- REUTERS/ Ruben Sprich
A new filing in a lawsuit against Google shows evidence that the company’s rumored team that tracks down employees who leak information does indeed exist.
The email comes from a lawsuit filed by an anonymous Google employee who claims the company runs a “spying program” that encourages employees to report each other for leaking information to the press or public, as The Information first reported in December. The lawsuit says the program violates California labor law.
According to the latest filing, which was first spotted by The Verge, the email was written by Brian Katz, who identifies himself as the leader of Google’s “Investigations team,” which includes the “stopleaks@” tip line that allegedly encourages Google employees to report leakers.
The email refers to an incident last year when a transcript from an internal all-hands “TGIF” meeting leaked to Recode. The email says the employees who leaked the transcript and memes were identified and fired and warns employees against leaking internal information to the press.
A Google spokesperson sent the following statement to Business Insider, but didn’t address the “stopleaks@” program at the center of the lawsuit:
“We’re very committed to transparency and having an open culture, which means we frequently share with employees confidential details of product launches and other types of sensitive, proprietary business information,” the spokesperson said in a written email statement. “Our employee confidentiality policies are designed to protect that information, without preventing employees from disclosing information about their terms and conditions of employment, or workplace concerns.”
Here’s the internal Google email that was recently filed in the lawsuit:
- San Francisco Superior Court