Jack Poulson, formerly of Google wrote this opinion piece in the New York Times. “I Used to Work for Google. I Am a Conscientious Objector. “
When a prototype circulated internally of a system that would ostensibly allow the Chinese government to surveil Chinese users’ queries by their phone numbers, Google executives argued that it was within existing norms. Governments, after all, make law enforcement demands of the company all the time. Where, they asked their employees, was the demonstrable harm?
But the time has passed when tech companies can simply build tools, write algorithms and amass data without regard to who uses the technology and for what purpose.