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Google reportedly fires staffer in media leak crackdown

Google has reportedly fired an employee believed to be leaking to the media, as it placed two others involved with internal activism at the company on leave, according to a new report from Bloomberg News.

The publication writes that the terminated employee provided names and personal information of other employees to reporters. One of the suspended employees was believed to have accessed documents not needed for their job, while the other had been tracking staff calendars.

According to Bloomberg, one of the people placed on leave attempted to access documents on a Chrome browser extension that employees feared was being used to surveil them. (Google has denied that the tool was designed to monitor employees.)

A Google spokesperson confirmed the report, but declined to comment further.

Google has long cultivated a culture where employees have broad access to work across the company, but more recently, Bloomberg reports, access to some projects have been cut off. The change isn’t surprising: media leaks at the company have led to several major revelations, including about Google’s work with the Pentagon and plans for a censored Chinese search engine.

But despite promoting a culture of transparency, the company has always warned employees of leaks, and even developed a dedicated email address for employees to report suspected leakers. In a 2016 email, Google security warned employees: “Please remember: whether malicious or unintentional, leaks damage our culture.”

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