On Leaving Google

Working in Google Legal has been a dream job. The people at Google are phenomenal. In every part and at every level of the company there are great people with multiple useful talents in addition to those that got them the job. For a lawyer, the issues we dealt with every day were fascinating, the real-world impact of our work was humbling, and the ethical compass of the place remained true

Among many other things, I am proud to have been part of the legal department that helped:

Increase transparency for removals: Google remains the only search engine that sends legal notices to ChillingEffects.org to document search results suppressed for legal reasons. UPDATE: I'm pleased to report that as of sometime in the last few months, Yahoo! is sending at least some (maybe all) of their notices to ChillingEffects. This is GREAT news and I apologize to Yahoo! for not noticing this earlier.

Stand up to the Department of Justice: Google was the only search engine provider that stood up to the Department of Justice’s overbroad request for search query information.

Launch Google Book Search: Google is making books easier to find by using fair use for a great purpose and is working to expand access to books through the Book Search settlement.

Stand up for users: In my experience, Google does “focus on the user.” Google Legal is no exception in its decisions about everything from global product functionality to individual removals. As a result, we’ve been threatened or sued many times for user-focused functionality and what our users have said through our services.

There are many other examples, and many more that are confidential or privileged, but these give you a flavour of the types of things the Google legal department gets to do. I still can’t recommend it highly enough (really, go check out the jobs page).

Thank you Googlers, it was an honour.


Rick Klau said...

AMac - you'll be missed, buddy. Just sorry we didn't have more opportunities to work together! Best of luck at Twitter, and keep in touch!

Matt Cutts said...

We'll miss you. Thanks for helping Google and its users in so many ways and so many cases. I know you'll keep fighting the good fight wherever you go; thanks for doing it with and for Google all these years.

Unknown said...

Rick and Matt's sentiments shared by all of us. Thanks for being a voice of reason when necessary and a voice of unreason when necessary :)

best of luck in adventure

Tim Stanley said...

Congrats! Twitter will be a great place to grow the business and build the legal department. Very exciting, have fun!

Rusty Rider said...

AMac leaving Google? End of an era, I say! Keep them safe over at Twitter -- I'm sure they'll be seeing lots arrows in the future. They are in good hands, no doubt!

Unknown said...

Just remember to come visit us in London now and again. I'll miss you.

KVOX said...

I already miss you, Amac, and you haven't even landed at the big T yet. Thanks for all your diligence and insights on Google's behalf. Here's to more of the same in your next role.

Siva Vaidhyanathan said...

Oh No!

I will miss you over there, my friend.

Maybe my next book will be ...

Howard Knopf said...


What a catch for Twitter!

All the best, Alex.

Best regards,


lahosken said...

Always be lucky, sir.