman, a software developer in Cambridge, Mass., said she was given a 15-minute notice before she was summoned to the meeting where she was fired; Duke, an engineer in New York, said an invitation appeared on his calendar precisely one minute beforehand. Security officials escorted him out of the building without letting him return to his desk. “I had to describe to them what my jacket, scarf and bag looked like,” he said.
From its earliest days, Google urged employees to “act like owners” and pipe up in all manner of forums, from mailing lists to its meme generator to open-ended question-and-answer sessions with top executives, known as T.G.I.F. It was part of what it meant to be “Googley,” one of the company’s most common compliments. So well entrenched was this ethic of welcoming dissent that the company seemed to abide by it even after the uprising began, taking pains to show it was heeding activists’ concerns.
Over the past year, however, Google has appeared to clamp down. It has gradually scaled back opportunities for employees to grill their bosses and imposed a set of workplace guidelines that forbid “a raging debate over politics or the latest news story.” It has tried to prevent workers from discussing their labor rights with outsiders at a Google facility and even hired a consulting firm that specializes in blocking unions. Then, in November, came the firing of the four activists. The escalation sent tremors through the Google campus in Mountain View, Calif., and its offices in cities like New York and Seattle, prompting many employees — whether or not they had openly supported the activists — to wonder if the company’s culture of friendly debate was now gone for good.
I submitted this as a comment:
Google is an evil company.
Many companies might feel a tug to do wrong but are precluded from actualizing those tendencies by limitations of wealth, opportunity or, sometimes, a sense of right and wrong.
Google has, as it's core product, something that requires evil: information about people. It has the means at it's fingertips and the wealth to carry it off. And, make no mistake, information about people at the depth that it can be harvested by Google, is tantamount to slavery. They own everything but the body. Though, given their wealth, they doubtless have bought some of their employees body and soul.
They do evil to Americans and their dealings with China are nothing short of traitorous. Traitorous and vile in what they are enabling over there.
In the words of Eben Moglen, they are "fastening the procedures of totalitarianism on the substance of democratic society".
I wish the Democrats in the House would look at Google, a real "existential threat". Problem is that they are probably getting campaign "contributions" from this corporate chancre
Google is evil incarnate. Google to me is a Trump is to Hillary.