Earlier this week, Paul H. and Theo Leffmann Professor of Commercial Law Randy Picker participated in a an Intelligence Squared U.S. event that addressed the statement "Google violates its 'don't be evil' motto." Randy began the debate:
The question isn’t whether Google is a great company. I think it is... The question isn’t whether Google does more good than evil. I think it does... The question’s whether we can identify certain things which they do which we think are important to how Google operates, that are inconsistent with that motto.
From the press release:
Intelligence Squared U.S., the Oxford style debate series sponsored by The Rosenkranz Foundation, announced the results of its fourth debate of the Fall 2008 season, "Google violates its 'don't be evil' motto." A sold out audience at Rockefeller University's Caspary Auditorium, New York City voted 47% for the motion and 47% against at the conclusion of the debate. 6% were undecided, resulting in a tie, but with more of the undecided voters being swayed to the side arguing for the motion.Speaking for the motion were Harry Lewis, former Dean of Harvard College and Gordon McKay Professor of Computer Science at Harvard, Randal C. Picker, the Paul H. and Theo Leffmann Professor of Commercial Law at the University of Chicago Law School, and Siva Vaidhyanathan a cultural historian and media scholar, and an associate professor of media studies and law at the University of Virginia. Esther Dyson author of "Release 2.0: A Design for Living in the Digital Age," Jim Harper, director of information policy studies at the Cato Institute and Jeff Jarvis author of the upcoming book, "What Would Google Do?" spoke against the motion. John Donvan, a correspondent for ABC News "Nightline," moderated.