After retaliation against Googler Uprising organizers, a company-wide memo warns employees they can be fired for accessing "need to know" data

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/05/15/you-dont-need-to-know.html

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#2

Googlers: Which docs are ‘need to know?’
Google: We’ll tell you after you use them to publicly embarrass us.

Joseph Heller would be so proud of them.

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#3

THE GREAT AND ALL-POWERFUL MANAGEMENT: New rule! No more questions about things we don’t like! Also no recordings of us not answering things we don’t like! Now go!

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#4

We’ll tell you when you need to know you’re fired.

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#5

Tired: Don’t Be Evil.
Wired: Be EEEEEEEEVIIIILLL!! #MUHAHAHAHA

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#6

Read the story. Think about the story. Remember that Google has some fairly socially responsible employees. Now consider what is likely happening at places like Microsoft.

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#7

Boo hoo. Political litmus tests are bullshit, and rank and file employees don’t get line-item veto on every decision a company makes. This ain’t an Ivy League campus, this is business.

#8

Without employees, there is no one to do the work of the business. They SHOULD get a say.

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#9

And without a company, there’s no work for those employees to do. Of course, it’s a symbiotic relationship, and employees should have a say, but when it get super political like demanding the removal of a board member because he wasn’t 100% on board with the trans movement is when it crosses the line for me.

#10

There are alternatives to authoritarian, top down corporations that treat employees like cogs in a machine instead of human beings. In the long run, treating people like shit means you don’t have happy employees and they will always be looking for a way out or will refuse to give their all. And who can blame them? Respect should go both ways. Corporations exists to improve human life, we aren’t at the service of them. Anything less than that is bullshit authoritarianism.

For the second half of the 20th century, corporations actual had to treat their employees well, give them pensions, allow them vacation time, and other benefits. And guess what, it was the the most productive economy in the world. Today, companies like Publix and Bob’s Red Mill are employee owned, and have some of the highest job satisfaction ratings and better retention, and that translates into better services and products for the public, which translates into higher profitability.

The board can do that and the board member is no more entitled to his/her position than an employee is entitled to the job. You don’t get to have it both ways, actually. Being against human rights is a great reason to drop someone from the board. Being in favor of human rights is a basic human decency thing to do. It’s a base line for decency.

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#11

Your “political” is my human dignity and equality. But if you’re willing to give those up for yourself (and can actually do so) - I’m willing to consider your position. Just so long as we do so from an equal footing.

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#12

anybody who cares about this is a baby

powerful people should do whatever they want without consequences

something something dictatorship of the proletariat

red-blooded patriotic americans won’t let ((( elites ))) tell us what to do

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#13

Maybe he will… after all, he doesn’t like politics in the corporate world, the pure and unpolitical landscape that it is…! /s

@smulder excellent translation!

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#14

Peoples day to day existence is not ‘super political’, unlike the actions of the president of the Heritage Foundation (who is a woman).

And ‘wasn’t 100% on board with the trans movement’ is a funny way of writing 100% opposed to the trans movement.

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#15

And those damn elites!

Nothing like those salt of the earth working class heroes on the google board of directors.

Poor bastards with their black lung disease- had to quit junior high school and join the google board mine to help momma after daddy passed away.

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#16

Yep, and the other half of the board is made up of people laid off from mcdonald’s! Real working class heroes, them. John Lennon would be proud!

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#17

Except I just realized that by “Boo hoo” he might have meant to mock women rather than babies :thinking:

It’s a dense text, rich with opportunities for scholarship

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#18

Well - they ain’t much for your fancy book learning- but they tote SEC filings all day long. 15 tons baby!

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#19

What you’re missing is that in this case the corporate “person” actually needs its employees as much as they need it. I know the prospect of this is horrifying to Libertarians and those decrepit Calvinists who think that wage slavery is the natural order of things in business, but that’s how it happens to be in the tech industry. In many cases these companies are like colleges: highly selective of the young people who work on campus, providing catering and extra-curricular activities to keep them motivated and satisfied with the experience.

That’s especially the case with Google, the original and sadly abandoned motto of which was was “don’t be evil”. Google also understands that retaining its young, often socially liberal employees (who often hold options or shares) means taking into account where they draw the line on certain issues – including the right for trans people to exist with dignity and the same rights as other citizens.

But…but…that’s soshalism. It’s the ro-o-o-oad to serfdom, I tells ya.

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#20

The classified documents at the National Security Agency had a Need-To-Know policy, where an employee who had the clearances to see the document still needed mission-related justification to see the document. However, NSA Need To Know was a more sensible system than the one described at Google. First, the documents had compartment marking to guide who could see them. Second, the Need To Know could be enabled by several different needs. For example, if a project used a mathematical technique, then the mathematicians involved could give lectures about the project to teach that technique to others who had no relation to the project itself.

Later, after investigation of the intelligence on the 9/11 attacks revealed that the different intelligence agencies might have prevented the attacks if they had shared the appropriate information, the agencies promoted a Responsibility To Share to balance the Need To Know.

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