Why I won’t work for Google

Hi Niklas,

Patrick here from Google.

I looked over your Github and LinkedIn profiles, and personal site (having found the panic_bcast project), and was keen to get in touch regarding a number of Engineering positions here at Google.

Your Open Source contributions and projects, Systems/Networking experience and development background looked relevant to what some of the engineers here are doing, but I wanted to touch base with you first to understand a bit more about your work.

If your schedule permits it, would you be open to a conversation next week?

The positions I had wanted to share with you are part of a mission-critical team that combines software development, networking and systems engineering expertise to build and run large scale, massively distributed, fault-tolerant software systems and infrastructure.

Thanks for your time and have a good weekend.

Best regards,
Patrick

Hi Patrick,

Thank you for reaching out to me and complimenting me on the panic_bcast project, it is always flattering being recognized by entities greater than oneself.

Before properly answering your question I would like to give you some background about myself and my relation to Google.

As a kid growing up Google would always be the most interesting employee one working in the technical industry could possibly imagine. Google would flex very playfully in line with its “Don’t do evil” agenda. I grew up as a very ideologically and principle driven individual, but foremost I was curios by nature. As a kid interested in information security and computers in general I quickly began exploring code by breaking it and systems by breaking into them driven by the force that information wanted to be free.

My father found out quickly and we had a long chat about life’s importance. He told me not to be wreckless because the future would consist of tyranny and powerless people. He told me that in the future the world’s power structures would depend much on what I would today categorize as cypherpunks and hackers.

I feel that the future that my father explained to me as a kid is today’s present. Google says “Don’t do evil” on one hand, but on another hand Google also reads the contents of its users’ emails and tracks their behavior on the Internet – two things which I would characterise as directly evil. Google reads the emails that my mother is writing and tracking what my friends are buying. For advertisement purposes, Google says, and we only discovered the true consequences later when Edward Snowden blew the whistle.

It turned out that Google had been helping American and European intelligence agencies illegally wiretap their own citizens. “We tried to fight back, we tried not to be evil!”, Google responds, but we never saw Google shut down its service in protest like Lavabit. We never saw Google fight back for the best of its users, which consists of a great majority of the world’s population. We saw Google justify its data inspection by saying that it was great for advertisement models.

We learned that Google is in fact doing very evil things to the majority of the world’s population. We learned that Google tends to sport the two edged sword. We learned that Google’s “open source as much as possible” policy only applies as long as they don’t disrupt existing flows of cash.

We witnessed Google sending cease and desist letters to the developers and maintainers of the popular Android CyanogenMod for violating some patents by modifying open source elements of an open source licensed project.

We learned that Google’s friendliness is a marketing scheme. We learned that Google is not what we thought it would be, that it is not fighting for what’s best for humanity but for what’s best for its own dollar.

I am different from Google in this sense. My principles are not compatible with those that Google is displaying and has displayed throughout history.

Due to my principles I would much rather delete all data Google has collected about its users which consists of myself, my family, my friends, my co-workers and everybody that they know that connects to and uses popular services on the public Internet. I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I worked for a company which was directly threatening and targeting the people that I love.

I would never be able to develop the tyrannical tools required to keep the Google wheels spinning. I am on the opposite side of the spectra. The project which you acknowledged, panic_bcast, I wrote to make it harder for law enforcement officers to gather evidence on political activists through cold boot attacks. Other projects I am mainly involved in because I believe in a free unregulated stream of information on the public Internet.

I am one of those lucky individuals who can afford to work only on projects which I choose, and I choose to only involve myself in projects that I believe contribute something positive to the planet’s population. Google is not very high on that list, therefor I must respectfully decline your job offer.

“Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.” – Henry L. Stimson

I wish you good luck on your quest to find the right candidate.

Regards,

Niklas

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