Google

Google turns in a user for allegedly possessing criminal material

Find out how Google detected illegal activity on their systems and how they responded to the discovery.

Google

The lines between good and bad don't get much clearer than this. It was recently reported that Google alerted the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) when they detected evidence of alleged child pornography being sent via a user's Gmail account. The NCMEC then contacted local police and the user, a Houston Texas resident previously convicted of sexual assault, was subsequently arrested after child pornography was found on devices that he owned.

Very few law-abiding citizens would object to such a measure, but nevertheless, the comments on various news sites, Facebook, and other sources began heating up almost immediately:

"This leads down a path that will end up eventually violating everyone's right to privacy." (Ryan Byers on the CNET.com Facebook page)

"The idea of privacy is an illusion. The big picture is that we are monitored and given the illusion of freedom." (Richard Ibah on the CNET.com Facebook page)

"I'm all for privacy, but the core of freedom is if it does not harm or infringe upon the rights of others." (Robert Riggs on the CNET.com Facebook page)

Most people reacted positively to Google's move, and the rest can largely be described as extreme privacy advocates who objected to Google "snooping" on people's email, or those concerned with false accusations (it bears repeating that further evidence was found in possession of the accused, confirming the police department's suspicions).

It's spelled right out in Google's Terms of Services, which state "You may use our Services only as permitted by law, including applicable export and re-export control laws and regulations. We may suspend or stop providing our Services to you if you do not comply with our terms or policies or if we are investigating suspected misconduct.... we may review content to determine whether it is illegal or violates our policies, and we may remove or refuse to display content that we reasonably believe violates our policies or the law."

Then there's Google's privacy policy, which informs users "We collect information to provide better services to all of our users -- from figuring out basic stuff like which language you speak, to more complex things like which ads you'll find most useful or the people who matter most to you online.... when you use our services or view content provided by Google, we may automatically collect and store certain information in server logs. This may include details of how you used our service, such as your search queries."

Furthermore, Google states "we will share personal information with companies, organizations or individuals outside of Google if we have a good-faith belief that access, use, preservation or disclosure of the information is reasonably necessary to meet any applicable law, regulation, legal process or enforceable governmental request."

It's important to keep in mind the accused man in question was allegedly conducting illegal activities on services owned by Google. This is a far cry from the much less realistic threat that Google technicians could look at confidential business or personal information in a Gmail account and possibly leak details to someone else with malicious or financial intent (such as through blackmail).

In addition, Google is not the government -- it's a business. Nobody is forced to use its services. It would be one thing if the FBI required that all system administrators provide them with on-demand access to email databases and logs; the privacy outcry would be legitimate and valid.

Just how Google discovered the alleged criminal material isn't entirely clear, but an article that appeared on the Telegraph news site last year by David Drummond, the Chief Legal Officer of Google, states that Google is committed to finding and removing this material, and it hinted at the possibility of certain scanning algorithms "that trawl other platforms for known images" that are then verified as illegal content by human inspection. In other words, they don't have a spy assigned to each mail user to monitor what they're doing.

The privacy-first crowd usually makes valid points about topics similar to this, or at least they bring up issues worthy of consideration regarding the overstepping of big businesses, the danger in keeping confidential material on someone else's systems, and the unknown factor behind offsite data. However, this isn't one of those blurry areas of "Should they/should they not?" It involved illegal behavior that Google had a moral duty to prevent (especially since their systems were being misused). I, for one, salute Google for helping to protect the public.

Where do you stand on this issue? Share your opinion in the discussion thread below.

About

Scott Matteson is a senior systems administrator and freelance technical writer who also performs consulting work for small organizations. He resides in the Greater Boston area with his wife and three children.

152 comments
docbillnet3
docbillnet3

There have been times when my spam folder has been filled with pornographic material.  How much of that was kiddie porn, and other illegal images?  I have no idea, most of the time I only look at the first 20 subject lines before hitting the delete all for my spam folder...


The point is having illegal images in ones gmail account does not constitute a crime.


I have also had the porn messages come from family members, which I'm certain they did not personally send.  Rather the messages come from viruses, and other types of malicious bots.


The point is having illegal images sent from ones gmail account does not constitute a crime.


Really, the whole reason this whole thing should make law abiding citizens nervous, is it shifts the whole burden of proof to something unreasonable. Google turns you in, suddenly there is preme-facia case you are a paedophile, and now you have the burden of proof that your computer was virus infected, etc.   Even if you do succeed at proving your innocence it will probably come at great financial and social costs.


ellrllgllo
ellrllgllo

if you don't like your email provider "snooping" through your messages, host your own email server. have some form of encryption. and you should be good to go.


as to the kiddie porn guy, forward me his home address and he'll be disappeared in 24 hours.


any questions?

lj63190
lj63190

First of all, may that alleged child molester burn in hell if those allegations are true. But let's look at the facts.

First of all google doesn't have the moral ground to blatantly spy on your email. Even if it contained child pornography. They hinted at being able to scan images that are predetermined as child pornograhy. If that is what happened then the man with them was not the first one to have them. Meaning the images must be on the Internet, so why at they still available online? If he had one of these images then Google is responsible for cold pornography as well and the man is sub-liable too. If Google was aware of the images and failed to stop them from spreading, and not making the police aware of the images, then they are entrapping the end user. Just be on notice this could be with any other item, download, song, image. And Google will just mark it illegal and check the users system then report you.

I also have an issue that the police already had an idea the man was involved. Then by sheer luck google just happens upon this information. WAY TOO COINCIDENTAL.

Now the issue that they are implying is they caught this in an email. I might be wrong but that's what i inferred. But if they seemed vary vague describing where the info came from. So did they search his computer and or phone for those images. Under the "Google product flag" of it's Android, Gmail, Google Drive, etc.... so they aren't doing anything illegal because it might be true but VERY WRONG in the eyes of privacy and ethics.

Remember people this might be the first case in this nature but it might not be the first time they are doing this behavior. It's only being published because they spoke with police and saw that this man had way too much evidence against him. Funny that they know way too much about the case and the person involved. It would be a PR nightmare if the first time they go public with this kind of practices and be wrong. Major lawsuit from the suspect and civil liberties groups. Well it might still happen.

A big problem i have is the stance that Google is taking the, don't use our products for illegal activities or we'll turn you in. This is the first case made to the public. Maybe people will be aware now that Google will look through your mail or any Google product you use. And most people might not be aware that they are. Because I don't do anything illegal but I do have important business plans and products that i don't want to be searched through. Let's see how many people drop google from this issue. What are these algorithms that they talked about, can't just be for images. It has to include phrases and keywords. Then if it gets flashed for review then some tech had to look at it and decide at that point. Which gives him or her access to confidential info, corporate insider info, money, celebrities private photos, trade secrets. And that's just under the basis of email. Imagine if they try to use that under Android Os, anybody with a Google competitor is fair game to be spied on. That is corporate espionage.

We can't allow them to do this because it will set a precedence to allow any other company to just do this as well. There needs to be a full investigation into this matter and needs to be public information. Any person has rights to know what, where, who, why this info is being used. Let's say people know it's illegal to send drugs through the mail then they have the opportunity to decide to do something illegal or not. You can't just decide to change the rules from private to we'll scan your emails and or phone to we find something illegal.

Say you have a security deposit box at a bank. Is it okay for them to stay pulling out boxes and x-raying them. Then like Google did, went further upon some clues. Like If the bank saw an x-ray of a gun. So they openned the box based on "well a gun might be illegal" basis and found something else like drugs or something so their search was legal. But what if the image they found want illegal and they kept on searching. Say the gun was legal when the person did put it in the box and the bank changed their rules about guns. Does that void the search, never mind google didn't have a warrant. Does the drugs, or images in this case, get tossed out. I guess not because they gave this to police as evidence.

Here is a case in which everybody gets involved. Have you ever been the recipient of a dirty email from a friend or coworker? I'm sure most people have been. Even if you weren't the intended target does that make it okay for google to search your emails or phone now? Because it would be very easy to send everyone one of those child pornography images and you all are now suspects and no longer have privacy and freedom and your life becomes open to google and police or public.

Google is very shady anyways just look up the privacy statement for google drive. If you put anything of value or inventions on there, it becomes google property because you used their product to store it.

Come on people show your support to ensure our privacy on our computers and phone. In essence just because it's their software then we aren't owners of our information. Show any of these companies that are trying to take away our privacy by canceling the product or changing process or canceling their email. When did it become okay that our communications become their property and rights to bug us with ads and tell on us when we say something wrong. It's likea kid that listens to every interaction you have. And either sells that info to a nosy neighbor or a store down the street. If that happened in person that intruder would get beaten up or shot. Is not right. We are bound to communicate with other people, that is life. But they got us hooked on the products and hardware like a drug dealer would do to an addict. Then they tell us, ohh by the way we started selling your info to other companies. We had a problem when that became public knowledge but we were tied to our devices because they were incorporated into our daily lives and we couldn't just stop. It's time to put a stop to this cycle of losing freedoms and liberty. I know most people won't see this in cased within a comments section but hopefully it reaches one person that will carry on the message.

By the way poop farts just to lighten the mood, lol.

cpguru21
cpguru21

This is a good thing. All activity is logged by servers. It's the way they work. It is what is done with the data that's in question. I think coming out openly and saying "we scan the logs our servers already create for blah blah bla....." Is the right thing to do, outside of this case. What Google should have done is kept quiet and sent a mob over to skin this creep alive. That would have been better use of their money and less costly for the tax payer...

mitzmags
mitzmags

I don't think anyone has a problem with this specific case of child pornography and the moral choice Google made to share the information, but I think the concern many of us have is when  sense of morals by Google (or its employees) violates or conflicts with the law or the public policy opinions.  


BTW, the article's author sort of glibly dismisses those who have concerns as extreme privacy advocates.  I found that offensive.

skf
skf

Same old debate.  People flipped out about the NSA when corporations are a bigger threat, and as we all know, less well intentioned.

jeffy4bs
jeffy4bs

I applaud Google for there actions.  


I agree with viper777's comment "Google has to get it right and check those things and yes, great that person was caught, but we have the right to let the world know if Google makes a mistake too if anything turns up in our E-Mail boxes that was sent by hacking etc.."

viper777
viper777

It is all very good to capture the idiots who do this stuff BUT, many of us know there was an phishing site which looked almost legit for the Hotmail sign-in page.  It was sent to their mail and if the user was fooled, their user-id and password was captured - later those addresses were accessed to send malicious material to other e-mail boxes...  Google has to get it right and check those things and yes, great that person was caught, but we have the right to let the world know if Google makes a mistake too if anything turns up in our E-Mail boxes that was sent by hacking etc...  Google has too much money against the innocent to counter a defamation suit, so we will let people know if they make a mistake big time... I'm sure they have do all the checks, or do they? 

S. K. Kak
S. K. Kak

Since the terms of use are clearly stated and the Privacy terms are also given precisely for the use of free mail service using the Google servers hence I think it is their bounden duty to stop such abhor-able and illegal activity. 

Congratulations to Google for reporting such activity.

xrayangiodoc
xrayangiodoc

As a Physician I am a, "Mandatory Reporter" if I encounter child abuse. That is, I am REQUIRED to report such abuse to the appropriate authorities with no consideration of Doctor-Patient confidentiality. Google is in an analogous position when they observe their service being used for child pornography.

AriAU
AriAU

Well done Google, keeping our kids safe and enforcing the law.

tony
tony

A number of people raise an interesting conundrum - should Google be doing this? Well child pornography is illegal; if Google turn a blind eye, then they are condoning it.


In many places, turning a blind eye to the trading of stolen goods (by definition the possession of those goods is illegal) is an offence. The trading/distribution/whatever of child pornography is illegal and making this possible can be seen as "aiding and abetting", albeit unwittingly. In many jurisdictions, ignorance is not a defence.


Now if I go out trying to track down places where stolen goods are traded, then I am a vigilante. And this seems to be at the heart of the debate - where is the line between supporting the law, which is what an ordinary citizen does, and being "pro-active" which is what law enforcement does, and when not done by law enforcement is a vigilante?


I think that in the end, Google + society + government will end up finding the right level - a lack of adequate transparency leads to whistleblowers, who reveal what is going on and eventually leads to better checks and balances; too much in the vigilante direction and laws (checks and balances) are made more stringent.


Google is a business; you don't have to use it. If they go too far that reasonable people feel their efforts to ensure that they are not used for illegal purposes, then they will lose business; some of this will be balanced by some reasonable people making more use of the service e.g. because they have children they want to protect.


So I think that after a bit of oscillation, it will settle down somewhere in the middle.


But you have to remember - a notorious paedophile who lived close to me was only convicted 20 years ago when his computer broke down and he took it into PC World to be fixed and they saw the images on his hard disk.


And pre digital photography and before film processing became totally automated, the people developing your films saw every image and would report ones to the police, when what was not acceptable was far more stringent. Developing your own film in those days was the equivalent of using the dark Internet today.


So it is not exactly a new practice and  it is only moved onto a different scale and technology.

psource
psource

We do not know how Google came across the images. Once they did, however, they were legally required to inform law enforcement. That is a peculiarity of child pornography laws in the United States.

mike.gordon
mike.gordon

I am astonished at the number of people who believe Google shouldn't read their emails even though they ticked the box to accept their EULA. 

There were some interesting analogies used to justify their thinking ; but none explained why they continued to tick a box that Google the right to do something they felt strongly about. With so many other email providers why do they choose one that they are clearly unhappy about. 

Even all mobile phones that I have owned have allowed me to access my email from my supplier , it's not as if there was some technical problem that forced you to only use Gmail. 

I wonder what their views on the Facebook EULA are . Please don't tell us ! 

I'm only glad that in this instance their snooping had a positive outcome. 


norfindel
norfindel

The point is that mail should be allowed to be viewed if requested by justice, not spy everyone by default.

Stovies
Stovies

"I'm all for privacy, but the core of freedom is if it does not harm or infringe upon the rights of others." Robert Riggs above has it right. Criminals would like it fine if they could not be traced. Eastern Europeans seem to have the monopoly on child pornography and child sex slaves and every company whatever its  background should be using algorithms to unearth serious criminal activity. 

nmoliver
nmoliver

I think this whole debate about privacy is flawed from the get go.  The internet is not private, it is public.  If you start from there than anything you use on the internet is still public.  This includes email, web browsing, social media, etc.  As far as I know there is no form of private communication besides a direct connection.  Any time you hand off your communication to a third party you lose all control over what happens to it.  This has always been the case and will always be the case.  Look how personal a space your home is but if you rent all the land lord needs to do is give you notice that they want entry.  If they see something illegal while there they can and should report it.  Privacy is an illusion.  Only your thoughts are safe and with the progress of brain scans that might not be the case for too much longer.

sbanash
sbanash

I think that most will agree that turning a suspected child molester is a good act. Clearly this is a case where few, if any, might argue not to turn this person in to authorities. However, is Google setting themselves up as an agent of the government? For instance, if this person was an LGBT member using Google mail in Saudi Arabia, would Google still feel compelled to turn him into the Saudi police; Or perhaps a political dissident in China? In these cases the person is breaking the law - so therefore Google should turn them in - correct?

When an action violates our laws and sense of morality, we seem very sure of ourselves in our actions.

der_fisherman
der_fisherman

Well done Google! I am a father, though they are now adults, children deserve not to be misused in this manner, or any manner against the law.

If you don't like it for ANY reason, then stop using Google.....Nobody is forcing you to use it!!

Good for you Scott, keep up the good work!!!

Regards

Andy

DJMullen
DJMullen

Good for Google!  I would have done the same thing.  Freaks like that belong in prison, far away from the normal folks.  What that guy was doing is absolutely disgusting, it is something an unthinking unintelligent animal would do. 


With regard to Google's terms, you agreed to them.  If you don't like Google's terms do not click "I agree" and do not use their services, very simple!  NOBODY IS FORCED TO USE GOOGLE.

richard.nott
richard.nott

there is a simple and obvious solution for anyone concerned with privacy within any of Googles system.

if you want privacy, don't use the system!

the mere fact that you're using their systems means you have accepted the terms and conditions they lay down with regards to monitoring your content for what ever reason. you can't cry foul when you miss use them and get caught doing it

RacerRex9727
RacerRex9727

I encourage Google and other technology companies to report atrocious illegal activity like this and actively monitor for them. After all, users signed the EULA and "agreed" to all the terms. But I have a huge problem with the loose interpretation of fine print nowadays lawyers are so fond of doing. 

I don't respect the argument of "I have nothing to hide. I don't do anything illegal." But seriously ask yourself what exactly is "illegal"? Pretty much everything with our numerous ambiguous laws nowadays designed so people break them.

Government surveillance systems are not about justice. You post online your political beliefs that the government doesn't agree with? They can send the IRS to audit and bully you. If you run for public office or become a public figure, they can disclose everything they gathered about you electronically and completely make your private life known to the public. They can even take it a step further, finding obscure and convoluted laws you may have broken and press charges. The government will outspend you in attorney costs until you have nothing left or have no choice but to plead guilty for a lighter sentence. This is happening everyday. I can cite Dinesh D'Souza's arrest, the IRS scandal, PRISM, and a slew of other examples that show government is not following the spirit of the law, but rather manipulating it.

SFinn01
SFinn01

"...Google had a moral duty to prevent..."

I agree the child exploiter is a very bad individual - and for now, my morals and Google's (and many of you) line up. But what are Google's morals based on? And what happens when Google's morals tread into areas where they stop lining up with your (and my) morals? Are Google's morals based on "public opinion" which changes with the tides? Are they based on the current CEO or BoDs?


Just something to consider.

Al_nyc
Al_nyc

I see no problem with this. Google is upfront with the fact that they look at everything you do on their services in order to sell you something.   They also check for illegal activity at the same time.  I think the people who are objecting have not bothered to learn about the so called "free" service they are using.

AlainKaz
AlainKaz

I'm so sad to see where all of this is going. This is why criminals get off so easily. We who respect the letter of the law want to stick to it AT ALL COSTS while those who don't laugh at it and continue doing what they like to whom they like.

Murderers and rapists have more rights than the victims do for God's sake. But I digress...

I think its high time that we accept what has been said throughout this discussion, there is NO true privacy outside of your home! And even then...

If you want privacy, send your "questionable" data on an encrypted USB key (oh, what flack I'll get from this!! :D). If you're on the Internet, it's public, no privacy. If you use a free service on somebody else's infrastructure and agree to their terms and MUST HAVE privacy, dont do anything you wouldn't want shown on the news, or at least encrypt your files before dumping them on GDrive. You can also encrypt your e-mail. But then your contacts must be able to decrypt them. Tough! That's privacy for you.

guitardave8077
guitardave8077

I'm "the IT guy" for a small advertising company. I built and manage our entire network infrastructure including our offsite production systems, web and mail services. I physically own and manage my email system, however I do use a Barracuda SPAM/Virus firewall and have to wonder, in addition to that system blocking incoming SPAM to my users, what it may archive, as it's a Virtual appliance, hosted on my LAN, but theoretically completely accessible by Barracuda's own systems, if they had the desire. This does not include the Vx's own polling of Barracuda's system for updates.


My point: private companies' email users - using proprietary security platforms - can still be just as vulnerable to privacy issues.


Same goes for any and all PC users who use the newer Symantec and McAfee security suites... all potential avenues for personal privacy violation.

adornoe
adornoe

Here's the problem....


No, the problem is not that the pervert was caught.  He was and should be prosecuted.


The problem is that, Google is doing the catching.  Okay, it's their service, and we use it at our own risk.  But, should there be a risk with using a service which Google owns.


If Google has the right to snoop into our e-mail, for whatever reason, then....


Could that same kind of reasoning be used by the USPS any postal system or any kind of delivery system, to snoop into our mail and packages?

Google is basically a delivery system for e-mail and other communications.  If they have the right to snoop into any of it, then, all other services, especially the government types, could claim the same kind of rights to look into all of our communications.  Sure, the NSA spying scandal has already made it clear that they're collecting data on our communications, but the legality of it is still in dispute and is an issue in political discussions.  So, just because Google is the owner of a system, is that enough authorization for them to use our data as they wish?

BTW, the only service I use from Google is their search engine, and I avoid everything else from them.  It's not about having anything to hide; it's about preserving some sense of privacy.

kszczytko
kszczytko

@docbillnet3 It seems that since the man in question was in fact proven to be a pedophile, he was sending the messages as well. I very much doubt having unopened pornographic messages in your spam folder would trigger any kind of probe into your activities. 

PrincessMilissa
PrincessMilissa

@lj63190 Do you JACKASS know how spam filters work? They scan your email for spam. All email providers that provide spam filters are scanning you email for spam which is nearly the same thing Google does but Google expands on that! So quit your bitching and go f**** yourself

Gisabun
Gisabun

@lj63190  Minor points. The guy was probably already on the police's radar as a sex offender.

Additionally, Google has already admitted they electronically read Gmail accounts - primarily for ad keywords. Including something like "young children" or whatever shouldn't be hard to check for.

What Google has done is a reason why I limit what I do with them. On the other hand who'd say Yahoo, Microsoft/Hotmail or others wouldn't do the same.

Nothing stopping these vermin from creating Google Drive, One Drive or Dropbox accounts to distribute their crap.

AlainKaz
AlainKaz

Hy Mike,

Now that you mention Facebook...

We've all heard about Virginia Tech right? Twice! And all the elementary school shootings, right?

The last similar incident we had here in Canada was a shocker on many levels.

When the smoke cleared, and after many deaths, the cops could not believe the amount of guns and ammo the kid had brought with him to school. When he was investigated, even the most experienced psychologist was shocked. Had Facebook used similar algorithms to detect possible or iminent criminal activities, the shooter "might" have received psychiatric help instead of being in a 6-foot deep hole, others would still be with their families and much grief would have been avoided. His facebook page would have put Hitler to shame...

Now, I dare, double-dare and triple-dare all pro-privacy advicates to say openly, right here and now that all those Americans and Canadians HAD to die to protect YOUR illusion of privacy.

PhilippeV
PhilippeV

@nmoliver Emails are NOT the internet, they are private communications as long as they are sent from one physical person to one physical person.


Emails sent to/from a mailing list, or to/from an organisation are NOT covered by individual privacy rights, een if they are still NOT public.


However emails sent from/to a public mailing list that anyone can subscribe are public, because they can be mirrored anywhere on the internet by any unknown subscribers that don't need any prior authorization to subscribe the list and hear the content.


In summary: the police, the justice or Google can subscribe these same public lists and legally look at their content as they want, even if they are relayed by private services (that are not owners or emitters of the content, unless they are the effective creators and senders of these contents posted to the mialing list) It is perfectly valid for anyone to scan and index these public contents, and signal to authorities any suspect or illegal content to track their authors or senders for abusing the ToS of the relaying mailing list service.


But closed mailing lsits that require a prior authorization and agreement signed by the subscriber, are bound to the terms of this agreement, which is a contract also bound to the law. Under this agreement, by default the relayed contents remain private and are not public.


But if he autthorized subscribers are detecting illegal contents, they must honor the contract bound to the law, and so they can legally signal the illegal content they detect to the authorities (these contents are still private but subject to the law and it is legal to provide a copy to the authorities, and subscribers are also committed to do so without being accused of breaching the terms of the contractual private agreement (those contracts already contain clauses statating that they won't defend or endorse illegal activities, so they won't want to keep it private to authorities; as they don't want to be liable of any illegal use by their subcribers).


In fact laws already require that citizens signal to THEIR OWN legal authorities acts that they suspect being illegal. They don't have to do anything else or reveal the contents to any one else (including legal authorities in another country or juridiction than their own).


So if you (a physical person, or a moral person or organisation) detect any content that your think being illegal in your own juridiction, signal it to your own local police. You don't have do do anything else, an you must still keep these contents private if you don't know if it is really public. or not. And you are not required to reveal to the public list that you have revealed the content to your local authority (unless you legitimately think that you need assistance from the community of subscribers ebcause you were forced to reveal something that you think it was not illegal; but then be prepared to defend your own case in justice and consult your lawyer before doing so...)


By revealing the content to your local authority, yo don't need to justify or prove that the content is illegal or not. The authorities will clsoe the case themselves and will keep these information private. But the authorities may recontact you for further information, if you have other details or if you want to coooperate (you are not required to accept if it could cause you any harm; if you don't want to participate, just unsubscribe from the subsribed private mailing list and stop hearing it so that you won't have to signal more events because you will no longer exposed to the illegal contents : your initial signalment is enough and you are not liable of the legal consequences or lack of consequences)



net.minder
net.minder

@sbanash well said. If a Saudi woman's picture is discovered without her face covered by a niqab on a GMail account, will Google report her to the Saudi Mutaween police? Does google have a reporting policy that's different for each country?

TRgscratch
TRgscratch

@RacerRex9727   Just to amplify: the "I'm doing nothing wrong" argument has two large assumptions:


"I'm doing nothing THAT I THINK IS wrong"


what is "wrong" (or not) today, might be wrong (or not) tomorrow

TRgscratch
TRgscratch

@AlainKaz   the "victims" have all the rights of citizens.  that perpetrators, who also have all the rights of citizens, acquire additional rights when they become a perpetrator, does not imply that citizens do (or should) acquire additional rights when they become victims.


If you want this changed, work for change.

zolar1
zolar1

@AlainKaz Rapists SHOULD hav e more rights than the so called victim because of unconstitutional rape laws.


Unless she actualyl says NO, then she opts-in. Not the other way around. That would be constitutional.



marco.a.simao
marco.a.simao

@adornoe actually USPS can and does snoop into your mail or packages if they find it suspicious, that's why they get drug smuggling by mail ;)

TRgscratch
TRgscratch

@adornoe   the "same kind of reasoning" could be used by USPS (or FedEx or UPS or anybody else) if you had to agree to their T&C when you used their service.

zolar1
zolar1

@adornoe I disagree.

You are paying for the service with the SPAM and advertisements.


Google has no right to tamper with anything you do if you are paying for it.


The 9th amendment says we have the right to privacy, even from private businesses.

AlainKaz
AlainKaz

Even then. I once tried to block Googles analytics. Gawd!!! Awfull experience. Slooooooow browsing (had to wait for the transaction to timeout). Re-instated analytics and learned to live with it. So yes, they know where you go while browsing. Sorry.

lj63190
lj63190

Apartently you don't grasp what is going on here. It's not a spam filter if it's labling child porn as illegal. What if your significant other sent you a photo of themself to you. It's not spam then right? But someone there is looking at those pics to determine if it is okay or not. Privacy? They never said it had to do with spam filters or the images in question wouldn't be on his computer then would it. Didn't think so. So if I emailed you some cold porn would that make it okay to go through all your accounts/info then? The process of identifying the child porn is based off images that are illegal, so google knew of said illegal images and just tags them for spam and moves on. Where is their moral obligation to report the images in the first place. Dumb assess like you are why they get away with these things. Don't think for one instance that the man in question was reviewed by their legal teams, Pr people, management, Server teams, techs before it was ever sent off to the police. And only tell the press to toot their own whistle. Like "look at the great job we did" The public should be made aware of what happens in this case. What if, the guy is innocent, maybe he's guilty, I don't know because I don't have all the facts in front of me. And neither do you so quit your "I know he's guilty because I feel he is". In my opinion if he is guilty then he should have pineapples shoved up his ass everyday, green side up.

But google just happened to pick this case to show up. You mean to tell me this guy is the first person to do anything illegal through Google. Not that molesters are the lowest possible threat of public backlash.

Now this just happens to be the first and only time google had looked through your stuff, yeah right. I doesn't just have to be illegal they could be looking at your believed private things that some tech might be bringing home for whatever use he likes. You can insert item yourselves. This case is being tested on the public from a PR standpoint. Just to see the response. Hell I might be blowing this way out of proportion but that shouldn't be up to google to decide how they can justify searching the man's devices without a warrant.

lj63190
lj63190

Not disagreeing that any of those other companies are next to do it but google is kind of know to be intrusive.

The cops knew he was a suspect and a sex offender. That's what makes me worry that they got in touch with google to check for them. In hopes something came up or tied him to the crime. Means no more warrants needed just a call to the major companies to check you out without your knowledge and give that info to the authorities. I know it sounds conspiracy theory but that's is the extremes you might need to protect from in future cases.

RacerRex9727
RacerRex9727

@TRgscratch @RacerRex9727 Exactly. So many assume the law is always on their side if they are advocates for justice. But the law is volatile, wordy, and convoluted, to the point it is not enforceable except for individuals it is worth enforcing on.

adornoe
adornoe

@marco.a.simao @adornoe Do you think that USPS looks into the content of my mail?  

I agree that they might take a second or third look into suspicious packages, but, I've already acknowledged that in a prior response.  However, the discussion here is about "mail", whether electronic or the paper type.  Google is snooping into e-mails.  BTW, I don't use g-mail.  I don't trust Google with anything, while I do sometimes use Google search.  

adornoe
adornoe

@TRgscratch @adornoe Yet, I've never been subjected to snooping into my mail by USPS or FedEx or UPS.  Perhaps it happens, but I don't hear about the interception of mail by those systems, unless it's something that looks and feels like a bomb or white powder.

My argument still holds.

adornoe
adornoe

@zolar1 @adornoe Paying for a service through spam or advertising is not the problem.  The problem is in the snooping into the e-mails to mine the content for Google's enrichment.  If Google and other services can justify and rationalize their snooping by pointing at the perverts they catch, then they should make it clear that, that's a reason for snooping into e-mail and other content that passes through their services.  

richard.nott
richard.nott

@adornoe @zolar1 what you fail to realise is that they don't have to justify it, it's all part of their terms and conditions which you have to accept in order to be able to use their services in the first place.

if you don't agree to it, don't use it, it's that simple

adornoe
adornoe

@richard.nott @adornoe @zolar1 Yet, that's not what you said originally.


You said that Google had the right to snoop because they own the service, and they had the right to snoop because it was a free service to me, via advertising and spam.  Now you say that, they don't have to justify their snooping, but, my original argument still holds, and the argument is that...

"If they have the right to snoop into any of my email and communications, then, all other services, especially the government types, could claim the same kind of rights to look into all of our communications."


After all, I don't own the USPS system, just like I don't own Google's services.


BTW, I am paying for Google's services, by becoming a receiver for their advertising and spam.  Google is getting paid for my usage of their services. 



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