14 April, 2004

G-Mail Under Attack

California Lawmaker Tries to Block Google Mail

A California state senator Monday said she was drafting legislation to block Google Inc.'s free e-mail service "Gmail" because it would place advertising in personal messages after searching them for key words.

"We think it's an absolute invasion of privacy. It's like having a massive billboard in the middle of your home," Sen. Liz Figueroa, a Democrat from Fremont, California, told Reuters in a telephone interview.

"We are asking them to rethink the whole product," she said.

And then...

European groups recently lodged a complaint with UK authorities, charging that Gmail may violate Europe's privacy laws because it stores messages where users cannot permanently delete them. Europe's privacy protection laws give consumers the right to retain control over their communications.

No one is going to be forced to use G-Mail. It is a service for which you will sign up. Included in the terms of use will most likely be language along the lines of: we monitor your e-mail, and place ads in it based on the content you receive. If you don't like that, then don't use the fucking service, asswipe.

What's so fucking hard about that?

I can understand the privacy concerns, but the fact of the matter is, when I send someone e-mail, I have no guarantee of privacy. The person on the receiving end can easily send my e-mail out to thousands of others with just a click of the mouse. The only thing that protects me is how much I trust a person.

And to rebutt the European issue: there is no guarantee that whoever is hosting your e-mail doesn't have a tape backup of sensitive e-mails you sent or received six months, and thought you had deleted. Unless you have your own mail server, you run this risk!

So basically: there is no privacy on the internet. If you're worried about other people reading your mail, look into encryption using GPG or PGP.

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