If you had the opportunity to interview a whistleblower from one of the world's most powerful companies after he'd leaked nearly 1,000 pages of internal company documents revealing the company is not only manipulating US politics, but working hard to alter the very fabric of society and mold humanity in its preferred image, surely you would take it. We all would. Unless that whistleblower is Zach Vorhies, whom the Daily Beast - which the media has apparently declared the arbiter of who can and cannot be taken seriously - smeared in a comprehensive hit-job, cobbling together out-of-context tweets to portray the eight-year Google vet as an unhinged conspiracy theorist talking to himself and smearing (rhetorical) feces on the walls. Somehow, the media was convinced of the reality of this portrayal - even many of the outlets that had gleefully reported on Vorhies' leaks when the first tranche was dumped anonymously via conservative muckraking outlet Project Veritas chose to pass on an interview. Perhaps there was a threat from Google behind their reluctance, and the Beast smear was only a cover. Regardless, society can't pick and choose its whistleblowers. A software engineer who worked at Google for eight years is going to have a lot of interesting things to say about what goes on at that company, and we would be fools not to listen. Besides - as Vorhies himself said - his supposedly "fringe" views are held by many more people than the media would like us to believe, and we'd be wise to consult trends.google.com before dismissing them as unhinged tinfoil hattery.
I interviewed Vorhies for Progressive Radio Network, because Google already blacklists my site, so I haven't got far to fall. Google is not a search company, not an email company, not even an ad sales company. It is a surveillance and social engineering project. No one knows that better than the people who work there. Reading the internal documents a massive behavioral-control matrix starts to take shape, complete with "nudges" in the proper direction and Orwellian linguistic gymnastics ("machine learning fairness," "badness vector") to frame this social control scheme as a bloodless, AI-directed utopia. We must never forget that there are people who program the algorithms we've entrusted with our data, and those people do not work for us. Google's origins are intertwined with the CIA and DARPA. Google is Big Brother.
(this interview originally aired on Gary Null's Progressive Commentary Hour on August 27)