- Sinnissippi Park improvements announced
- Rockford Park District recognized at Illinois Park and Recreation Association Conference
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- Meet John Doe: Remember the crew of the space shuttle ‘Challenger’
- Tech-Friendly: Update your Adobe Flash Player today
- Tales from the Trough: Rockford skates into all-star break on high note
- Literary Hook: A poem for February
- Hospitals lift visitor age restrictions as number of flu cases decreases
- Winnebago County sheriff names chief deputy
- URGENT: Four votes and we could lose on Keystone
Tech-Friendly: Google to court: Gmail users should not expect privacy
By Paul Gorski
Consumer Watchdog recently reported that Google filed court documents that imply that Gmail e-mail may not be private. Read the Consumerwatchdog.org column at http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/newsrelease/google-tells-court-you-cannot-expect-privacy-when-sending-messages-gmail-people-who-care.
Google’s court filing states: “Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient’s assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient’s [email provider] in the course of delivery. Indeed, ‘a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.’”
Consumer Watchdog later reported that Google apparently disputes this interpretation of the court document by issuing a statement: “We take our users’ privacy and security very seriously; recent reports claiming otherwise are simply untrue. We have built industry-leading security and privacy features into Gmail — and no matter who sends an email to a Gmail user, those protections apply.” Read that report at http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/newsrelease/google-either-lying-court-or-public-consumer-watchdog-says.
In related news, Senior Assistant Editor Brandon Reid recently reported, in “Encrypted e-mail providers cease operations, block government access” (Aug. 14-20 issue), that two encrypted e-mail providers have shut down their services as a result of government demands to access their users’ content.
I believe your e-mails should be treated as private correspondence, just like mail sent via the United States Postal Service. It is a federal offense to tamper with U.S. mail, why isn’t it a crime for an e-mail provider to open, examine and otherwise tamper with my personal e-mail?
We need to pass laws that ensure the privacy of our personal and business e-mail correspondence.
Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple IIe.
From the Aug. 21-27, 2013, issue