33 comments

  • Jim SilvermanJim Silverman, over 7 years ago

    this guy seems a little too proud of himself for publicly rejecting an excellent opportunity.

    26 points
    • Catalin CimpanuCatalin Cimpanu, over 7 years ago

      Someone had to do it. He's right in every point he made.

      24 points
    • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

      I agree with Jim. Besides:

      […] Google also reads the contents of its users’ email […]

      They don't "read" content, they track keywords and keep them in a database, automated. They have free, great services that need to be powered by ads. If I'm required to see ads, I would prefer to see something that relates to something I looked up, talked about and what–not.

      […] Google had been helping American and European intelligence agencies illegally wiretap their own citizens. […]

      There is a difference between unethical and illegal. Yeah it sucks what they did, but so did many other tech companies like Facebook. And I do believe them that they almost certainly had no choice and tried to fight back. Furthermore, you can't just shut down a service that billions of users rely on to show "how much you care."

      The details of how data was shown to government agencies is unclear to everybody and again, it sucks. But now that we know it happened we have to choices:

      1. Complain about it on the web, do absolutely nothing in real life and continue using the service.
      2. Complain about it with your congressman in private and stop using the service.
      3. Meh.

      I like the latter.

      PS: It's super rude to share a private email message without asking. And we will never know what Patrick replied.

      8 points
      • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 7 years ago

        They don't "read" content, they track keywords and keep them in a database, automated.

        There’s not really much difference between the two.

        They have free, great services that need to be powered by ads.

        The issue isn’t that the service is free. The issue isn’t that ads are shown. The issue is how and how much data is captured, and where that data has ended up.

        Yeah it sucks what they did, but so did many other tech companies

        What kind of excuse is that?

        1. Meh.

        I like the latter.

        You understand what’s at stake, right?

        3 points
        • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

          There’s not really much difference between the two.

          There's a lot of difference. A machine doesn't understand your content it just uses it according to an algorithm. You don't have a Google employee reading every single thing you do.

          The issue isn’t that the service is free. The issue isn’t that ads are shown. The issue is how and how much data is captured, and where that data has ended up.

          I don't think it's an issue if Google has access to that data because as I said it's not a human being reading my information. The government messing with is definitively more concerning, but that's a problem higher than Google itself.

          What kind of excuse is that?

          That was a weak argument. Let me elaborate more: like I just said a couple of lines above, it's a problem higher than tech companies themselves. They can't just shut down like Lavabits because that is extremely costly and would be even worse for the users. So saying that Google sold their souls to devil doesn't say much.

          You understand what’s at stake, right?

          I do understand. I value that we now know that our data is compromised. But at the same time I really have nothing to hide and don't care enough.

          Do you want me to praise him for writing a blog post complaining about Google? Thousands of people have done that. Results? Zero. If you really want to do something about it, the web is not your battlefield.

          2 points
          • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

            A machine doesn't understand your content it just uses it according to an algorithm. You don't have a Google employee reading every single thing you do.

            The issue I personally have (if you agree or not) is the scope of data captured. Once the data is on a server beyond my control, it doesn’t really matter if it’s a machine, a human or the NSA who has access (it’s actually likely all three could take a peek, if they wanted).

            The government messing with is definitively more concerning, but that's a problem higher than Google itself.

            I put far more emphasis on the capture point — if the data wasn’t captured, it couldn’t be abused so easily.

            This is worth a watch, if you haven’t seen it already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upu0gwGi4FE

            They can't just shut down like Lavabits because that is extremely costly and would be even worse for the users.

            Any company can choose to make any stand they see fit. Lavabit is a great example — they swapped revenue for what they felt was right.

            I value that we now know that our data is compromised. But at the same time I really have nothing to hide and don't care enough.

            To clarify, you know about large-scale corporate and government surveillance, you understand the ramifications, and you don’t care enough?

            If you really want to do something about it, the web is not your battlefield.

            The web is precisely the place to make a stand about things that concern the web.

            Please note that I’m not suggesting anyone should stop using Google’s services or stop using Facebook or stop using other free services — everyone has to make their own mind up and choose how much and what they share. However, I do think this discussion is an important one, and I think Niklas’ response is one we’re going to see more frequently.

            0 points
            • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, over 7 years ago

              The issue I personally have (if you agree or not) is the scope of data captured. Once the data is on a server beyond my control, it doesn’t really matter if it’s a machine, a human or the NSA who has access (it’s actually likely all three could take a peak, if they wanted).

              I agree with you conceptually. But in practice, they have data from billions of users. Unless they have really good reasons to look at your specific data (aka you're suspected of criminal activity), it is very unlikely they will look at it directly.

              I put far more emphasis on the capture point — if the data wasn’t captured, it couldn’t be abused so easily.

              This is worth a watch, if you haven’t seen it already: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upu0gwGi4FE

              I have seen it already but it was basically the same arguments plus a long propaganda of his organization and the work they are doing. If he doesn't share and debate the arguments of people who disagree with him, he's not doing a good job at proving a point. Mentioning what people commonly say doesn't count.

              Any company can choose to make any stand they see fit. Lavabit is a great example — they swapped revenue for what they felt was right.

              Again, there is really no point of comparison between companies that have billions of users that rely on them and a small company like Lavabit. Imagined if Facebook and Google suspended, it would be pretty terrible.

              To clarify, you know about large-scale corporate and government surveillance, you understand the ramifications, and you don’t care enough?

              I care. But I have bigger things to care about. This is seriously the least of my concerns.

              The web is precisely the place to make a stand about things that concern the web.

              That sounds good and idealistic, but the web has its limitations. If you want changes in the real world, you need to act in the real world.

              Please note that I’m not suggesting anyone should stop using Google’s services or stop using Facebook or stop using other free services — everyone has to make their own mind up and choose how much and what they share. However, I do think this discussion is an important one, and I think Niklas’ response is one we’re going to see more frequently.

              This discussion is important indeed. But in order to have strong arguments you can't just listen to yourself or others you think similarly. You need to do the exact opposite and listen to people who disagree with you and hear what their arguments are. I'm probably not the best example, but I'm not the only one.

              This discussion is interesting and I really like when people disagree and are open to debate. However, as I said below, this is probably not the best place to do so, it's way off-topic at this point.

              0 points
              • Marc EdwardsMarc Edwards, over 7 years ago

                Imagined if Facebook and Google suspended, it would be pretty terrible.

                Facebook and Google are too big to make a stand, because it would affect so many people?˚

                Yet…

                If you want changes in the real world, you need to act in the real world.

                Acting online does nothing? I’m not even sure you can detach the online and offline worlds in 2014. Right now — and for the foreseeable future — a large and growing proportion of the world’s biggest˚˚ companies are tech and network companies.

                You need to do the exact opposite and listen to people who disagree with you and hear what their arguments are.

                I’m all ears. To be honest, I haven’t heard many people argue that lack of privacy is a good thing. The most common opinion seems to be indifference, and I think that’s quite a dangerous position.

                it's way off-topic at this point

                Seems directly related to the topic.

                ˚ I assume that’s your point? Maybe it wasn’t. ˚˚ Revenue and market cap.

                0 points
    • Jeff EscalanteJeff Escalante, over 7 years ago

      Yeah there definitely could have been a more humble response. It's also a little embarrassing that he interpreted this as a job offer when in reality it was a chance to get on the phone with a recruiter to discuss a possible interview.

      6 points
  • Andrew Bonventre, over 7 years ago

    Why is this still at the top? He was contacted by a recruiter to talk about the possibility of scheduling a phone screen. This was far from a job offer and this self-righteous parroting of a NYT article was a bit over the top.

    13 points
  • Cihad TurhanCihad Turhan, over 7 years ago

    It's a big chance to work at Google, but it's bigger chance to say these words.

    10 points
  • Jason BlockJason Block, over 7 years ago
    1. He didn't have a job offer yet (nor even an interview)
    2. He posted the personal email he received to the internet
    3. He is standing on the shoulders of a giant to prove how righteous he is

    There is so much unprofessional behavior here that I don't necessarily care about his ideals--he doesn't strike me as someone with the integrity that I'd like to work with on a daily basis.

    There's a level of respect that you have to have for 1-1 communication. Even if you get one of these from the NSA, the person at the other end isn't the corporation; it's a person, working just like you, trying to do their job as best they can.

    8 points
  • Pasquale D'SilvaPasquale D'Silva, over 7 years ago

    What a lofty, long response. I find it much more effective to reply with "No.".

    6 points
  • Nic TrentNic Trent, over 7 years ago (edited over 7 years ago )

    When it came to leading in technology in the 30s/40s one global entity left everyone else in the dust. I'm sure it was a great opportunity to work for this organization as well... this one happened to be in Germany.

    But some people have ethics...

    This is just a comparison for shock value, and everyone has different lines they draw for their own convictions. Glad to see this dude standing up for something instead of selling out to the man.

    6 points
  • Narbeh DereghishianNarbeh Dereghishian, over 7 years ago

    You sure showed that recruiter! I'm sure he's directly looped in with everything you mentioned. He'll think twice the next time he drops 4 data points into a canned message and hits send in hopes of a commission. I bet he ready our email all the way through too...twice! I'm sure it was a real offer too, they had negotiated a salary and everything before sending a cold email.

    This is the equivalent of telling off the kid they hire to sit behind the counter at a gas station, for an tanker oil spill halfway around the world.

    4 points
  • Joseph BarrientosJoseph Barrientos, over 7 years ago

    i'd love to work at google...

    3 points
  • Hawke BassignaniHawke Bassignani, over 7 years ago

    He may get coverage (and maybe even offers) because of the open letter… but I am willing to bet that many companies that do like his work are far less likely to approach him.

    They won’t wanna risk him being a little snotty and throwing it back in their faces.

    3 points
  • David SinclairDavid Sinclair, over 7 years ago

    I had a phone interview with them a couple of months ago.

    I found it strange that the interviewer ( a designer ) knew nothing about what the position was and when pressed, she said "well, google is kinda like the military... you come in and you just get put somewhere."

    That pretty much killed the buzz for me and I didn't bother doing the test that followed.

    I personally need to have even a rough idea of what kind of project I was being hired for.

    2 points
  • Joris van EkertJoris van Ekert, over 7 years ago

    Cache by Google

    http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:qnrq.se/why-i-wont-work-for-google/

    2 points
  • Rolando MurilloRolando Murillo, over 7 years ago

    One last thing before I leave this post forever. Isn't he violating someone's privacy by sharing his email without authorization? Criticizing something you just did?

    2 points
  • John LeschinskiJohn Leschinski, over 7 years ago

    What a hero.

    2 points
  • Diego LafuenteDiego Lafuente, over 7 years ago

    I would work for Google only for a reason: I want to change so many crappy products with proper design. Design can be tasteless there.

    1 point
  • David BlumDavid Blum, over 7 years ago

    Hm. I think he's not right at all points bjt its a bold statement and I'm sure he'll get job offers now after this post.

    1 point
  • Josh ClementJosh Clement, over 7 years ago

    Come on, most people know how and where Google makes its moula!

    0 points
  • Giulio MichelonGiulio Michelon, over 7 years ago

    Site offline!

    0 points