AdSense leaker rebuts Google's denial, claims to hold proof

AdSense leaker rebuts Google's denial, claims to hold proof

Summary: An alleged ex AdSense employee claimed Google robbed its AdSense clients and Google issued a fast denial. Now the anonymous accuser is back with more information.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Google, Legal
68
Google_CNET

 

Accusations yesterday by a disgruntled alleged ex AdSense employee that Google rips off its AdSense clients were met with Google's strong and swift denial. Now the anonymous individual is back to say they have proof.

In a second anonymous Pastebin missive slamming Google with serious allegations of premeditated theft and favoritism, the "AdSense Leak" individual rebuts Google's denial and addresses internet criticism about their actions and methodology.

This time, the author claims they're holding proof and will release it in the event a class action lawsuit is brought forward against Google.

If no lawsuit occurs, they warn they'll "selectively" release the proof publicly, regardless.

If this thing is real, it's a cocktail of insurance policy and time bomb.

The supposed former AdSense employee writes in Google AdSense Leak - Part 2:

I have communications. I have documents, I have files, I have lists, and I have names.  I have all of it. Like I said from the beginning, I have carefully waited and carefully planned everything out.

So you ask why haven’t I released it?  The answer, if I release everything I have now, it will give Google too many possible avenues to discover my identity. Also doing thing such as publicly naming people and giving Google a pre-emptive look at what I have will only make them prepare for the class action lawsuit that will hit them.  They won’t be caught off guard and they will have time to come up with excuses and explanations in attempts to rid themselves of this issue.  I do not want that to happen. I want the people to win. I want those who had money they earned, that was stolen from them, to get the right to fight for it on equal grounding.  

That is why I have chosen to only release it to the legal representatives of the class action lawsuit against Google in regards to AdSense. (...) 

If several months go by and no class action lawsuit manifests, then I will have to selectively release a few key pieces of evidence to the public at large.

The information and evidence I have is extensive and quite detailed, it will also paint a very different picture of what Google is really like to the public.

See also: AdSense leak controversy heats up as Google denies favoritism, theft allegations

Styling themselves as a whistleblower, the individual first published Google AdSense Leak on April 29: a timeline of events alleging that Google knowingly shuts down AdSense accounts to pocket the money before payout, targets high-earning accounts, and plays favorites with its "VIP's".

Google: This description is "a complete fiction"

Google quickly issued a denial to news outlets, calling the Pastebin post "a complete fiction."

All claims remain unsubstantiated.

Though the reasons the mystery accuser -- if they did indeed work at Google -- claims as to why they didn't go through official channels to air any of their accusations are as believable as any employee of a large company with infinite resources.

I honestly believe very little would have been done if I had brought the information solely to law enforcement, even on the federal level. Google would have simply lawyered up and made it go away (which they have done before).

The second reason would be that my identity would be front and center if I had approached law enforcement, and if Google were to have squash it immediately I would not have been able to anonymously release the information to the public as a backup plan.

The third reason is fear. 

The problem for Google is that Google's AdSense -- like many Google products -- has a well-known transparency problem, one in which appeals for banned accounts are routinely met with silence and the user's loss of money.

The anonymous Pastebin poster claimed participation in a program where Google's AdSense team purposely red-flagged accounts for banning and shutdown when they reached earning marks of $5,000 or $10,000. The unknown accuser alleged that whether or not the account was in violation of any Terms, any such high-earner was to be considered abusive.

Because of all this, the public appears divided: Google employees and individuals on tech forums such as Hacker News say the accuser's lengthy laundry list of misdeeds is a huge load of bull.

At the same time, people are coming forward in the same forum, in comments on news articles about the "AdSense Leak" and in direct emails to ZDNet with similar stories that match the accusations enough to give them credibility -- at least in the eyes of several jilted AdSense publishers.

The Pastebin author believes that answers about the veracity of their claims would come if Google were to directly answer the following questions:

Ask them “is there a VIP status for publishers”, ask them “why do account bans always seem to occur just before payouts”, ask them “why do you fail to provide reasons and evidence of your allegations against publishers”. 

ZDNet has reached out to Google for comment and will update this article accordingly.

The entire post is below. 

I am the former Google employee that had leaked the information regarding AdSense. I am writing this second part as a response to certain misconceptions and confusions my previous leak has generated within articles and websites regarding it.

Firstly, many have asked why I did not approach the leak in a more official capacity and bring my information to the attention of law enforcement. I want to make myself perfectly clear, my employment documents (such as the NDA’s and non-competes) have very strict wording when it comes to releasing internal information in regards to processes and privy information. Google is not just some little company with little means of repercussion. They have gone after other internal leakers and were successful in damaging and ruining their lives on multiple levels. I do not want to be the next one.

I honestly believe very little would have been done if I had brought the information solely to law enforcement, even on the federal level. Google would have simply lawyered up and made it go away (which they have done before). I felt it was better to release the information to the public and let the publishers who suffered the thefts bring forth a civil case against Google. I think a civil action against Google will carry more weight to it, and have a much stronger outcome to the public than a federal case would. The second reason would be that my identity would be front and center if I had approached law enforcement, and if Google were to have squash it immediately I would not have been able to anonymously release the information to the public as a backup plan. The third reason is fear. I do not want to be in the direct identifiable crosshairs of Google’s legal department. I have taken very extreme measures to cover my tracks and identity. I know what they can do, and I know which services and servers do what. I have made sure everything leads to dead ends and that tracking will be virtually impossible. I wasn’t hired by Google for my body. I know, right now, there is a team inside Google working very hard to track me down. They will scour every service and product they have access to in an attempt to find me. But they might as well quit right now, I am an insider and know the inner workings. I know the how’s, the why’s, and who’s. It will be quite futile on their part, but I will still exercise extreme caution.

In regards to my wording of the leaked information. I had planned and carefully thought out every word and every way I had said it. Everything was planned. The timing. The wording. Everything. It is not by accident, nor are there any accidental omissions. Of course I was not going to use terms only employees and former employees would know to explain everything. That would be simply foolish. I kept it informative and only mentioned a few select terms so that Google themselves would know I was who I said I was, because only an employee would have known. So everyone must know that I wrote it for the public, not for Google employees.

Lastly, and more importantly, there has been lots of talk about my information not stating any names and that I did not provide any hard proof. Many individuals have brushed off my information as a falsehood solely due to that and claim that I have nothing substantial. I want you to go a reread my previous information release. Where did I exactly say I did not have proof or hard evidence?

Because I do. I have communications. I have documents, I have files, I have lists, and I have names. I have all of it. Like I said from the beginning, I have carefully waited and carefully planned everything out. I do everything with reason and purpose. I have to be exceptionally careful in every way. So you ask why haven’t I released it? The answer, if I release everything I have now, it will give Google too many possible avenues to discover my identity. Also doing thing such as publicly naming people and giving Google a pre-emptive look at what I have will only make them prepare for the class action lawsuit that will hit them. They won’t be caught off guard and they will have time to come up with excuses and explanations in attempts to rid themselves of this issue. I do not want that to happen. I want the people to win. I want those who had money they earned, that was stolen from them, to get the right to fight for it on equal grounding. That is why I have chosen to only release it to the legal representatives of the class action lawsuit against Google in regards to AdSense. If those representative decide to release it, then it is up to them, but right now as it stands, I will not. I will carefully monitor the situation and wait to see how it forms and pick the right timing for the release of the evidence to the legal representatives. If several months go by and no class action lawsuit manifests, then I will have to selectively release a few key pieces of evidence to the public at large.

The information and evidence I have is extensive and quite detailed, it will also paint a very different picture of what Google is really like to the public.


For those who have a difficult time believing my information I ask you to simply ask Google and their representatives the right questions related to my first release of information. Force them to answer those questions specifically. Ask them “is there a VIP status for publishers”, ask them “why do account bans always seem to occur just before payouts”, ask them “why do you fail to provide reasons and evidence of your allegations against publishers”. Keep asking such questions, keep digging, and you will come to find out by yourselves that everything I have stated is completely true. Like many have said, it will be difficult for them to hide it now.

Disclosure: My new book covers consumer privacy regarding Google, and reducing the privacy risks of using big data websites.

Topics: Google, Legal

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

68 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • now this is getting strange

    The one time shot in the dark - yeah, it happens from disgruntled employees.
    But to come back the next day , reply and follow up ?
    Reminds me a bit of the way things fell out with the illegal pharmacy setup that GGLE paid half a billion (yes, Billion) to hush up.
    Much as I dislike GGLE, hope this is not similiar.
    chips@...
    • No evidence is needed

      We know what kinda ethnics $croogle is capable of.
      LBiege
      • Still better than Microsoft.

        Having been convicted on three continents for illegal activity.
        jessepollard
        • Pre-installing IE was illegal??

          Is it also illegal that when you buy a car you find it come in w/ an engine? Where would liberals go next w/ this thinking?
          LBiege
          • Only if it's welded to the frame...

            ...and accompanied by a "license agreement" prohibiting removal or replacement.
            John L. Ries
          • Go next with this thinking?

            Well, the Google apologist like jesse appear to be going into a tizzy, so at least he appears to be going somewhere...
            William.Farrel
          • Didn't say anything about IE.

            I said illegal activity.

            In the EU they have been convicted of anti-trust violations.

            IP violations in Canada, US, EU, Korea, ....

            Charged with government corruption in Russia...

            corrupted standards bodies, though not quite illegal...
            jessepollard
          • It was illegal, but not per se illegal

            Integrating IE into Windows was illegal because (a) the market was defined as Intel (x86) PCs; (b) Windows was ruled to have a dominant position in the defined market; (c) IE was ruled to be a separate 'browser' product and not part of the OS. If the rulings in either (b) or (c) had gone the other way (I think (c) should have done, but you can argue either way), then integrating IE into Windows would have been perfectly legal.

            The critical point is that integrating IE into Windows was not per se illegal. When Microsoft executives chose to integrate IE into Windows, they may have suspected they were violating competition law, but they could not have known, because the legality was only determined later. Microsoft argued that IE was part of Windows, and if the US courts had accepted that argument, then integrating IE into Windows would not have violated competition law. That's why competition law in this area does not include the possibility of imprisoning executives. For per se illegal activity, like price fixing, executives can be and are imprisoned, because when they choose to fix prices, they know it's illegal. It's a very important difference.

            I don't know enough about the relevant US law to know if the activities this anonymous source alleges Google have engaged in are illegal -- and that's assuming there's any truth to them. Some of Google's other alleged activities, however, have certainly looked illegal (e.g. violating privacy law here in the EU, profiting from illegal importing and sales of pharmaceuticals in the US, etc.).
            WilErz
          • Bull-cr@p! They "could not have known" - they KNEW they were dominant!

            They knew that, by doing this (integration), they would quash the competition, due to their sheer dominance and ability to integrate it and/or offer if or free. So, no, I don't buy the comment that "they [didn't know]." Matter of fact, that was their "clear intention," to dominate and make all others subservient (in a manner of speaking). And that, in and of itself (attempting to be the dominant force in your industry) is not illegal - that is free-market capitalism. BUT, to intentionally (provable or not) engage in unfair marketing practices is unethical and, in many case, illegal, depending upon the extent of said engagement.
            bitdoctor
        • So has Google, and been fined for it

          but your handlers forbid you to mention that, so we'll take our grain of salt with your post.
          William.Farrel
          • Quite. And promptly paid.

            Again, unlike Microsoft delaying until the fine becomes incredibly large, and threatened with being barred from business.
            jessepollard
          • And don't forget the new lawsuit they're facing over illegal conduct

            "Consumer rights law firm Hagens Berman said it filed a nationwide antitrust class-action lawsuit against Google Inc alleging the company "illegally monopolized" the Internet and mobile search market in the United States."

            I know, it's OK because MS did it 20 years ago, so Google should have free rein to do whatever illegal activities they decide today and in the future.

            Did I get that right?
            William.Farrel
          • Re: Did I get that right?

            It sounded Good! ;-)

            TW
            T-Wrench
        • One man's crime...

          Is another man's passion. LOL
          bitdoctor
      • Remember the YouTube app for Windows Phone

        It's probably only a few windows phone owners who know about this but Google has refused to produce an official YouTube app for windows phone and refused to allow Microsoft to do it for them free of charge by setting forth some asinine HTML5 requirements that they do not apply to iOS or Android or Blackberry. They have special rules for Microsoft which are clearly designed to make things impossible for no apparent reason other than they want Microsoft to fail. Google is just an unethical company all around. I have absolutely zero respect for that company and I have no doubt that these accusations are true.
        vincewansink
        • I've not seen what you claim mentioned before, however, you should know

          that Android is written to work with any hardware or software that is written to work with Industry Standard commands and parameters, whereas Microsoft Windows isn't. If Microsoft wrote Windows to work properly with Industry Standard commands and code then anything written for Android, Unix, or Linux would automatically work on a Windows system. This makes me wonder if the issue isn't more to do with the Microsoft is deliberately set to NOT work with all the Industry Standard codes.

          I do know some web pages optimized to work with Microsoft Windows do not render well in non Windows systems due to coding differences. I think this claim needs a lot more in depth research.
          Deadly Ernest
          • Mumble jumbo.

            "Android is written to work with any hardware or software that is written to work with Industry Standard commands and parameters"

            You swallowed some line with a big hook and swallowed it deep.
            Bruizer
        • funny

          You think Google should spend big dollars writing an app for the ten windows phone users back then or allow micro$oft to write one that rips the ads out.

          Good business sense that. Windows phone users were not blocked from YouTube.. They still have the web mobile version which works fine. Why should Google have spent money on a platform that had no significant user base? Lots of people still have not released wp apps yet.
          frankieh
    • I don't understand your comment - I was a Google victim also

      Chips@, why are you saying "[you] hope this is not similar?"

      So, you "hope" Google doesn't get called out for illegal/unethical practices that amount to ... ? ... embezzlement? What would be the equivalent crime for bilking consumers out of millions, possibly billions? Wasn't sure if 'embezzlement' would be the right term? I'm a victim also. They banned me, right before my AdSense payout, ZERO ability to appeal - I appealed immediately and they slammed me with, "Well, we think we were justified in cancelling your AdSense. You are banned, and no future appeals will be allowed." They sent me some log showing some hacker from Tazmania had "link-bombed" me, and said I was responsible for monitoring "link-bombers" and blocking them from my site. HUH?! What about HUGE clients, like CNN or others who use AdSense ads? They must have maybe a few hundred "link-bombers," but they are not expected to dedicate a team to quashing "link-bombers" - so that, in itself shows "favoritism," since Google does NOT enforce those same rules on large Enterprise clients. And it's easy enough for GOOGLE TO PAY (HIRE) LINK-BOMBERS and then they are "magically" justified in cancelling your account just before payout. So, let's do the math, shall we? The first AdSesnse Payout is at $100, so let's imagine 100,000 people, right near being paid $100 - that's TEN MILLION DOLLARS Google saves by canceling their accounts before payout and, essentially, getting their advertisers TEN MILLION DOLLARS OF FREE ADVERTISING! Of course they're making tons of money! I think I was right at $79, getting closer to the $100 mark and. BOOM, you're cancelled! [Link-bombers, for those who don't know, "intentionally" hit your site over and over and over to make Google pay AdSense money to the target web site.
      bitdoctor
      • Unless there is evidence that Google collected money

        from the advertisers that was supposed to be payed to you then this is BS. Nobody, not Google or the advertiser, owes you or anyone else money for fraudulent clicks. I'm not dumb enough to believe that Google's accounting records will show tens of millions of dollars paid to them by advertisers but never distributed to their publishers due to canceled accounts. Until someone produces evidence to the contrary you are just another one of those people who thought they could get rich by putting up a website and scamming companies out of money with worthless clicks.
        techadmin.cc@...