In a new investigative report from Project Veritas, former Senior Google software engineer Zach Vorhies has provided further evidence of the company’s internal political biases and shared over 1,000 of internal Google documents. Vorhies also claims that Google tried to intimidate him after finding out that he was leaking internal documents to Project Veritas.
Vorhies is the Google insider who previously worked with Project Veritas to expose Google’s biased artificial intelligence (AI) which manipulates the content people see in products such as Google Search.
Vorhies says he was an employee at Google for eight years and decided to become a whistleblower and start collecting internal documents after he saw “something dark and nefarious going on with the company.” Vorhies adds that he felt the “entire election system would be compromised forever” through Google’s efforts to “sculpt the information landscape” and create their “own version of what was objectively true.”
In the interview, Vorhies says that after he leaked the first set of documents to Project Veritas, he received a letter from Google “indicating that they knew what I had done.”
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The letter contains various demands which include:
- Stating honestly whether he had retained internal documents
- Stating honestly whether he shared these internal documents and providing the names of any recipients
Vorhies also claims that Google requested access to all his personal data, his laptop, and his backup hard drives in order to come in and start scrubbing all of it.
Vorhies says that he did comply with these demands and told Google that he had:
- Retained some internal documents
- Shared these internal documents with others
- Sent these internal documents to law enforcement (the US Department of Justice (DOJ) antitrust division)
Following this, Vorhies was publicly outed as a leaker by an anonymous user on Twitter and says he started to see lawyers to get advice on Google’s likely next steps. He says that the attorneys he spoke to told him, “This is the first step in having your life ruined. They’re going to come after you.”
Next, Vorhies put out a “dead man’s switch” – a mechanism that people who have sensitive documents and are concerned about their personal safety use to let the entity that is threatening them know that the documents will be released if they are harmed.
After Vorhies put out this “dead man’s switch,” he claims that the police started to look for him in two separate locations. He suggests that this is related to Google’s decision to do a “wellness check” on him. Vorhies says that Google uses this tactic to intimidate rogue employees and that based on his conversations with other attorneys, Google is trying to establish a mental problem to make their case easier. According to Project Veritas, San Francisco police confirmed that they received a “mental health call” and responded to Vorhies address on that day.
Vorhies adds that before Project Veritas published the documents, he was worried about his safety and these safety concerns were part of what encouraged him to “come public, release all of the documents, and get the target off of my back.”
Today’s interview follows yesterday’s reporting that Vorhies had turned over 950 pages of documents about Google’s political bias to the DOJ last Friday. Several weeks before this, Vorhies also mailed a laptop to the DOJ which contained the same information. Vorhies says that these documents provide evidence of how Google uses its algorithms to manipulate perceptions of internet content.
In yesterday’s report, Vorhies added:
“I honestly think that a free market can fix this issue. The issue is that the free market has been distorted and what’s happened is that the distortion is so grotesque and the engineering is so repulsive, all we need to do is just expose what’s going on. People can hear that it is bad but that can be biased. But when they see what Google has actually written with the documents, this will actually be taught in universities of what totalitarian states can do with this type of capability.”
This isn’t the first time Google has been accused of targeting rogue employees. Former Google employees Meredith Whittaker, Claire Stapleton, and others who helped organize the Google Walkout protests last year claim that the company retaliated against them for their role in organizing the protests. Stapleton added that she believes Google’s actions were designed to discourage other Google employees from taking similar actions.