back to article Google sued for firing staff who claim they tried to follow 'Don't be evil' motto

Around 2001, Google adopted the motto "Don't be evil" to summarize its avowed values and to spell out the ethical behavior expected from employees. That motto until late April or early May, 2018, featured prominently in the company's Code of Conduct. It read, "The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put 'Don’t be evil …

  1. anothercynic Silver badge

    Don't be evil?

    The way that business is being handled stinks to high heaven of underhanded tactics. Quelle surprise.

    1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Don't be evil?

      Unfortunately, evil is in the eye of the beholder. For example, evil must be completely absent from war, because God is on each side. Or so I'm told, as each side always claims God is on its side.

      1. Plest Bronze badge
        Happy

        Re: Don't be evil?

        As Mark Steel pointed out, "No general ever said just before a battle, 'I prayed to God last night in our hour og need but it appears he's backing the other side this time so we're on our own!'".

    2. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

      Re: Don't be evil?

      I suppose there is a thin line between what is claimed.

      The staff appear to be claiming ethical whistleblowing.

      Google are technically not contesting the whistleblowing side, but are saying that senior staff accessed employee personal and calendar data of staff outside their own teams, leaking it to left wing activists, effectively doxing staff and leaking their medical appointments (as listed in their calendars). Ultimately leading to a security incident and a claim of harassment with potential violent repercussions.

      There is a fine line between the two and a legal mind should probably be used to separate private Vs leakable material.

      Whether right or wrong, I think it's safe to say, if you intentionally go to war with your employer on sensitive matters, you may not receive a Christmas card in the envelope this year.

  2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Politics, not Good

    > separating children from their parents, 'caging' immigrants

    These regulations were created and imposed by Obama, not Trump. He actually built prisons specifically for the separated kids and insisted on photos being put up on local govt sites of him & Biden proudly showing local dignitaries around newly completed kids' prisons (these are quite surreal).

    If they were "fighting" for "Good", vs just being political, they would have said something then.

    They didn't. Therefore this was just pure politics.

    1. Ace2

      Re: Politics, not Good

      I’m struggling to find anything in your post that constitutes an actual fact.

      1. lukewarmdog

        Re: Politics, not Good

        Apparently a Facebook meme, a doctored image.

        If you scrape a low hanging tree, you'll get low hanging fruit.

        1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

          Re: Politics, not Good

          (Interesting that you swerve the point in order to ad-hominem an aside. Nevertheless:)

          > Apparently a Facebook meme, a doctored image.

          > If you scrape a low hanging tree, you'll get low hanging fruit.

          I only saw 2 photos with my own eyes. Both were equivalent: Obama, Biden, 1/several other person(s), inside a shiny new prison. Both photos were embedded within government press releases about the visits, "well" written in a very normal manner. Both were datestamped well inside Obama's tenure, datestamped internally within the payload/title of the document and externally in the URLfilestructure. And --key point-- both were hosted on .gov sites amongst other similar press releases.

          So unless there were evil Trumpers operating with truly uncanny prescience years before Trump even threw his hat in the ring (or deplorables who despite their limited intellects developed a time-machine), AND who also happened to have SysAdmin or ContentCreator authority on official US Government servers/websites, I'm inclined to trust the veracity of the .gov origins.

          > Facebook

          I was actually one of the first ever ex-US facebook signups, Sept.2006 first day, since I was "id-claiming" on every new social platform to pre-empt the then-problem of people taking your name/id and playing silly buggers with it. I was also one of the first ever account-deletions a year or so later when what they were doing with your data/tracking came to light (every action monetised in 6 seconds, at the time). To be clear, it's been impossible for me to login to facebook for nearly 15 years.

          Sorry, VirtueMaster, you'll have to find another LowerClassPerson brush to tar me with.

          1. sev.monster Bronze badge
            Holmes

            Re: Politics, not Good

            Got those links bruv?

            1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

              Re: Politics, not Good

              Here's a link for you.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Politics, not Good

                A link to a fake "fact checking" site?

                You might as well cite Alex Jones.

                1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

                  Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

                  ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

                  Ha.

                  Ha ha.

                  Ha.

                2. sev.monster Bronze badge

                  Re: Politics, not Good

                  Okay, got any sources of your own?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Politics, not Good

            > To be clear, it's been impossible for me to login to facebook for nearly 15 years

            No it hasn't.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Politics, not Good.. ah yes the Guardianista sheep are out in force...

        Well some of us actually dont depend on bien pensant MSM orgs for their "news".

        But here is a story (one of many) from 2014 from that notorious right wing MAGA loving organization called Reuters which has lots of photos of kids in cages and handcuffs.

        https://www.reuters.com/news/picture/migrant-child-crisis-idUSRTR3UJLN

        (you may have to VPN outside the US to see the photos due to GDPR etc)

        Funny that, Reuters publishing those Trumpist propaganda "fake news" photso two years before Trump was elected.

        Those idiots at Google should have been fired. How dare they think their "principals" are superior to the law of the land. They wont get much sympathy from those who went though the horrible and expensive experience of legal immigration.

        For those Brits who dont know whats been going on in California over the last few decades. Basically very cheap unskilled labor is smuggled over the border by very expensive human traffickers (coyotes), many thousands of the illegals are robbed or are left to die in the desert every year. Then they are used as very cheap labor (very few work in agriculture) where they have no rights and are treated like sh*t. The typical South African cook, gardeners, or nanny is treated far better and with more respect than their equivalent in California. Mostly employed by affluent Gentry Democratic voters I might add. In South Africa the norm is for a family to help with the education etc of the family of long term household workers. In the US the illegals are treated by as non-people by the equivalent employers. The employers treat them as totally disposable workers. Just bodies. Easily replaced.

        You dont have to spend much time in places like Marin or the Valley to meet these household "servants" treated like this. One more than one occasion they have been genuinely shocked when I asked about where they are from, their family, etc. Because in many years none of their gringo employers ever gave a f*ck about who they were. Where they came from etc. I always talk to these people because they always have interesting stories to tell. Nice people. Unlike most of their employers I might add.

        So yeah, Obama "caged" the "kids". Who are actually mostly adults. Like those "kids" in Germany pushing 25. And several hundred thousands illegals have swarmed across the border since the beginning of the year. No skills, most barely literate, but make a huge pool of very cheap, very hardworking and totally supine labor. For domestics, construction, cleaners, restaurant workers etc. The perfect pool of defacto slave labor. Mostly for well to do Democrat employers I might add.

        So. Still support uncontrolled illegal immigration now?

    2. matjaggard

      Re: Politics, not Good

      Although basically irrelevant to this article, investigations by sources I mostly trust and know which areas not to trust them into the immigration piece:

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/kids-in-cages-debate-trump-obama/2020/10/23/8ff96f3c-1532-11eb-82af-864652063d61_story.html

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44303556

      1. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

        Re: Politics, not Good

        Let's take your articles as entirely valid.

        Well, they don't just support my point, they actually emphasise it. They both state that Trump reversed Obama's regulations in 6 weeks, by June 2018. All done -- finito. But these plaintiffs decided to mount a campaign against it, decided Google should be a weapon against it, over a year later in August/September 2019. Problem: mismatch b/w Evil and Attack. I pointed out a Blame mismatch; WP&BBC point out a Timing mismatch.

        Since Teh Evil had been extinguished over a year before, their actions therefore can only have been Politically driven.

        Which takes them outside Google's CoC's "implied protection".

        Which was my underlying point. Which is relevant to this article.

      2. W.S.Gosset Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        OT -- trust vs sources relying on past reputation

        > Although basically irrelevant to this article, investigations by sources I mostly trust and know which areas not to trust them [sic] into the immigration piece:

        > https://www.washingtonpost.com/immigration/kids-in-cages-debate-trump-obama/2020/10/23/8ff96f3c-1532-11eb-82af-864652063d61_story.html

        > https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-44303556

        Thanks for that; that's a keeper. These 2 articles together are a good standalone example-in-one-place of how badly news is spun nowadays. Or at least demonstrates it for the BBC. The BBC has been strongly untrustworthy for quite a while now (the oz ABC is much worse), as the staff "spend" on activism the historical credibility earned by their forebears. Here, the "story told" by the BBC article is immediately side-by-side contradicted by the WP article -- if the WP article is true, then the BBC must be being deliberately deceptive. Elision, part-truth, nonsequitur, distraction framing, etc. all right there back to back with immediate contrast. Lovely.

        (The WP's is more complete/less deceptive than the BBC's, but is still heavy on spin-by-elision, eg Congressional hearings I've watched with AOC contradict aspects of its story, and not by click-hungry meeja but by testimony under oath by professionals in the field. That's exogenous to the simple links here though.)

        Thanks again -- it can be a real pain when people insist on the verecundiam due BBC's historical reputation/concept, rather than its modern reality; now I can just paste in these two links, job done.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Politics, not Good

        You trust the BBC and WaPo?

        In other words, you chose to believe them because they share your own particular bias.

        No honest person could claim these are honest, objective or impartial sources - sadly.

        1. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

          Re: Politics, not Good

          Actually, the BBC will tell you lots of inconvenient things about Canada and the States.

          I've found the only way to get half an idea of what's going on is to sift through a bit of all the stupid and try some gentle comparative analysis.

          All we have going for us is that they're all kinda lying about the same things.

          1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

            Re: Politics, not Good

            Quote

            Actually, the BBC will tell you lots of inconvenient things about Canada and the States.

            As will the Guadian and Independent.

            Whereas the US news orgs are far more beholden to their advertisers (and ownership) than others.

        2. thinking ape

          Re: Politics, not Good

          Media bias comparison. There's level of bias, there's also bias vs lies.

          https://adfontesmedia.com/

          Fact checked by people of all political backgrounds

          1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

            Re: Politics, not Good

            Fascinating site. I'd say they have the position of the Daily Fail (and several others) a little too far to the left, but then I think the US's definitions of left and right are a bit different from Europe's.*

            *(For example, the Democrats are only just about on the left on our scale, which is why I find it utterly bizarre when they're referred to as "radical": they're closer to being centrists. Even on the "right" in Europe**, pretty much everyone wants universal healthcare.)

            **(I'm referring to the general continent here, not the EU.)

            1. genghis_uk Silver badge

              Re: Politics, not Good

              I was about to say the same - if the Mail (generally considered UK's FOX News) is central, just how far right is the rest of the US media?

              1. Hubert Cumberdale Silver badge

                Re: Politics, not Good

                Answer: very.

        3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

          Re: Politics, not Good

          The BBC and WaPo are more reliable news outlets than the likes of POX News.

          I know that's not saying a lot but...

    3. Kane Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Politics, not Good

      "He actually built prisons specifically for the separated kids and insisted on photos being put up on local govt sites of him & Biden proudly showing local dignitaries around newly completed kids' prisons (these are quite surreal)"

      Citation Needed

      1. MrDamage
        Coat

        Re: Politics, not Good

        > "Citation Needed"

        You can find two for sale here;

        https://www.smartrvguide.com/citation-rvs-for-sale?k=citation+citation+32

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Politics, not Good

      Caging children is not "being evil" if it is being done under a Democrat President.

      Why don't you understand that?

      Just like it is OK for Democrat politicians to disparage Covid Vaccines.

      Things are bad if Orange Bad Man does them, but the exact same things are good if they are done by Senile Joe. Get it?

    5. Sixtiesplastictrektableware

      Re: Politics, not Good

      Can't follow your lies about Obama, but it brings to mind that racism has the power to invert the perception of who causes harm and who is the recipient. Shirley that wasn't your angle, though.

      Like broken promises of US Civil Rights or Canada's fake racial tolerance, this is merely the same people doing the same thing they've done the same for the same centuries the same up to now that they'll do the same for the same rest of the same of their same existence. The same.

      People are merely surprised they're being treated like the people they prob'ly thought they were above being treated like.

      1. KSM-AZ

        Re: Politics, not Good

        Wow. I find the downvote numbers incredible on articles that actually state facts, albeit with some sarcasm. I live near the border. These clowns currently in office in the US are frankly scary, and the BS going on on the US/MX border was actually starting to get under control prior to the current fools. I think the problem is people are trying to foment animosity by contradicting fact with fiction, and downvoting sane thinking.

        Be that as it may... if you are a parent and you bring a child ILLEGALLY across the border, and we take it away, I think that is the parents fault, not the governments. Keep in mind, most of these people are generally NOT from Mexico.

        And if you truly feel these folks are all pouring up here, and need your help, by all means step up to the plate and sponsor a few from your wallet instead of mine. Otherwise climb down from your high horse and shut up. Trust me their hands are out waiting for you to give, give, give.

        1. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

          Re: Politics, not Good

          From recollection, and trying to put an unbiased spin on things (it is sad how some journalists go through great lengths to insert their activism as fact, on both sides, although I personally find one side has a particularly amusing opinion on what "truth" means).

          The reason the children were originally separated, during the Obama years (disclosure: I liked Obama, Biden is a confused fool I can't support), was because it was dangerous having kids in adult prisons. Violence and sexual offences were a legal nightmare waiting to happen.

          Both sides can argue "Well Obama did this, Trump did that" but ultimately it started as an Obama thing and Trump changed some policies along the way. Trump's method looked harsher, but he was largely seeking to deter illegal crossings. Biden's way is perhaps "kinder" on the face of it, but has largely resulted in complete chaos at the border, with a huge increase in illegal border crossings (if the new prez says he supports the migrants.. what do you think would happen?).

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Politics, not Good

      So the Trump reference is superfluous. It's the policies they opposed. Despite that you suspect their motivation to be partisan, it is irrelevant. Your motivation is easier to infer.

    7. Evil Auditor

      Re: Politics, not Good

      Jebus fsck! Are you off your medication?!

    8. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Politics, not Good

      You are talking about America ... let's face it, that kind of policy attitude was created after the first Thankgiving in America when the natives attempted to help the immigrants survive - unfortunately for the natives they actually did a good job and were then targeted by the surviving immigrants for the next 300 years.

      I wonder if America is worried that today's immigrants will behave like the pilgrims?

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Politics, not Good

        You're talking about the so-called "first thanksgiving" of the Puritans in 1621, right? It might surprise you to learn that those folks had absolutely nothing to do with the Founding of America.

        It cracks me up every time you Brits claim the US was founded by the Puritans. In reality, the Puritans were a fairly unimportant sub-culture by 1776. If you look at facts, not a single one of our Founding Fathers was a Puritan. In fact, many of them spoke out against organized religion partially because of the Puritans ... If anything, the American Revolution happened in part to rid ourselves of such bullshit (sadly, we're not done yet).

        On the other hand, and apropos of ElReg's science oriented crowd, seven of the ten initial core group that became The Royal Society were Puritans. The Puritans never ran the United States, but they DID run England for many years. The effects are still visible.

        1. ArrZarr

          Re: Politics, not Good

          What does it matter who founded what or who ran what 400 years ago? All we need to agree on is that religion is the worst reason for doing anything and work from there.

    9. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Politics, not Good

      regardless of how anyone "feels" (the F word, "Feel") unless laws are being broken, being insubordinate and/or protesting your employer CAN get you fired. And, generally, SHOULD.

      Still, lefties running Google vs lefties formerly working AT google, arguing about the meaning of "do no evil" - like a rake fight between technologically challenged religious people, or sumo mud wrestling , or even an old fashioned demolition derby, it's probably going to be "popcorn worthy".

  3. jake Silver badge

    Hang on a second ...

    ... go ogle had already dropped "don't be evil" as a motto as of October of 2015, when Alphabet decided "Do the right thing" was more appropriate. Following that "don't be evil" was vestigial, at best, an afterthought in the CoC before eventually being removed completely.

    Methinks Willie Sutton might have had something to say about the lawsuit(s).

    1. Falmari Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Hang on a second ...

      @jake that was my thought and the article said “That motto until late April or early May, 2018, featured prominently in the company's Code of Conduct. It read, "The Google Code of Conduct is one of the ways we put 'Don’t be evil' into practice.”

      So, by 2019 'Don’t be evil' was no longer in Google’s Code of Conduct. But were employees asked to sign up to the new CoC? If not then then surely the one they did sign up too is still in force.

  4. martinusher Silver badge

    Google is a US corporation

    I'm just amazed at how naive many of today's (younger) employees are. They won't join a union but somehow they expect a company to abide by their wishes. They don't seem to get the idea that they're not just employees but they're also working in a "right to work" state. The company may carry on with a facsimile of bonhomie and doing the right thing -- its great PR -- but ultimately the company exists for one reason and one reason only, its going to make money for the principals and shareholders. It is not a democracy, commune or charitable organization and maybe these employees need a spell in something more normal to get some perspective about what the world of work is like for most people.

    This lawsuit is up there with a recent agony aunt enquiry in the paper that was from a concerned parent who was worried about their child burning out in their first job and "having to take time off to recuperate". They question the parent asked is how they could interact with the company to keep that good job open for their return. It got an interesting reply....nonplussed might be the way to describe it.

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Google is a US corporation

      This is right up there with strong loyalty to companies that would lay them off in a nanosecond.

    2. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

      Re: Google is a US corporation

      California is not a "Right to work" state. Maybe you meant "at-will?" In California, either side can terminate employment at any time.

      "At will" employment runs into trouble when departure is planned in advance to cause damage. A common scam is offering some kind of amazing future bonus (vesting stock, pension, raise, commission, Q4 bonus, etc.) with the intention of performing an "at-will" termination right before vesting. Most employees can't hire a lawyer right when they have lost expected income. I haven't heard of Google doing this but they're past due to start. All the other cool megacorps do it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Google is a US corporation.. "Right To Work"..

        > California is not a "Right to work" state

        Incorrect. It is. As legally understood as the ability of an employer to write anything into a employment contract that in any way prevents an employee from either ending the employment contract at any time or prevents an employee from working for any employer of their choice in the future. Right to Work stops that crap.

        The whole "Right to work" regarding union membership etc is a more recent invention and more of a political slogan than anything else. The only over lap with traditional "Right to work" law is making union membership a condition of employment or union dues mandatory. Which is were the current statute law push mostly started. Back in the 1980's Mostly to deal with UAW attempts at blackmail.

        In California non competes are not legally enforceable but they are in non "Right to Work" like Washington state. So a 12 month cannot work for anyone else in your area clause is not only enforceable but is enforced in Washington. In California its only the NDA's and trade secrets that are legally enforceable.

        I have been signing California work contracts for many decades and almost a decade in the state of Washington. So have to know about this stuff when dealing with potentially troublesome employers / clients. So very well used to sneaky / sleazy / incompetent company lawyers trying to sneak in unenforceable or even illegal clauses and then threaten strong-arming assuming you dont know the law. That never went well for anyone who tried that. If I had had particular suspicions I would often just strike out an offending clause before signing. To watch the reaction. The other side were always on best behavior after that. Just in case I had some more legal surprises in store. Which in the case of Californian law one always does.

        1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

          Re: Google is a US corporation.. "Right To Work"..

          None of that sounds like "right to work" more like restriction of employment contracts.

          How does Right To Work work? If I'm unemployed who do I sue for my rights being infringed? Who's the employer of last resort that ensures that right is enforced?

          1. KSM-AZ

            "Right To Work"..

            Long, long ago, when I lived in NC, a video rental store (Not Blockbuster), was making it's employees sign a contract that stated if they were fired or quit they could not work at another video rental store (Blockbuster the intended target mee thinks) for a period of 2 years. They were talking minimum wage jobs here. I'm not sure what the laws were at the time, but I told the person not to sign anything so ridiculous. "Right to Work" laws were invented to address these types of contract clauses, that would prevent someone from working within an acquired skill set. Most people working minimum wage jobs, were not really experienced enough to understand the document, so they just sign whatever paperwork is thrown at them,

            Unions can work well for skilled labor and were a great equalizer early in the 20th century to combat numerous rampant issues that would eventually protect workers from unscrupulous employers. This got out of hand in the other direction when union leaders started to become corrupt. Government employees should NEVER get union protection. It's the fox guarding the hen house problem. If you don't like your gub'mint job, and want to be in a union, quit, get some skills and get a normal job that has union support.

            Loading boxes in an Amazon warehouse is not skilled labor.

      2. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Google is a US corporation

        I've spent half my working life -- 35 years -- in California in the tech industry and I've witnessed many mass layoffs and abrupt firings during that time. As employees you really don't have any rights and what leverage you do have is often bargained away for a few weeks' pay at your severance. The only leverage you have is knowledge, the sort of deep knowledge that you are most unlikely to have as a twenty-something with a couple of years experience behind you.

        Ultimately the only job security that I know of is significant savings and a network of contacts that can provide alternative employment. It might seem a bit brutal to think like this but if you've ever witnessed a colleague being hustled out of the building on zero notice after 15 years service and the kinds of threats -- real and implied -- made to everyone about the consequences of discussing this then you'd realize that employees are not family. They're work units. (This is in a smaller company, privately held -- other neat tricks were sweeping up a younger shopfloor workforce from a company that was relocating and disposing of the old guard, many with 20+ years of service.)

        Right to work implies a balance of power but as everyone should know the power of the employer is far greater than that of an individual employee. That's why employers go to great lengths to squash any attempt at organizing -- unions redress the balance.

    3. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: Google is a US corporation

      When our children grow up naive it because we, as parents, have failed to educate them about the failures in politics on all sides.

      In the USA, unions are seen by both parties as just "communist" organizations because unions are working to protect workers ... not their bosses - certainly American unions have been failures in the past but never as bad as the actions of today's corporate evils.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Google is a US corporation

      > They won't join a union

      This sort of thing wouldn't be protected by a union, I think. They're objecting on their subjective moral grounds, not on grounds of things like workers' rights.

    5. ST Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Google is a US corporation

      > I'm just amazed at how naive many of today's (younger) employees are.

      They're called Millennials.

      1. msobkow Silver badge

        Re: Google is a US corporation

        I believe the current crop of new hires with the chips on their shoulder constitute "Gen-X", not the Millenials. The Millenials are getting up there now.

        1. Dinanziame Silver badge

          Re: Google is a US corporation

          No, the youngest Gen X are 40 years old now. Millennials are over 25, and up to 39. Those finishing college are Gen Z.

    6. J.G.Harston Silver badge

      Re: Google is a US corporation

      Like the recent one: "I want to screw around, but my girlfriend won't agree". All dressed up in identitarian pass phrases.

    7. Trigun Bronze badge

      Re: Google is a US corporation

      Agreed.

      If you don't like what the business you are working for is doing, then:

      1) bring it up as a concern, see if you can change minds at the top. may not be possible as money talks.

      2) find another job and in your exit interview tell them, calmly, why you are quitting (optional). possibly protest after that if you feel very strongly.

      3) stay in your job, feel free to protest, but expect to be fired as most companies don't like their empoyees attacking them or their customers (rightly or wrongly).

      As for "don't be evil". Who the heck ever thought that was believable? Good/Evil under many circumstances is relative to the person judging.

  5. HatHatHatHatHat

    Surely any barrister worth their salt would be able to argue that noone thought they were being serious when they said that ☺

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Any lawyer worth their salt is just going to say to the court that Google was acting on behalf of the laws in place by government so if you class the actions of google as evil you are saying the American government is evil. Not going to happen even if it was evil what they did.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Not a lot of lawyers call themselves Barristers in California. Basically, any lawyer who has passed the state bar and has been admitted to practice may prosecute or defend in California. We use the term Attorney for both prosecution and defense.

      Like the above terminology, don't assume "the Law" (whatever that means!) is the same here as it is in your jurisdiction. It frequently isn't, and assuming otherwise just makes you look silly.

  6. hitmouse

    I assume they thought employees would click through the Ts and Cs without reading them, and any complaints would go to one of Google's many abandoned customer forums that are still linked to the products. (Google doesn't have link crawling tech that works on its own domains.)

  7. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Joke

    We're just a meal for Google

    The motto need to be "upgraded" ... Google's attitude for years now has been that cannibalism is not evil, people taste great with some nice white sauce, but of course you need to wash them well before you eat them so that any dirty change in their pockets falls into the sink. /joke

    But is Google any different from so many other companies these days? Google has made so much money that virtually every other company in the networked world copies the Google profit-making actions to stay in business. Google started this, but they are not the only company behaving like we're all just lunch these days.

  8. DJO Silver badge

    Semantics

    "Don't be evil" is not the same as "Don't do evil".

    History is resplendent with examples of "good" people doing "evil" things for any number of reasons which may even have seemed good ideas at the time.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Semantics

      I wonder if Robert Knievel would have been able to sue them for an unfair exclusion clause in their T&Cs?

  9. The Dogs Meevonks

    Their New Motto is

    Google's new motto has been 'Don't get caught doing evil' for quite some years now... But they still keep getting caught.

    Can we all just agree that google are just complete and utter c*nts now, and have been for a very, very long time?

    1. Rosie Davies

      Re: Their New Motto is

      Mostly except for the *. If you are going to have right old swear please do it properly. Otherwise it's like alcohol free gin or some similar monstrosity.

      Rosie

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: Their New Motto is

        For some reason certain people seem to think that adding asterisks somehow mutes the badness of the word(s) that they self censor, despite the fact that their actual meaning is blatantly obvious to anyone with native intelligence greater than that of a flatworm. It's almost as if they think that the words themselves are somehow more meaningful than the intent behind the words.

        People are weird.

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. The Dogs Meevonks
          Trollface

          Re: Their New Motto is

          Are you saying that 'certain people' are kinda cuntish if they write the word c*nt? :)

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: Their New Motto is

            Not cuntish. Delusional.

      2. The Dogs Meevonks

        Re: Their New Motto is

        The reason I self censor is because it's 50/50 whether the comment will be allowed on here or not. I guess it depends which precious mod is reading it... because some don't mind if you call google a cunt, but they'll object if you call Old Muskrat one.

        So to ensure the use of the word cunt gets through... I write c*nt.

        and now we're all going to find out who is moderating this thread. :)

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Their New Motto is

          From many years of observation, if you keep the ad hominum to a bare minimum in these here parts, chances are your post will be allowed.

          We (TINW) know you meant fuck, so fucking type fuck. If some fucker can't fucking handle it, they can fucking leave.

          Or we can let the fuckheads who pretend to be easily shocked take over.

  10. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    attorney-client privilege

    Seems like that is the corporate-world version of National Security.

  11. ST Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Why is this even newsworthy

    Google has spent untold amounts of money burnishing their public image as a "cool" corporation.

    Are Google employees really that dense naive not to realize the difference between corporate PR veneer and reality?

    You thought Google was any different than GE or Goldman Sachs? Think again.

  12. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    Slavery was abolished in the USA more than 150 years ago. If these people don't want to work for Google they are completely free to not work for Google.

    1. DJO Silver badge

      No it wasn't. Slavery still exists in the USA for the prison population who are forced to work for no or negligible pay.

      * Context Time *

      The US over the space of 250 years imported 305,326 slaves

      The current US prison population is 1.8 million

      Slavery is bigger now in the USA than it has ever been. Changing the name does not change the practice.

      As for your other point, people are indeed free to take any job but if the only jobs available where you live are for abusive employers then your options are limited, you could try to find housing elsewhere but that's not always a viable option.

      1. Jilara

        Don't assume that all prisons/prisoners provide labor. Many don't.

        1. DJO Silver badge

          Indeed. But some do and some of those that do are exploiting the inmates for profit.

          Pretty much the definition of slavery.

          The fact that it occurs in even one prison is wrong in every way.

          But you are right, I should have written something like:

          "Slavery is potentially bigger now in the USA than ever"

          There is the context of the labour provided too, if it is useful civil work like fire-fighting or sewing mailbags for the post office (a bit of history there) then there's a good argument for it. But providing cheap labour to commercial enterprises should be illegal.

  13. Unicornpiss
    Flame

    Then there's Facebook and Twitter..

    Their mottos seem to be "Don't be accountable."

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