“Code Yellow”: Google Employees Revolt Over Clandestine China Project, by Tyler Durden

The company whose motto was once “Do No Evil” will apparently do the evil bidding of a host government if the market is large enough. To their credit, some of the Google’s employees are pushing back. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Google employees have issued a “code yellow” alert to company executives over brewing opposition to a planned censored search engine in China, citing “urgent moral and ethical issues” in a letter circulated internally, reports The Intercept.

Staff inside the internet giant’s offices have agreed that the censorship project raises “urgent moral and ethical issues” and have circulated a letter saying so, and calling on bosses to disclose more about the company’s work in China, which they say is shrouded in too much secrecy, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter. –The Intercept

The last time Google employees revolted, the company abandoned its controversial AI-drone initiative known as “Project Maven” after around a dozen employees quit and close to 4,000 signed a petition. Many of the same people who led the last effort are now involved in the China protest.

The China search engine project, revealed earlier this month by The Intercept from leaked documents, would “blacklist sensitive queries” so that “no results will be shown” when people enter certain words or phrases. Code-named “Dragonfly,” the censorship plan was not widely known within Google – relegated to just a few hundred of the Mountain View, CA company’s 88,000 employees. After The Intercept‘s August 1 article, however, angry employees were triggered into an uproar, leading to the “code yellow” situation.

Now, a letter has been circulated among staff calling for Google’s leadership to recognize that there is a “code yellow” situation – a kind of internal alert that signifies a crisis is unfolding. The letter suggests that the Dragonfly initiative violates an internal Google artificial intelligence ethical code, which says that the company will not build or deploy technologies “whose purpose contravenes widely accepted principles of international law and human rights.” –The Intercept

The letter reads in part: “Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment. That the decision to build Dragonfly was made in secret, and progressed with the [artificial intelligence] Principles in place, makes clear that the Principles alone are not enough. We urgently need more transparency, a seat at the table, and a commitment to clear and open processes: Google employees need to know what we’re building.”

To continue reading: “Code Yellow”: Google Employees Revolt Over Clandestine China Project

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