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Google officials worry that software change threatens to silence company disagreement



SAN FRANCISCO – Google employees raise alarms within internal discussion boards about what they worry is a new effort by the company to make it difficult to organize – a change that Google says is just a shift in the employee calendar system . [19659002] The conflict is the latest example of an increasing tension on Google between management and employees, who, like other workers in technology companies, are trying to put more words in the direction of their company. Google employees are becoming increasingly vocal about a number of issues, including the payment of executives accused of sexual misconduct and US military contracts.

Bloomberg News reported Wednesday that Google employees are spreading an internal announcement criticizing a change in the company's calendar system, calling it a monitoring tool that can remove disagreement. Some mocked the change in the Harry Potter memo about the dark arts.

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The software tool, the Chrome browser extension for employees, will automatically report when they create a calendar event with more than 10 rooms or 100 participants, Bloomberg reported, citing an internal memo written by a Google employee.

Source aware of a situation confirmed to NBC News that Google employees have expressed concerns about changing the calendar.

Almost a year ago, thousands of employees staged a walk to protest that Google is handling sexual abuse allegations by executives, and officials have criticized the management of China's censured search plans and the Pentagon contract, which could to assist drone strikes.

Tensions continued to mount after two Google employees, who he lped organizing last year on a walk, said the company had avenged them this year. On Monday, dozens of Google employees in Zurich met to discuss the merger, despite efforts by the company to cancel the meeting.

Google has denied that the new tool is anything but an anti-spam effort. "These claims about the work and purpose of this extension are categorically incorrect. This is a popup reminder that asks people to be careful before automatically adding an appointment to the calendars of a large number of employees, "says the company in response to posted on Twitter.

Google said the change equals a quick hit to create calendar events that can be spam. The company also said the tool does not collect personally identifiable information and has gone through the company's standard privacy, security and legal process after months of development.

The Coalition for Technical Workers responded to the company in a tweet : "If so, will you make the tool engage the workers and open design documents for people to view?"

Google does not replied immediately.


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