[FoRK] Utterly ridiculous: Does Gmail breach wiretap laws?

Gregory Alan Bolcer gbolcer at endeavors.com
Tue May 4 15:58:30 PDT 2004


You guys must have missed California lawmaker,
Liz Figueroa the author of California's
Do-not-call legistlation and a privacy
advocate,'s initial Google letter and the
EU violations.  It's my understanding that the
ads on Yahoo, Hotmail, and AOL are not contextual,
but more broad-based marketing.

Google's defense is, there's no humans reading
the information only computers much like
a spellchecker and outsourced anti-virus and
spam filters already do content filtering.  That
may be true but there's just something uniquely
offensive particular to advertising.

What's worse, suppose you get an unsolicited email
from some doofus which subsequently gets scanned by
the gmail content filters.  That association will
*never* be able to be removed from your gmail account
as the way the product works now.  As with any privacy
information, it's always overly-inclusive and near
impossible to correct.   Try taking off a misdiagnosis
off of your health record, a poor mark on your credit
report by a defunct company, or some nasty comments out
of your FBI file.   It ain't gonna happen.  That's all
we need now is one more big database of mis-associated
privacy information.

Greg

Jeffrey Kay wrote:

> I agree -- some of this stuff is the stupidest I've seen in a long time.
> Did anyone check to see if Yahoo, MSN or Hotmail were providing context
> sensitive advertising with their services? They'd be dumb not to.
> 
> The interesting question here is -- who's behind all of this?  Could this be
> the John Poindexter effect occurring for Google or is this really being
> instigated by those threatened by Google's plans of providing a gig of
> storage for e-mail?
> 
> -- jeff
> 
> On 5/4/04 2:31 PM, "Contempt for Meatheads" <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> 
> 
>>This is utterly ludicrous.  It's ridiculous that this is EVEN BEING
>>DISCUSSED, much less that the esoteric theories offered ("transit,
>>etc.") are being offered in defense.  This is BRAIN DEAD SIMPLE.  The
>>relevant language is, MY EMPHASIS:  "in any UNAUTHORIZED manner, reads,
>>or attempts to read, or to learn the contents or meaning of any
>>message, report, or communication while the same is in transit."
>>Enough freakin' nanny government.  If I want to allow somebody to read
>>my e-mail in contractual exchange for e-mail services, what, I can't do
>>that?  They can't offer those services as a quid pro quo for my
>>authorization?
>>
>>GRRRR.
>>
>>--
>>
>>Does Gmail breach wiretap laws?
>>Last modified: May 4, 2004, 11:11 AM PDT
>>By Declan McCullagh
>>Staff Writer, CNET News.com
>>
>>Three nonprofit groups alleged this week that Google's forthcoming
>>Gmail service violates California wiretapping laws--but lawyers who
>>specialize in privacy law were skeptical of the claim.
>>
>>In a letter sent to California Attorney General Bill Lockyer on Monday,
>>the Electronic Privacy Information Center argued that Gmail must be
>>shut down because it "represents an unprecedented invasion into the
>>sanctity of private communications." Gmail provides one gigabyte of
>>Web-based mail storage in exchange for context-sensitive advertising
>>that appears on the right side of the screen.
> 
> 
> jeffrey kay 
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> "first get your facts, then you can distort them at your leisure" -- mark
> twain 
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> locks the door, support their view of life by snarling at them" -- a biker's
> guide to life
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> 
> 
> 
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Gregory Alan Bolcer, CTO  | work: +1.949.833.2800
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