The dangerous ethics of Google’s transparency claims

Google CEO Eric Schmidt said this in 2009: “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”

The comment, viewed now, may vex the millions of Google users either surprised and outraged, or unsurprised but still outraged, at the news that through the NSA’s PRISM program, the government has gained nearly boundless access to information about our Google-hosted communications. But this is about more than throwing up our smartphones and sighing, “We knew all along.” Schmidt’s 2009 comment expressed something at the very core of Google’s ideology — reduced to the company’s corporate slogan — “Don’t Be Evil.” With an ill-defined and ill-thought moralism at its foundation, the tech giant has been able to champion transparency and user privacy while at the same time marching in goose step with government and other industry players effectively establishing a totalized surveillance state. <click here to read the rest of the article at>

Presentation Sketch by MondoWorks – Mondolithic Studios for Scientific American Magazine. For Syndications, commissions, or to be added to our mailing list please contact