Whither Evil

Miguel Helft over at The New York Times blogs in Bits today about a new connector application from Cemaphore Systems, called MailShadow for Google Apps, which allows migration from MS Exchange to gmail. Interesting concept, and he raises some clever uses in the article. What caught my eye, though, was this slam from his reader,Mark, against Google and their reputation:

Why does no one ask the question “why would I want to put my mail on google’s servers?” when they scan it, index it, score it and have such a poor record of protecting anyone’s privacy. Their reputation as “of the people” is stunningly inaccurate given their willingness to hand over records to any government requesting them. They are not the NY Times protecting anyone’s rights or privacy. Their reputation is one of democratization and being “of the people” but they are not “of or for the person.” And it is the person – each set of eyeballs – that they make their money on.

I am happy to keep my mail on my exchange server or any server other than a company with so much hubris, money and power and so little respect for individual rights and privacy. And no willingness to use their position to protect individual rights. Much like the current Supreme Court, they trample them in the self-interest of their business expansion into any nation, regardless of that nation’s policies regarding individual rights, privacy or due process, and regardless of how it violates or damages the individual person who is responsible for Google’s financial value. And that’s the problem – they think they are completely responsible and that any individual google user is not.
Bringing Outlook and Gmail Closer Together – Bits – Technology – New York Times Blog

This joins a recent assault on Google, whose actions more often belie their much vaunted “Don’t be evil” slogan.

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