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Tech & Science Google Escalates Internal Crackdown, Firing Four Employees

05:15  26 november  2019
05:15  26 november  2019 Source:   gizmodo.com.au

Did Google Wipe Its Employee's Personal Phone?

  Did Google Wipe Its Employee's Personal Phone? Google has found itself at the centre of considerable backlash once again, this time for placing two employees on administrative leave for uncertain reasons, as well as for contracting famous union-busting firm IRI. At a worker-led rally Friday morning on the company’s San Francisco campus, another revelation came to light: the cell phone of one recently disciplined employee was allegedly rendered mysteriously unusable. “Two weeks ago yesterday, I received an email from my manager telling me that I would have a meeting with the Global Investigations team,” Rebecca Rivers, one of the two employees recently put on leave, said this morning.

Google has fired four employees for violating its policies on data security, Bloomberg News reported. “We’ve seen a recent increase in information being shared outside the company, including the names and details of our employees ,” Google said in a company-wide internal memo Monday

Google fires four employees for 'clear and repeated violations' of its data security policies, apparently including one whose suspension The memo said that the Google employees under investigation had searched and distributed information outside the scope of their jobs, according to Bloomberg.

a group of people walking down the street: Google staffers engaged in a walkout last November to protest sexual harassment within the company (Photo: Mason Trinca, Getty)© Photo: Mason Trinca, Getty Google staffers engaged in a walkout last November to protest sexual harassment within the company (Photo: Mason Trinca, Getty)

An internal memo sent this afternoon states that four Google staffers have been fired for “clear and repeated violations of our data security policies.”

While a company spokesperson declined to comment on personnel matters specifically, she confirmed the authenticity of the memo, first obtained by Bloomberg.

The firings appear to be part of a broader effort to clamp down on internal dissent within the tech giant. Earlier this month, CEO Sundar Pichai abruptly cancelled the company’s weekly all-hands “TGIF” meetings due to what he characterised as “a coordinated effort to share our conversations outside of the company.” Google was revealed to have contracted famous union-busting firm IRI shortly after it was reported to have fired one staffer and put two others on administrative leave.

Google fires four employees for 'clear and repeated violations' of its data security policies, apparently including one whose suspension inspired a protest at a Google office

  Google fires four employees for 'clear and repeated violations' of its data security policies, apparently including one whose suspension inspired a protest at a Google office Google circulated a memo on Monday that informed its employees that it had fired four workers, for what the company said were "clear and repeated violations" of its policies around data security. The memo said that the Google employees under investigation had searched and distributed information outside the scope of their jobs, according to Bloomberg. The memo comes days after more than 200 Googlers demonstrated in solidarity with two colleagues who had been suspended over allegations of improperly accessing internal data.

Now, it appears Google has fired both those workers, as well as two other employees who participated in the rally. Bloomberg reports that Google sent out a The Google Walkout group claims that all four employees fired today participated in the November 22nd rally. The Tech Workers Coalition also

Google told staff on Monday that it fired four employees for what the company called “clear and repeated violations” of its data-security policies. This information, along with details of internal emails and inaccurate descriptions about Googlers’ work, was subsequently shared externally.

Those two employees—Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Berland—were the centrepiece of a 200-person rally on Google’s campus last week, where Rivers implied the company had wiped or otherwise corrupted her personal cell phone. Today, she tweeted that she’d been terminated. She and Berland were not able to be reached for comment. Both have been heavily involved in internal activism at the company, suggesting Google’s actions might be retaliatory. They denied any role in leaking information to the press.

Stranger still, the memo conflates issues of confidentiality with those of data access. “We’ve seen a recent increase in information being shared outside the company, including the names and details of our employees,” the email opens. It goes on to describe “an individual [who] subscribed to the calendars of a wide range of employees outside of their work group.” It’s unclear if such access to calendars runs counter to any specific company policy. The memo is reproduced below in full:

Google fires four employees for 'clear and repeated violations' of its data security policies, apparently including one whose suspension inspired a protest at a Google office

  Google fires four employees for 'clear and repeated violations' of its data security policies, apparently including one whose suspension inspired a protest at a Google office November 26, 2019. Raw footage: William Dearing leaves the Melbourne Magistrates Court after he was fined $1000 for assaulting an intellectually disabled footy fan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in May. (AAP VIDEO/Georgie Moore)

A former Google employee who helped organize a petition against Google working with US immigration agencies has been fired from the company The company’s firings today are viewed as a serious escalation of an increasing crackdown on Google ’s historically permissive culture around

Google says the employees were fired for sharing sensitive information that made other coworkers feel "unsafe." Google has terminated four employees for allegedly sharing sensitive information after weeks of internal dissent related to the mistrust of leadership.

We’ve seen a recent increase in information being shared outside the company, including the names and details of our employees. Our teams are committed to investigating these issues, and today we’ve dismissed four employees for clear and repeated violations of our data security policies.

Google workers protest company's decision to place workers on leave: 'Instead of listening to us, the company has chosen to silence us.'

  Google workers protest company's decision to place workers on leave: 'Instead of listening to us, the company has chosen to silence us.' Google workers gathered outside the company's San Francisco office Friday to protest its recent decision to put two employees on administrative leave. The two employees at the centre of the dispute - Rebecca Rivers and Laurence Berland - spoke at the rally, accusing the internet giant of targeting them for being outspoken critics of some of the company's recent work. Google is systematically stifling its former culture of openness, they charged."Even though Rebecca and I are experiencing the full force of Google's retaliation, this is not really about me. It's not about Rebecca.

SAN FRANCISCO — Google on Monday fired four employees who had been active in labor organizing at the company, according to a memo that was seen by The New York Times. The memo, sent by Google ’s security and investigations team

Google said it fired several employees due to violations of its data-security policies, escalating tension between management and activist workers at a company once revered for its open corporate culture.

There’s been some misinformation circulating about this investigation, both internally and externally. We want to be clear that none of these individuals were fired for simply looking at documents or calendars during the ordinary course of their work.

To the contrary, our thorough investigation found the individuals were involved in systematic searches for other employees’ materials and work. This includes searching for, accessing, and distributing business information outside the scope of their jobs — repeating this conduct even after they were met with and reminded about our data security policies. This information, along with details of internal emails and inaccurate descriptions about Googlers’ work, was subsequently shared externally.

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  4 ex-Google employees who were fired over Thanksgiving are asking the US government to investigate Four former Google engineers who were fired over Thanksgiving announced that they're seeking a National Labour Relations Board investigation into their firings. The former employees said in a statement Monday that they were fired for their attempts to organise a union at Google. Meanwhile, Google insists that the workers were fired for violating data-security policies. Google is facing prolonged backlash from some of its employees, who are critical of the company's treatment of workers and its involvement in military contracts. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Google seems to be taking a softer stance on its “accessibility crackdown ”, pausing the program for a review. In late November, the Chocolate Factory warned Android developers not to use accessibility features outside their intended use. The accessibility framework is useful to simulate text entry or

The Google chairman was speaking at the Summit Against Violent Extremism in Dublin on Monday, in which he warned about the desire for oppressive regimes to crackdown on the Internet as it helps to fuel and sustain uprisings and resistance movements in the middle east.

In one case, among other information they accessed and copied, an individual subscribed to the calendars of a wide range of employees outside of their work group. The individual set up notifications so that they received emails detailing the work and whereabouts of those employees, including personal matters such as 1:1s, medical appointments and family activities — all without those employees’ knowledge or consent. When the affected Googlers discovered this, many reported that they felt scared or unsafe, and requested to work from another location. Screenshots of some of their calendars, including their names and details, subsequently made their way outside the company.

We have always taken information security very seriously, and will not tolerate efforts to intimidate Googlers or undermine their work, nor actions that lead to the leak of sensitive business or customer information. This is not how Google’s open culture works or was ever intended to work. We expect every member of our community to abide by our data security policies.

Fortunately, these types of activities are rare. Thank you to everyone who does the right thing every day — doing amazing work, while inspiring and maintaining the trust of our users, partners, and each other.

Google just added the cofounder of its DeepMind unit to its own AI team .
Google has added the cofounder of its DeepMindartificial intelligence unit to its own internal AI team. Mustafa Suleyman, who cofounded DeepMind with Demis Hassabis and Shane Legg, took a temporary leave from the firm earlier this year. His move to Google ends speculation that he planned to quit both DeepMind and Google altogether. Google acquired DeepMind for $US400 million in 2014, and the firm remains headquartered in London and a research-oriented entity. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Google has added the cofounder of its UK-based DeepMind artificial intelligence research unit to its own AI team.

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