A former senior Google employee says a frantic search to stop internal information from coming out is now the # 1 priority # 39; of administration


  • Jack Poulson, who left Google in September because of his China search project, talked about the company's culture of secrecy.
  • He said managers are more concerned with preventing leaks than anything else.
  • Poulson quoted an engineer shouting "f-you leakers" at a meeting of all hands as an example of the leaky attitude.
  • Judicial documents and officials in question have already given a picture of the extreme limits that Google is going to protect its secrets.

A former Google senior official who has given up his controversial plans to launch a search engine in China has painted a picture of a company whose upper echelons are obsessed with stopping leaks, to the exclusion of almost anything else.

Jack Poulson, a former researcher at the company, said senior managers viewed leak prevention as their "number one priority."

In comments reported on Saturday by the British newspaper The Times of London, Poulson cited as an example of anti-smoking culture, an unnamed senior engineer who took the microphone at a general meeting to shout "F-leakers" at his colleagues.

See More Information: A wave of news leaks is causing repression at Google and raising fears that the culture is being "openly destroyed"

He said the campaign against leaks became a way for Google to avoid fighting the reasons why people were leaking, including concerns about the Chinese search project, called Dragonfly, or work for the US military.

Poulson left Google in September for Dragonfly and said he believes four other employees did the same. Google declined to comment on its departure at the time.

He said, according to The Times: "The narrative is that the leak is bad and that the number one priority is to avoid any leakage."

Poulson said Google is not alone in attempting to suppress employee revolts, pointing to similar moves at Microsoft and Amazon. He said the back-and-forth between workers and executives is not "a brief battle".

Business Insider previously reported on the culture of extreme stealth on Google.

An open suit against the company in late 2016 claimed that employees have to sign a confidentiality agreement that even prevents them from talking to a lawyer about what goes on in Google.

He describes an internal program, called "stopleaks," which says employees are encouraged to report their own leaks and those of colleagues.

Stopleaks was referenced again in an internal email that was made public in May 2017 as part of the same process, this time in an email from the head of Google's internal investigations unit.

In September of this year, Business Insider reported that Google was further tightening its security by stifling access to its TGIF (Thank God It & # 39; s Friday) meeting for employees who are not physically in their Silicon Valley.

The news came after a video of officials mourning the election of Donald Trump leaked to the Breitbart news site, fueling politically toxic accusations that the search engine is biased.

Business Insider contacted Google to comment on Poulson's comments.

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