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Gmail users have no “reasonable expectation” that their emails are confidential, Google has said in a court filing.
Consumer Watchdog, the advocacy group that uncovered the filing, called the revelation a “stunning admission.” It comes as Google and its peers are under pressure to explain their role in the National Security Agency’s (NSA) mass surveillance of US citizens and foreign nationals.
“Google has finally admitted they don’t respect privacy,” said John Simpson, Consumer Watchdog’s privacy project director. “People should take them at their word; if you care about your email correspondents’ privacy, don’t use Gmail.”
Google set out its case last month in an attempt to dismiss a class action lawsuit that accuses the tech giant of breaking wire tap laws when it scans emails in order to target ads to Gmail users.
That suit, filed in May, claims Google “unlawfully opens up, reads, and acquires the content of people’s private email messages.” It quotes Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman: “Google policy is to get right up to the creepy line and not cross it.”
Simpson, a long-term Google critic, said: “Google’s brief uses a wrong-headed analogy; sending an email is like giving a letter to the Post Office. I expect the Post Office to deliver the letter based on the address written on the envelope. I don’t expect the mail carrier to open my letter and read it.
'If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Doing It'
Originally posted by Lady_Tuatha
Can anyone recommend an email server that is up and running at the moment?
Seen the startmail one posted above but is there any others that would'nt be 'as' bad as gmail?
Last week, FBI raids on Freedom Hosting and child porn distributors took down Tor Mail, a secure email provider for users of the Tor network. A few days later, secure email provider Lavabit, which had previously provided whistleblower Edward Snowden with an email address, closed its doors. Its owner left a cryptic message stating he’d been forced to choose between betraying the American people and shutting down. It’s possible that Snowden wasn’t the target — a search warrant for child pornography was executed against Joey006@lavabit.com on June 10 — but it’s possible that the two cases together had an impact on the decision to shut down the service. The day after Lavabit closed, Silent Circle announced it would also discontinue its own secure email client. With multiple vendors dropping out of the race at the same time that consumer interest in secure email services is heating up, what are your options?
The lack of awareness is a major issue and the lack of public interest in reading the fine print is an issue. Promoting awareness is the first step in my opinion and let people make informed decisions.
Google claims Gmail users have no ‘reasonable expectation’ their emails are private