Google’s Motto Was “Don’t Be Evil”. They Lied.

Google Evil

Source: Ingenious Press

A big deal going in the tech world right now is the purchase of robotics innovator Boston Dynamics by the Silicon Valley search giant Google. The internet company has been obsessed with buying robotics firms throughout the year 2013, and Boston Dynamics marks their eighth purchase in just the past six months. However, what sets Boston Dynamics apart from those preceding purchases, is that this company has very close ties with the United States military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or commonly abbreviated as DARPA.

The creations of Boston Dynamics have become big hits on Youtube in recent months, notably for their appearances as terrifying robots that appear to have come straight from the nightmares of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft (think Cthulhu) or surreal artist Salvador Dali. These creations will now become the latest additions to Google’s recently created and very secretive Robot Division. Furthermore, as a bearer of bad news, it appears that Google will continue to honor the contracts that Boston Dynamics previously had with the United States military.

I was sincerely hoping that Google would cease and desist all relationships with the American war machine as a result of this acquisition, thus abiding by their motto of “don’t be evil”. However, all in the span of one 24-hour business cycle, they have now and forever failed to live up to their promise as a force for good. Google is firmly on the same team as all the other defense contractors who answer to the war hawk political establishment, creating tools of destruction designed to maintain an upper-hand on “enemies” conjured up on a Pentagon chalkboard.

Let’s go back in history. During the earlier years of Google, specifically during the very late 1990s and the early 2000s, the company adopted the informal motto “don’t be evil”. Due credit to whomever started the motto is debatable, but it has generally been narrowed down to Google engineer Amit Patel in 1999 or Google employee Paul Buchheit in 2000 or 2001. (Frankly it amazes me that a company who wants to index everything that has ever existed on planet Earth, can’t get the chronology of it’s own motto verified.)

Now to be fair, the official corporate philosophy of Google does not actually contain those words, but they are included in the prospectus of Google’s 2004 initial public offering (IPO). This was later to be called the “don’t be evil manifesto”, which included the following statement. “Don’t be evil. We believe strongly that in the long term, we will be better served — as shareholders and in all other ways — by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains.” The entire IPO letter concluded with Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin personally signing the document.

The words: “Don’t be evil” also form part of the sixth point in their Core Values, and in full states: “Do the right thing: don’t be evil. Honesty and Integrity in all we do. Our business practices are beyond reproach. We make money by doing good things.” Really? Good things? Now the leaked NSA documents obtained by The Guardian and The Washington Post this past June, which included you (Google) in the list of companies that cooperate with the PRISM surveillance program, were those also good things?

Whether Google likes it or not, no matter how much they would like to pretend and turn the other cheek, they are now officially a military defense contractor (translation: military offense contractor). For the foreseeable future, they are a fellow traveler of the United States’ burgeoning military-industrial complex, and little different than Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, or Northrop Grumman that preceded them. It is simply not complimentary to be lumped into a group of such war profiteering corporations, which thrive on innovating products that are entirely detrimental to our wishes to continually evolve into a peaceful and enlightened species. Particularly when your core values stipulate your desire to perform the exact opposite.

This article first appeared on Ingenious Press, an independent news blog supportive of many Libertarian ideals such as the free market, upholding the Constitution, and wishing the federal reserve and war industry would just bugger off. Follow us on our Facebook and Twitter pages for daily/weekly updates.

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