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Employee Sues Google Over Internal "Spying Program"

Employee Sues Google Over Internal

"This case does not concern Google's trade secrets, consumer privacy, or information that should not be disclosed under the law", he says; the confidentiality agreements are unconstitutional.

"The policies prohibit Googlers (staff of the company) from speaking plainly - even internally - about illegal conduct or risky product defects because such statements might one day be subject to discovery in litigation or sought by the government", the suit states.

"In addition to requiring Googlers to keep all information about Google confidential, Google places additional onerous restrictions on Googlers' freedom to speak", it continues.

The internal policies, which allegedly include prohibiting employees from speaking about illegal conduct or risky product defects, even internally, are apparently to control Google's current and former employees, limiting what they can say. In addition, there is a policy that prevents employees from writing a novel about working for a Silicon Valley corporation.

The Information confirmed that the person who filed the lawsuit is the same who filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board over the same kind of confidentiality policies earlier this year.

The company's employee policies break California law on a number of points, according to the lawsuit, including the right to discuss workplace conditions and to notify authorities both internally and externally over possible violations of the law.

Employee Sues Google Over Internal
Employee Sues Google Over Internal "Spying Program"

Doe says Katz falsely informed roughly 65,000 co-workers that he had been fired for leaking information to the press, though he did not leak it, and he still works for the company.

Google, according to the lawsuit, operates a program called "Stop Leaks", which motivates employees to report suspicious behavior, including other employees asking detailed questions about work, projects or other important things.

In the complaint, the former product manager said he was sacked because he spoke out on Facebook about working conditions at Google and Nest.

Besides being uncomfortably Big Brother-ish, the policies also violate California labor laws, the lawsuit alleges.

The Information calculated that if Google is found guilty of violating California labor law, it could be fined as much as $3.8 billion. "Our employee confidentiality requirements are created to protect proprietary business information, while not preventing employees from disclosing information about terms and conditions of employment, or workplace concerns".

However, in response to the matter, a Google spokesman, stated, "We will defend this suit vigorously because it's baseless". It claims that its internal culture is very "open", and encourages sharing of ideas and discussing products and services with and between employees of all aspects of the company.

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