Google to Employees: Don't Be Evil

Google's hiring a spook. The company posted a job opening in Irvine, Calif. for an "Investigator/Threat Analyst." The person would report to Corporate Safety and Security and be part of Google Real Estate and Workplace Services.

At first blush, it looks like a typical position for corporate threat assessment and employee surveillance. But the job description reads like it was written by a paranoiac, or at least by a company increasingly worried about internal employee conduct. The threat analyst will be responsible for  as  "investigating deviations from company policies or acts against Google," the latter phrase calling to mind treason. Perhaps using Yahoo.com is an Act Against Google?

Google employees in Irvine might get a little queasy knowing that this person's threat assessments will be delivered by "collecting, evaluating and disseminating accurate and timely intelligence information to appropriate managers."

Then again, perhaps the intelligence doesn't refer to employees, because the job description, while mostly focused on internal investigations, somewhat surprisingly  mentions responsibilities which suggest an additional focus on external threats.  The person hired will "Develop strong relationships with domestic and international law enforcement and intelligence services counterparts, as well as private sector counterparts worldwide."

That could be a reflection of the ever expanding universe of threats to big Internet companies who've failed to keep pace with Internet criminals. Hey, when your store's in a bad neighborhood, it helps that your security guards know the local precinct cops.

Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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