Ross LaJeunesse left Google last April after he advocated within the company for years for a human rights program that formalize free speech and privacy principles.
New, from me. Based on interviews with @RossforMaine, emails & documents. Execs at Google rarely break ranks but Ross' experience pushing for real human rights accountability shows how Google can sideline internal critics, even trusted people near the top https://t.co/jtfqoqhL6D
— Nitasha Tiku (@nitashatiku) January 2, 2020
Ross "began lobbying for it internally in 2017 — around the time when the tech giant was exploring a return to China, in a stark reversal of its 2010 move that made its search engine unavailable there," reports Nitasha Tiku in the Washington Post:
Now, the 50-year-old is alleging that Google pushed him out for it in April.
"I didn't change. Google changed," LaJeunesse, who was Google's global head of international relations in Washington, told The Washington Post. "Don't be evil" used to top the company's mission statement. "Now when I think about 'Don't be evil,' it's been relegated to a footnote in the company's statements."
Within Google, China was seen as a booming market that represented concerns about the ways technology could be used to suppress free expression or enable surveillance. LaJeunesse modeled his human rights program on the way Google approached privacy and security issues, designing the team of employees, in functions such as supply chain, policy, and ethics and compliance, to help Google integrate, coordinate and prioritize human rights risk assessment.
Wow, Google has a metric fuckton of explaining to do. https://t.co/JzyMGXb8Iv?
— Zack Whittaker (@zackwhittaker) January 2, 2020
"Google's shifting moral calculus around China illustrates the tech giant's transformation from an organization that portrayed itself as an exception to corporate norms into one driven by business imperatives and market opportunities" https://t.co/EzBO7KtbCa
— Saagar Enjeti (@esaagar) January 2, 2020
— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) January 2, 2020
A Google exec says he was forced out b/c he was *too* committed to human rights.
— Avi Asher-Schapiro (@AASchapiro) January 2, 2020
Google's former head of international relations is running for office, so he's also revealing the details of the company's relationship with Chinese authorities. A good read on encroaching surveillance capitalism:
— Heidi N. Moore (@moorehn) January 2, 2020
— Steve Kovach (@stevekovach) January 2, 2020
Scathing piece from Google's former head of int'l relations, who says he was sidelined from discussions about launching censored search in China & removed from his job at the company after he advocated for human rights & raised concerns about bullying: https://t.co/10mdhHWqxU
— Ryan Gallagher (@rj_gallagher) January 2, 2020
Google's head of international relations created and internally lobbied for a program to support free expression and privacy for its users in China—leaned in, you could say—and then last year got purged. "'Don't be evil,' has been relegated to a footnote."https://t.co/VtV0zeayF1
— Kurt Andersen (@KBAndersen) January 2, 2020
Read every word of this bombshell first person account of @google's dramatic turn away from their "Don't be evil" mantra.
There are simply too many stories and quotes to list, but the one below is a particularly awful one: https://t.co/qxaLawv7ST
— Sleeping Giants (@slpng_giants) January 2, 2020
Google's former top diplomat now blames the company's "disengaged" founders and earnings-driven leadership for Google's departure from its core value, "Don't be evil." He's also now running as a Democrat for Susan Collins' senate seat in Maine.https://t.co/FPG8L4FIEm
— Lauren Feiner (@lauren_feiner) January 2, 2020