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"F — you the drumsticks": A former senior Google employee says the frantic task of halting internal information getting out is now the "top priority"

  • Jack Poulson, who ended Google's search project in China in September, spoke of the company's secret culture.
  • He said managers are more concerned with stopping leaks than anything else.
  • Poulson quoted an engineer as she screamed at "all-hands" as an example of what leakage.
  • Judicial documents and relevant staff have previously pictured the extreme lengths that Google has saved its secrets.

A senior Google employee who has left his controversial plans to launch a search engine in China has portrayed the image of a company whose upper parts are obsessed with stopping the escape, with the exception of almost everything else.

Jack Poulson, a former company researcher, said leaders considered leakage prevention as their "number one priority."

In the commentaries written by The Times in London on Saturday, Poulson quoted an example of an energy leakage culture and an unnamed chief engineer who had listened to a handshake on his hands to shout "F-you leakers" on his bikes.

Read more: The news leak is triggering an attack on Google, and it is worrying that culture is "openly destroyed"

He said the leakage campaign has become a way to avoid Google's difficulties with the reasons why officials crashed first, including worries about a Chinese search project codenamed Dragonfly or work for the US Army.

Poulson left Google in September for Dragonfly and said he believed four other employees had done the same. Google refused to comment on their departure at that time.

He said, according to The Times: "The story is that leakage is bad and that priority number one is to prevent escape."

Poulson said Google was not alone in suppressing employee revolts, pointing to similar moves in Microsoft and Amazon. He said there was no "short battle" amongst the workers and executives.

Business Insider has previously reported on Google's extreme secrecy culture.

At the end of 2016, a lawsuit filed against the company claims that employees must sign a confidentiality agreement that even prevents them from speaking to a lawyer about what is happening on Google.

Describes an internal program called "stopleaks," which says employees are encouraged to report their own leaks and colleagues' reports.

"Stopleaks" was re-introduced in an internal email that was released in May 2017 as part of the same lawsuit, this time in an email from the head of the Google Internal Investigation Unit.

In September of this year, Business Insider reported that Google has further strengthened its security and has dropped its access to its weekly hands-on meetings, known as TGIF (thank God it's Friday) for employees who are not physically present in their office in Silicon Valley.

After a video of employees announcing that Donald Trump's election had been released, the right-wing intelligence site of Breitbart was leaked, causing a politically toxic allegation that the search engine was biased.

Business Insider contacted Google to comment on Poulson's comments.

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