The Ethical Excuse

Webcomic Storyline: 

Help Desk, by Christopher B. Wright

Comic Transcript: 

SCOTT: I am so ashamed of you right now.

YELLOW-ROBED GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: Scott, I know it's disappointing to think that Google is involved in this, but you have to look at it practically.

YELLOW-ROBED GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: When other governments demand we provide access to information about users, we comply. Even when the information we're giving them can be used in ways we might find distasteful.

YELLOW-ROBED GOOGLE EMPLOYEE: If we perform this service for countries that are obviously tyrannical, whose aims are clearly to suppress dissent and discourage use of the internet as a means of political expression, how can we deny other countries the same level of access?

SCOTT: ... are you saying that Google is letting the NSA look at its data because overtly oppressive countries already can?


As a point of clarification, as far as I know Google doesn't actually have the same arrangement with foreign countries they allegedly have with the NSA. That said, I've run comics on Google and their loose grip on customer information before. See An Unexpected Trope, a story wherein Google gives out private information on exactly the wrong guy...


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Discorage in the strip whereas in the transcript it's good.

Interestingly, Google suggests Disco Rage... cough, splutter...


As an aside... the ceiling is desperately hungry... which leads to a few questions:

(a) who'd want to work at a place where you could be eaten and you wouldn't know when
(b) what happens to the bodies
(c) assuming you subscribe to that sort of thing, what happens to the souls
(d) given (a) isn't this a form of suicide

It's Friday... I get operated on next week... it tends to make you a bit reflective...


I figured either they were selected by lottery to stand under the tentacles, and might be lucky enough to walk away later or the Google employees like to play chicken with destiny.