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Registered sex offender breached contract with Google, using Gmail as his child pornography stash, got caught

Months ago, Google Inc. (GOOG) acknowledged in a widely reported, carefully worded statement that it did scan the content of users' emails and uploaded files with scripts to develop profiles with which to better advertise to them.  Surprisingly, while that report only drew mild grumbles, a new incident in which Google tipped off a child protection advocacy about a child pornography peddler is igniting a far fiercer debate over privacy.
 
I. Convicted Child Molester Gets Busted First by Google, Then by Cops
 
The incident began when Google scanned images uploaded by a Gmail user.  It detected the images contained a file known to be child pornography.  Google then alerted National Center for Missing and Exploited Children  -- an advocacy group it works closely with.  The Center -- who runs the well-known "Missing Kids" campaign, alerted authorities with the Houston Police.
 
Detective David Nettles of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce responded to the tip and appeared to enforce the law with utmost respect for due process.  Rather than lean on warrantless search provisions, Detective Nettles filed for a search warrant against the suspect -- John Henry Skillern -- asking to search the suspect's computer, smartphone, and other devices.  
 
After receiving the warrant, he conducted a search of Mr. Skillern's smartphone and tablet, which he did not appear to have bothered to password protect.

John Henry Skillern
John Henry Skillern had already been convicted once of sexually assaulting a child.  Now he was back at it again.  He might have gotten away too, if it wasn't for Google. [Image Source: Webster Police/KHOU 11]

It turns outs Mr. Skillern, 41, had been down this road before.  In 1994, Mr. Skillern -- then 21 -- sexually assaulted an 8-year-old boy.  He was later apprehended by police and registered as a sex offender.  In Texas, this meant that his address -- 2400 Lidstone, Houston, TX  -- was made public for all to see and beware.
 
In an alarming, but all too common twist, Mr. Skillern began spending much time away from his registered residence.  He was reportedly living almost full time with his parents on Hickory Lane in Pasadena, Texas, roughly a 14-mile drive away.  He even got a job in Pasadena, working at the local Denny's Corp. (DENN) restaurant.

Denny's Pasadena
The suspect worked at Denny's of Pasadena, Texas [pictured], and reportedly secretly took videos on his phone of diners' children while he pretended to work. [Image Source: Yelp]

When searching his cell phone, Detective Nettles found texts in which Mr. Skillern discussed his fantasies about young boys and girls.  The detective also found disturbing video that Mr. Skillern had taken surreptitiously of the children of Denny's patents while they ate unaware.  He also was found to possess child pornography -- a video of a young female child nude.
 
He was arrested and charged with one count of possession of child pornography and one count of promotion of child pornography.  He's currently being held in the local jail on a $200,000 USD bond as he awaits trial.
 
II. Some are Grateful That Google Took Action
 
Many expressed gratitude at Google's tip.  Detective Nettles said Google employees might have spared local families the pain of enduring what Mr. Skillern's first victim went through two decades ago.  He comments in an interview with KHOU:

He was trying to get around getting caught, he was trying to keep it inside his email.  I can't see that information, I can't see that photo, but Google can.  I really don't know how they do their job.  But I'm just glad they do it.

Detective Nettles
Detective David Nettles (pictured) of the Houston Metro Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce caught the alleged child sex offender thanks to Google's help. [Image Source: KHOU 11]

Yesenia Gonzales, a neighbor to Mr. Skillern's parents echoed this gratitude, noting that the neighbors had no idea the parent's child was a sex offender as he had not registered as living with them.  She commented:
 
He seemed like a nice, normal man.  Thank goodness for Google.
 
Others, though, have blasted Google for airing the child molester's dirty laundry.  Federal law compels companies to report any case of child abuse or pornography they find.  But it does not compel them to look for it.  Google's critics contend it never should have looked at Mr. Skillern's private files.
 
Of course this argument is a bit odd on a couple of accounts.  First, Google is a private business.  While it's indeed one of the most popular email services with over 400 million users, it's not compelled to keep your email private, as you choose to do business with it and choose to abide by the contract it asks users to sign when they activate an account.  In fact that contract explicitly warns:
 
[Google has] a zero-tolerance policy against child sexual abuse imagery.  If we become aware of such content, we will report it to the appropriate authorities and may take disciplinary action, including termination, against the Google accounts of those involved.
 
Mr. Skillern, like all users clicked that he accepted the terms, which authorized Google to "trawl" his account (as Google's legal chief counsel David Drummond put it last year) checking to make sure it did not contain known illegal images of child abuse.  Mr. Skillern breached the terms of his contract and Google's scripts caught him.
 
III. Internet Critics Say Google Employees Should be Sent to Prison for Protecting Children
 
But some are still condemning Google.  "ianeassonrogerscom" went as far as suggesting that Google employees should be sent to jail for turn the child predator in after he breached Google's contract.  The commenter posted on a Business Insider piece on the topic:

Google has no right to examine your email, no more than the Post Office has the right to open and examine your letters.
Despite the laudable outcome of their [Google's] illegal act, they [Google] should be charged for this and people [Google employees] should be sent to jail.



Google critic




A spokesperson for Google addressed such noisy critics commenting to the Associated Press:

Sadly, all Internet companies have to deal with child sexual abuse.  It’s why Google actively removes illegal imagery from our services -- including search and Gmail -- and immediately reports abuse to the NCMEC.  Each child sexual abuse image is given a unique digital fingerprint which enables our systems to identify those pictures, including in Gmail.

It is important to remember that we only use this technology to identify child sexual abuse imagery -- not other email content that could be associated with criminal activity (for example using email to plot a burglary).

To be fair to critics Google doesn't exactly have an unblemished track record when it comes to other privacy issues.  It regularly pries into its users' messages and files to boost advertising profit.  Its user terms for Gmail and other services contained vague language hinting at that, but there wasn't exactly an explicit confirmation from Google that it was data mining Gmail messages until it admitted to doing so in a court brief.  It was even caught spying on users on open Wi-Fi networks.

Google sign
[Image Source: My Life Untethered]

To Google's credit, in April it voluntarily updated its contract terms for Gmail and other services, more explicitly stating that private user data might be scanned and used to build anonymous, non-identifiable profiles to better monetize targeted ads, ads which support Google's free services.
 
But what makes this fresh criticism particularly whacky is that the court battle over email scanning -- perhaps a valid controversy -- was largely greeted with yawns and apathy.  Now faced with a much more clear cut case of Google rightfully protecting children and holding a user to its very explicitly stated contract terms about illegal behavior, Google is finally experiencing some harsh criticisms from the peanut gallery.
 
IV. Past Concerns Aside, This Time Google is Entirely in the Right
 
It's worth emphasizing that not only does Google explicitly state it polices uploaded images and video for known files related to child abuse, it also talks about it, practically all the time.

Gmail
Questionable advertising-geared data mining aside, Google repeatedly warns users not to post child abuse materials and explicitly states that doing so breaches your terms of service. [Image Source: CNN]

In a lengthy blog post, for example, Google Giving director Jacquelline Fuller wrote:

In 2011, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s (NCMEC’s) Cybertipline Child Victim Identification Program reviewed 17.3 million images and videos of suspected child sexual abuse. ...

Since 2008, we’ve used 'hashing' technology to tag known child sexual abuse images, allowing us to identify duplicate images which may exist elsewhere. ...

We’re in the business of making information widely available, but there’s certain 'information' that should never be created or found. We can do a lot to ensure it’s not available online—and that when people try to share this disgusting content they are caught and prosecuted.

The technology behind Google's checking is remarkably simple.  It simply makes a hashes of all known/currently distributed child pornography images, then compares you image to it.  When it comes to its abuse prevention Google doesn't look at you image or otherwise inspect your text, unless the image you're sending matches a known child porn image.

If your image matches, it then has a human in its abuse prevention teams check the message thread to rule out if you were targeted by a prank/smear effort.  Only if you clearly appear to be involved does it take the next step of reporting you to NMEC for further investigation.

Admittedly Google is among the most aggressive internet firms in spending its own time, money, and resources in combatting child abuse on the internet, including across its popular platform of services.  Regardless of commenters' feelings of Google and its privacy policies in general terms, the growing outrage is astounding.   Rather than receiving praise for keeping children safe from a convicted child molester, Google is begin condemned for holding its users accountable when they choose to break the law and breach their contract. 

John Henry Skillern
Despite sexually assaulting a child, peddling child porn, and breaching his contract with Google, some critics are bizarrly outraged over Google helped catch him in the act. [Image Source: Webster Police/KHOU 11]

Google warned Mr. Skillern.  If what Google and prosecutors claim is true, he reject those warnings, succumbing to his dark perversions.  

Instead of heeding Google's clear and explicity warnings he chose to brazenly defy them.  He'll have his day in court, but one would hope that more commenters realize that he got their due to his own stupidity, compulsiveness, and arrogance -- not due to some malice on Google's part.

Sources: KHOU, Business Insider



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BRAVO
By amanojaku on 8/5/2014 9:35:48 PM , Rating: 5
First off, you have no right to privacy from Google. You signed up for a free service and Google's ToS are clear in that your data can and will be scanned. If you want private email then pay for a private service or run your own.

As far as I'm concerned Google did nothing wrong and the world just got a little less disgusting.




RE: BRAVO
By flyingpants1 on 8/6/2014 7:42:04 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
First off, you have no right to privacy from Google. You signed up for a free service and Google's ToS are clear in that your data can and will be scanned.

As far as I'm concerned Google did nothing wrong


This. This is it. Best argument both for and against democracy at the same time.


RE: BRAVO
By ACE76 on 8/6/2014 10:59:00 AM , Rating: 3
yeah, but if he sues Google, it won't be about some TOS agreement, you can be sure of that.


RE: BRAVO
By catavalon21 on 8/6/14, Rating: 0
RE: BRAVO
By marvdmartian on 8/7/2014 8:00:47 AM , Rating: 1
Add to that, to anyone whining about Google having done wrong here.....ask yourself this:

If I were a parent, and this cretin was living nearby, how much would I want to take a chance that he was able to interact with my child? Molest them? Take photos of them? Possibly even kidnap them?

Doesn't matter if you have kids or not. This type of person needs to be taken off the streets. Permanently, in my opinion, but I'll let the legal system take care of him. If he survives prison, I'll be amazed.


RE: BRAVO
By FaaR on 8/7/14, Rating: 0
RE: BRAVO
By DT_Reader on 8/8/2014 11:17:04 AM , Rating: 2
The simple truth is that email has no envelope. It's more like a postcard than a letter, and everyone at the post office is free to read your postcards.

If you want an e-letter, encrypt your e-mail.


RE: BRAVO
By dragonbif on 8/8/2014 12:22:49 PM , Rating: 2
GMail and other email services are free because they scan your emails so they can give you adds on the side of your screen. They are not a charity giving people free access to communicate with others. The only reason anyone starts a free email service is to make money. Anything only that is "free" does the same thing in one way or another and we all know it we just choose to ignore and forget. This also is true for cloud storage, they scan your documents that you put into it and I have tested that. Try uploading a few documents about purchasing a mattress and you will find your banner adds are now about mattresses. It is magic! However no email service should be able to open and look at your emails manually and gmail does not do that.
Also just because "mail" is in the name does not mean anything about privacy. It is on a server that they pay for and we pay nothing so really we are giving our info to them for free. How much is your freedom worth? "Free" email?

Now if you paid money for an email service I would expect some privacy as they do not need to scan the emails to make money. If you pay you are paying for the space and you own it and not them.

Nothing is free, even our freedom comes at a cost. We have to pay taxes, sign up for the draft, obey laws, respect others freedom, people have died for freedom and many other things. There is no such thing as "free" especially when people do not read what they are agreeing to for that "free". I do not see how it would be possible to live in a world that is truly free because someone somewhere at sometime would have to pay for your "free".


RE: BRAVO
By rdhood on 8/7/2014 9:28:14 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
First off, you have no right to privacy from Google. You signed up for a free service and Google's ToS are clear in that your data can and will be scanned. If you want private email then pay for a private service or run your own. As far as I'm concerned Google did nothing wrong and the world just got a little less disgustin


Agreed.

To all of you screaming about Google scanning emails, you CAN fight back. It is called "encryption". Anyone can do it, you just have to coordinate between sender/receiver. So stop bitching that Google is violating your rights when you are not even trying to protect yourself.

This guy was sending/receiving child porn among a group. They could EASILY start encrypting mail in their little circle of pervs. So don't feel sorry for them... like their "rights" have been violated. This criminal could thwart Google and the U.S. government if he just had more than a walnut between his ears. But,as often is the case, criminals are stupid.


It's just a hash...
By Etsp on 8/5/2014 9:44:53 PM , Rating: 2
They aren't scanning the image and putting it through some adaptation of facial recognition software. They just take a hash of the file (also used to verify integrity, so they're likely doing this anyway) and check that hash against hashes of known images of child porn.

This is no invasion of privacy. I am completely in support of them doing this.




RE: It's just a hash...
By Solandri on 8/5/2014 11:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah. I don't understand why every mainstream news article I've read on this omits this crucial detail. It's like they're trying to create an controversy where none exists.


RE: It's just a hash...
By amanojaku on 8/6/2014 12:09:28 AM , Rating: 4
Actually, the Business Insider source DOES say this, as shown above.
quote:
Since 2008, we’ve used 'hashing' technology to tag known child sexual abuse images, allowing us to identify duplicate images which may exist elsewhere. ...
It further explains:
quote:
On the other, debate rages about how much privacy users can expect when using Google's services like email. In a word: none.

A year ago, in a court brief, Google said as much. Then, in April, after a class-action case against Google for email scanning fell apart, Google updated its terms of service to warn people that it was automatically analyzing emails.

Online service providers like Google are required under federal and many states’ laws to report child pornography when they find it, attorney Chris Jay Hoofnagle, director of information privacy programs at the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology tells Business Insider.

However they are under no obligation to go out and look for it, Hoofnagle says. "But if you look and you see it, you have to report."

Sadly all Internet companies have to deal with child sexual abuse. It’s why Google actively removes illegal imagery from our services -- including search and Gmail -- and immediately reports abuse to NCMEC. This evidence is regularly used to convict criminals. Each child sexual abuse image is given a unique digital fingerprint which enables our systems to identify those pictures, including in Gmail. It is important to remember that we only use this technology to identify child sexual abuse imagery, not other email content that could be associated with criminal activity (for example using email to plot a burglary).
The only thing Google did wrong was it contacted the pervert first. He could have taken the stuff down and come up with a more secretive way of sharing with his friends, or disappeared before the police came looking for him. Thankfully, his arrogance contributed to his arrest.

What's crazy is that there are people attacking Google for following the law and adhering to its own PUBLISHED practices. They ignore the fact that Google sets the rules and its users voluntarily accept those rules.


RE: It's just a hash...
By FaaR on 8/7/14, Rating: 0
Microsoft did it too.
By atechfan on 8/6/2014 9:08:04 PM , Rating: 2
Last month MS reported a child pornography image in a user's OneDrive, using the same process. This also resulted in an arrest. Google is actually using image detection Microsoft developed and shared. So if you think Google is in the wrong, then you would have to find Microsoft just as guilty. The two companies are collaborating when it comes to fighting child pornography on their services.




RE: Microsoft did it too.
By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/2014 9:57:34 AM , Rating: 2
lol I love how even YOU get voted down if you dare to say anything about Microsoft that's truthful.

I think years of Jason Mick's constant astroturfing for Microsoft has brought all the crazies here. Seriously any post that does anything other than absolutely praise MS get's rated into oblivion.


hmm
By chromal on 8/5/2014 10:37:42 PM , Rating: 3
Does this make google a child predator predator?




Why are people upset?
By Bobhacks on 8/5/2014 11:31:17 PM , Rating: 3
IDK Why people are discussing this. F him and every other child predator. Let them be caught. I'm glad google and other are doing what they can do stop child pornography.

"It is important to remember that we only use this technology to identify child sexual abuse imagery -- not other email content that could be associated with criminal activity (for example using email to plot a burglary)."

Google even says they don't care to stop other crimes just not child porn.




Good job google
By rocman on 8/6/2014 12:08:13 AM , Rating: 3
Obviously we're all happy that Google was able to assist in getting a child predator off the streets. If I am reading the comments correctly, I think what some people have issues with are privacy concerns and the potential (however unlikely) that someone innocent could be easily framed for something as heinous as being a child predator. Hopefully, the google algorithm is robust enough for such scenarios, and that at the end the human factor aka the police will be able to sort things out.

I mean, if we can come up with these potential problems on DT, I'd like to think the Google team behind this would have too.




Way to go Google.
By ethantom on 8/6/2014 8:25:23 AM , Rating: 3
This is exactly why we need the a better judicial system for these types of crimes. They can't be rehabilitated, and shouldn't ever be in the general population. I'd prefer the death penalty for certain types of these crimes but that's me.




Google knows child porn
By roykahn on 8/6/2014 8:02:22 PM , Rating: 3
Am I the only one who is wondering how Google knows what are the popular child porn images? Do they have a couple of guys searching the internet for child porn so that they can create a "unique digital fingerprint"? Wouldn't that be the perfect job for a pedophile? "Guess what, Joe? It looks like I found us some more images that need fingerprintin'. Pass me the tissue box."




It's all been said except...
By sweetca on 8/6/2014 12:51:26 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone with sense understands this is a private company, and you are using their service. They are taking certain steps that are non-invasive to determine whether you are peddling child porn. It is part of their Terms of Service. No discussion here.

I would rather talk about how someone that rapes children is already out of jail? In some places, selling too much marijuana or committing 3 non-serious crimes can result in one spending a majority of their life in prison. But if you rape a kid, you get to prowl around just 10 years later? I guess there were no kids in prison to rape, and so he was paroled early for, "Good Behavior"?




This Guy will get off and then sue
By ACE76 on 8/6/2014 10:57:51 AM , Rating: 2
As much as everyone here is happy/unhappy with how this went down, this guy will most likely get off...then he will have all sorts of cases against publications like Daily Tech which posted things about his parent's home, and he will wind up suing Google as well for bringing his personal life into the public's eye and endangering his well being, etc etc etc...and as much as you think Google is in the right, it's not that simple when it's in a courtroom....any half decent lawyer will be able to get this guy money in settlements to avoid public scrutiny. We all knew Casey Anthony was guilty and that was a child MURDER....What I want to know is, how did some pderast's arrest become blown up for the entire world to see in the first place? I doubt Google advertised it on their own...




nahh...dont expect too much.
By zodiacfml on 8/6/2014 12:51:37 PM , Rating: 2
don't expect much from these free service companies such as google and facebook.




By Skelum on 8/7/2014 11:08:38 AM , Rating: 2
What if google had done nothing, preserved the a*** hole's privacy. What then? He would molest other childrens. Would the parents then be in their rights to sue google for doing nothing?

Not all cases are the same. I'm a parent of two and would give up a bit of freedom for such "protection".

Of course I'm not ready to surrender all freedom... Don't stretch the facts here.




ms skydrive
By SPOOOK on 8/10/2014 1:14:19 PM , Rating: 2
Microsoft did the same thing with skydrive don't use this or any cloud service




Stop it already, will you?
By bug77 on 8/6/2014 3:09:29 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Months ago, Google Inc. (GOOG) acknowledged in a widely reported, carefully worded statement that it did scan the content of users' emails and uploaded files with scripts to develop profiles with which to better advertise to them.


THE DISCLAIMER WAS THERE SINCE GMAIL WAS IN THE BETA: WE'LL GIVE YOU TONS OF STORAGE, BUT WE WILL SCAN YOUR EMAIL FOR SERVING RELEVANT ADS IN RETURN.

For the love of God, stop acting like this is breaking news every time someone remembers about it.




RE: Stop it already, will you?
By althaz on 8/6/14, Rating: -1
By tayb on 8/6/2014 10:52:04 AM , Rating: 1
Google is a company that turns users into products that they sell. Everything they do is an effort to turn more people into products. You are not their customer, you are their product.

By using Google Chrome, Gmail, Hangouts, G+, Google Maps, Android, and others you are handing over ALL of your private information for Google to build an advanced profile of you to sell to advertisers and barrage you with personalized advertising. Every place you go, text you send, call you make, email you read, email you send, website you visit, hell even your average speed is stored and built into your profile. To be sold as a product to Googles advertising partners.

If you don't like this, don't use Google products and services. Simple as that. Otherwise shut up about it. Google isn't a company that exists to deliver free products and services to users out of the goodness of its heart. Google is not a charity. They make money collecting your data and selling it.

Please, stop with this privacy complaint bullshit. You have no right to privacy with Google.




This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By tomos221 on 8/5/14, Rating: -1
RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/5/2014 10:24:13 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
There are so many scary unanswered questions here, it's, well, scary.

What if someone uses Tor to send me child porn... in an effort to go 'swatting' and have people frivolously arrested?
Rubbish.

That's a total red herring. If someone is sophisticated enough to plant criminal materials on your computer, then did you ever think that they were probably going to "tip off" the authorities regardless of what Google does?

What if someone puts a gun in your hand while you sleep, then goes out and shoots someone with gloves on, on the one night your wife is visiting her parents for the evening with your kid and you have no alibi?

See? We can come up with ridiculous scenarios all day.

I think this is a pretty clear cut case. This guy is an ALREADY convicted child molester. If the facts were questionable, the courts likely would have taken their time and gotten to the bottom of it. But this guy has already proven himself a sick and twisted individual, convicted by a jury of his peers of raping a child.

You're really going to defend him out of the weak excuse that someone might try to frame, you so he deserves to be off the hook after he VIOLATED the terms of his contract with Google? Take a contract law class sometime... you sign a contract... it's legally binding and enforceable.

Simple solution password protect your wifi with 256 bit aes and dont buy some sort of super high power router that's going to encourage all your local wi-fi squatters to jump on.

It's not really Google's problem to worry about people framing you. That's for the courts to decide.

AGAIN if you're a Gmail user you SIGNED or initialed a contract with it when you registered for the service, plain and simple. If you read it, that contract very very very very very very clearly states that by no means are you allowed to put child pornography on your account or send materials related to crimes against children. I don't care how many excuses you have of who put it there... your rowdy cousin... your boneheaded roommate... the nsa... Bilbo Baggins. At the end of the day if you leave your machine unsecured part of the onus is on you.

Google is just acting responsibly to enforce its contract, protect children, and cover its own liability.

What company encourages users to store child abuse materials on its servers?

Apple and Microsoft have similar policies.

Sounds like you're wishing someone would give you a service that allows you to freely store child porn... "Oh no, you've been framed!"


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By inighthawki on 8/5/2014 10:57:03 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What if someone puts a gun in your hand while you sleep, then goes out and shoots someone with gloves on, on the one night your wife is visiting her parents for the evening with your kid and you have no alibi?

That's not really a fair comparison by any means. He suggested something that anyone with a grudge could probably do in 10 minutes, and can be done anonymously quite easily.

Your example is carefully planning a sophisticated plot to frame someone for murder, which includes breaking into their house undetected (no signs of forced entry), stealing gloves, actually murdering someone, coming back and planting it on them (without them waking up) and leave no forensic evidence to suggest it was you.

Maybe a bit of an overexaggeration no? I think his point is valid. What happens if someone goes to the library and brings a thumbdrive with child porn, and sends me an email from one of those 10 minute spam email sites with "here's the pics you asked for" just because he doesn't like me. Am I suddenly marked as a child predator because google flagged my account for child porn and reported me to the authorities? And the email clearly indicates I wanted it, right? I mean, a child predator certainly would never get caught and have the forethought to say "it wasn't mine"


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/5/2014 11:20:28 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
What happens if someone goes to the library and brings a thumbdrive with child porn, and sends me an email from one of those 10 minute spam email sites with "here's the pics you asked for" just because he doesn't like me. Am I suddenly marked as a child predator because google flagged my account for child porn and reported me to the authorities? And the email clearly indicates I wanted it, right? I mean, a child predator certainly would never get caught and have the forethought to say "it wasn't mine"
No, you're still wrong. A 10 minute prank email would by no means get you reported to authorities or permanently banned or else 4Chan would be shutting down the court system.

It's really not that complex.

1. Google checks to see if the hash on files you send and receive match known child pornography.
2. THEN Google examines the context using the data you GAVE IT to attempt to determine the situation.
3. Only THEN if you are CLEARLY party to this illegal activity does it report/ban you.

The case you mentioned would be entirely different as some unknown contact is sending you a suspicious/unclear email. THEY send it... not you. And clearly you couldn't have known the contents. Yes, the message might get flagged and Google might to a search for that email address and examine the thread between you and that person if other messages exist.

But you're unlikely to get in any trouble.

The story in the article was completely different. He wasn't receiving an accidental/malicious nondescript email. He was sending pornographic images/video of naked children to a friend he regularly was in contact with and with whom he discussed his fantasies with. It's all documented and it's all part of the case.

Again, I don't understand where you people are getting this indignation from. Apple and Microsoft are doing the exact same thing, as is Facebook, Twitter, and any other major tech service firm.

It would take a massively elaborate effort to make you appear as guilty as this man did, so yes Google was justified in inspecting its data for the apparent breach of contract (detected via a simple hash, a privacy protecting measure, I may add, less intrusive then facial recognition or other such techs).

And yes my example is entirely valid. I did point out an elaborate (and silly) framing scenario. But again, it would take one heck of a framing effort to make you look as guilty as this guy.

Notice the bit about how he's already been convicted of raping a child? Or the bit that not just one but multiple devices contained conversations with his sick buddies where he fantasized about raping more children? Oh I supposed Google should just ignore him violating the contract and discussing raping children and transferring and storing illegal images on Google servers. Is that the glorious "privacy" you're advocating?

Like Microsoft, Google gets a bit nosy when it comes to ad data mining, but generally it looks to protect your data from warrantless federal data grabs (aka NSA) as best as it can. As the Google spokesperson says, they don't even inform authorities or try to detect if you discuss breaking in a house on Gmail. But child abuse materials are easy to detect via hashes and are one of the sickest forms of crimes. If Google inspects the data... the data that you GAVE IT, and it is relatively clear and conclusive that this isn't just some prankster at the library, but a bonafide pervert, are you REALLY saying Google should just play along and let this person go about raping children (which AGAIN... to emphasize... he has already done!)??

C'mon man....

I'm all for privacy, but Google is doing its best to weigh these issues and only alert authorities in cases of clear guilt. What do you expect it to do?


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/2014 11:24:40 PM , Rating: 3
I love how people here are such Google haters, they are defending child rape. It's amazing...


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By wordsworm on 8/5/14, Rating: -1
RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/6/2014 12:12:32 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Aren't you one of those who objects to giving up freedom and privacy for the sake of children?
Really?

How is a voluntary firm you choose to give you data to comparing a hash of your image against a hash table of in-distribution child abuse images "giving up freedom and privacy"?

I'm pretty sure it's the child rapists that are denying people their freedom and privacy. Google caught a creeper who was video taping children while he was SUPPOSED to be working at Denny's. Now who's the one violating privacy?

This guy stalked children, fantasized about raping them, and already was convicted of raping one child. Google simply was comparing image hashes to a list of illegal materials.

Google is PROTECTING privacy and freedom by taking these kinds of creepers down... It did its homework and it's hard to believe this man is not guilty. But hey, that's the beauty of due process... he'll STILL have his day in court.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 2:38:38 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Google is PROTECTING privacy and freedom by taking these kinds of creepers down...

While I don't have any negative opinion about what Google did, this is the same argument used by people like the NSA to "protect our freedom" by collecting huge stockpiles of information to help identify the "bad people who threaten it."

You are not protecting privacy and freedom, you are giving up a small bit of privacy for the safety and security of allowing someone to lock up criminals. (Not arguing the good vs bad here, just saying that your argument's point is not valid)


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/2014 7:58:16 AM , Rating: 3
No there is a HUGE difference here. My goodness I...I'm at a complete loss to how a thinking rational person could possibly be saying the things you're saying here.

I bet if he had an Outlook account, you would be cheering Microsoft here. Because guess what? They would have done the same thing. ANYONE would have!

1. Nobody signs up to give data to the NSA, it's forced.
2. What the NSA is doing is technically illegal, Google's action was legal and moral.
3. You can opt-out of Google, not so much the NSA. Even if you leave the country.

4. Google performed a simple hash match, NO "privacy" was violated. No "huge stockpiles" of data was even collected.

5. Last but not least, child molestation/porn is wrong. Just FYI.

Jason's point is completely valid. I can't believe people like you would seriously support this pedophile rapist scum and entertain these arguments.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By Labotomizer on 8/6/2014 10:18:07 AM , Rating: 2
It's almost beyond words.

To be honest, I would have no problems with this being implemented on an ISP level where they check hashes against images for known child pornography. Anything that gets rid of people like that is a huge win. I can't imagine a person actually complaining about it. The fact people are comparing this to scanning email for advertising or NSA spying is one of the most absurd things I've ever read.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 11:28:36 AM , Rating: 2
Again, since everyone here seems to have reading comprehension issues. Please re-read my post. I did NOT compare this to what the NSA is doing. I compared Jason's quote to the JUSTIFICATION used by people LIKE the NSA. Not at all related.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By Labotomizer on 8/6/2014 12:10:45 PM , Rating: 2
How can you compare two things and then state they aren't meant to be related?


By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 12:15:01 PM , Rating: 2
Because if you read my post carefully, you will see that I never compared what Google is doing to that of the NSA.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/14, Rating: -1
RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 1:20:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
You know what, just shut up.

A little rude, no?

quote:
Whatever point you think you were trying to make, it's not worth it.

No it's not. Clearly it was a mistake to bring it up and I regret that. But at this point I'm trying to make it clear to people that I was not trying to compare Google to the NSA at all. I don't want it brought up down the line as "aren't you the guy who compared Google scanning hashes of images to the NSA?" While I don't care what people think of me and my opinions (They're just opinions after all) I do not want people falsely accusing me of things I didn't say simply because they cannot read.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 11:17:35 AM , Rating: 1
Seriously, what the literal f*ck? Why do you keep thinking I'm defending this guy OR saying what Google is doing is bad? Did you even read my posts. Nowhere did I say ANYTHING along those lines. I made it clear in my other posts:

1) This guy is filthy trash, and absolutely deserves to be behind bars
2) Google did nothing at all wrong

But it seems you missed my point entirely. The email scanning they do IS in invasion of privacy. You are correct - people opt for it, it's a free service, they agree to those terms. There is nothing wrong with that. But it is what it is: Less privacy. Not a lot. Not in any way important. Just less.

Making the statement that "This is actually more privacy and freedom because it keeps people like this off the streets" is therefore a completely invalid statement. You are falsely associating freedom and privacy with the peace of mind and security of people like this being behind bars. Does it make the world a safer place? sure. Does it make people overall happier knowing that less people like this roam the street? Almost certainly. Does it actually provide anyone with additional privacy or freedom? No. It does not.

I was also not trying to compare this to the NSA. I was not at all saying the two things were the same, simply that the above quote from Jason is the same JUSTIFICATION that people like the NSA use for what they do.


By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/2014 12:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The email scanning they do IS in invasion of privacy.


Then your entire argument here is false. Because it's clearly not. I think you should look up what "privacy" is first, you seem confused.

quote:
But it seems you missed my point entirely.


Well no offense but it seems that EVERYONE here is "missing your point". Coincidence?


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By W00dmann on 8/6/2014 3:46:32 PM , Rating: 3
Reclaimer77 is not known for his fantastical mental prowess. His responses are largely at a 4-year old emotional level, and it shows. Everybody is entitled to their opinion, I suppose.


By Reclaimer77 on 8/7/2014 10:02:59 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm you might be onto something. My father left me when I was around 4 years old, which severely crippled my emotional growth and self-image as a person.

I'm almost 40 now and I still ask myself when, if ever, will I "grow up".

Sure I have the car, the mortgage, the job and the girlfriend....but I've never felt the need/want to have a wife and children of my own. I don't feel I'm emotionally mature enough for that kind of relationship..

Well Woodmann, you've given me a lot to think about. Thanks.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By karimtemple on 8/6/2014 9:03:45 AM , Rating: 2
The NSA is wrong yes, but you don't seem to understand why.

You see, in this instance, the man and the service had an agreement ; when you use a website, you're subject to the website's terms of service. Not a single individual signed up for the particular NSA 'services' in question, in any way. And the NSA is only wrong by proxy of Congress, who ultimately are the idiots responsible for making these services [questionably] legal.

And just FYI, won't really don't have any privacy laws, tbh. We've got some basic stuff that [tried to] protect us from the government, but that's it. From a legal standpoint, we're not set up all too well for the world we've been creating in the last 20 years. And that's the scariest part of all, because we could fix that right up with some new laws, maybe even an Amendment or two, but the problem is you're all clueless. When we do it, we're probably going to do it wrong.

So. Good luck to us.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 11:23:06 AM , Rating: 2
I was only comparing the commonality in justification, not what the two were actually doing. I'm well aware that what the NSA did is much different and much worse than what Google did here. I was simply implying that the argument that people like the NSA use to try and justify what they do is the same. "Give up a small tad of your privacy in exchange for some security and peace of mind." Yes Google is a free service, and I understand that people must choose to use it and agree to their terms of service. And for that, there is nothing wrong being done here. I'm not accusing anyone, including Google, or any wrongdoing. Simply that the comment by Jason is not valid.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By karimtemple on 8/6/2014 11:59:57 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, you're the only one who used that wording. You're therefore the only one here who made that assertion.

Jason indicated that people agree to let Google sift through their data by accepting the ToS, not that they do so for the sake of security. By adding the 'security, NSA' bit to bolster your side of the argument, you accidentally did exactly what you keep saying you didn't do -- you compared what Google did to what the NSA did.

Oops.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 12:13:31 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Actually, you're the only one who used that wording. You're therefore the only one here who made that assertion.

No, I didn't. Please learn to read:

quote:
this is the same argument used by people like the NSA to "protect our freedom" by collecting huge stockpiles of information to help identify the "bad people who threaten it."


The latter half of the sentence was just an example of where the NSA used said excuse, not a comparison to Google at all

There is no "accidental" comparing going on here. It's people skipping over key words in the sentence and inferring something that isn't there by ignoring the actual context of the statement. Then other people see replies from others and think "OMG someone actually compared this to the NSA!" without ever actually having read the comment itself, or reading it with a bias and thus seeing what they wanted to read, not what was actually written. (A common problem in writing when the author incorrectly reads his own work because he reads what he thinks he wrote instead of the actual words on the paper)


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By karimtemple on 8/6/2014 3:57:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The latter half of the sentence was just an example of where the NSA used said excuse, not a comparison to Google at all

Problem #1: You said "it's not a comparison to Google." It's literally a comparison. Specifically, it's equivalence: "this argument is the same one used by the NSA." By asserting that Jason's argument is such, you asserted that he was defending behavior by Google in a manner in which the NSA defends their behavior, thereby equating the behaviors of both. Thus, your accident.

Problem #2: Your analysis of his argument was flawed from the start. It was actually: "The suspect assailed people's privacy and freedoms. By the acts in question, Google has literally protected privacy and freedom." It was an observation of irony, often a kiss of death for opposing arguments and the poor souls who remain unaware of said irony.

Problem #3: Pride. You'll never admit how wrong you are here, simply because you know you won't like how it feels to be wrong. But inighthawki, it's okay.

It's okay.

And don't worry about it. We'll know you're wrong whether you admit it or not. You don't have to say anything.


By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 6:02:13 PM , Rating: 2
#1: Stating that two people used the same argument to justify their actions is not the same as equating the two persons' behaviors or actions. If you're trying to be super technical here about how "I made a comparison, it involved something relating to the NSA, and a post from Jason relating to Google" then by all means, you win. There are points of connection between "NSA" and "Google" somewhere in the argument.

#2: I admit I did miss his original point, which is why I stopped defending my point when I realized I was wrong. After that I've just been trying to correct people who seem to think I was defending this guy or something, or people like you who keep trying to claim I made a comparison between what Google was doing with what the NSA was doing. Just nope.

#3: I have no words. I mean, that's so incredibly arrogant. I've on many occasions on this site admitted when I was wrong or I misunderstood something. This time is no different. Unfortunately I tried to make a reply to Reclaimer earlier but the site would not let me post (not sure why) explaining that I had made a mistake and missed a key point in the article and Jason's comment. Take that as you will - I obviously cannot prove that but it happened.

I admit I was wrong about the point, but I will stand by the fact that my statement is NOT comparing Google to the NSA. Try to analyze the wording all you want, that's simply not true.


By wordsworm on 8/6/2014 1:00:54 PM , Rating: 2
I don't see how this would be different than the NSA/FBI/CIA/Bell/etc scanning all phone calls looking for child abusers. It's not the abuser being caught that is the problem. It's how he was caught that I have a problem with.

They should rename gmail to spymail.

I don't think anyone here is defending his actions and abuse of children.

If the FBI/police had the ability to search any home or business at any time, or wiretap, without a warrant, they would surely find more child abusers, terrorists, etc.


By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 2:29:57 AM , Rating: 2
Where in my post did I:
1) Defend the child rapist
2) Say anything bad about what Google did

??


By Labotomizer on 8/6/2014 7:22:56 AM , Rating: 2
This is insane... How could anyone have a problem with traffic being scanned for something like this? If it were up to me, I would make this type of scanning far more prevalent than just on email or cloud storage. But that's me.

It blows my mind people have a problem with Google doing this. As for the "what if someone sends me child porn to get me in trouble?" nonsense... If someone sends you child porn, CALL THE POLICE. That would be the first thing I would do. I'd want them to bust the f'er that had it to send in the first place.

Paranoia over your own safety over the kids that are being violated makes me sick. Anyone who has a problem with what Google did here should really feel ashamed of themselves and do everyone a favor and remove yourself from the gene pool. Amazing.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/2014 8:06:01 AM , Rating: 2
What the.../facepalm

Arguing against a piece of legislation that affects my choice in automobiles or it's equipment because someone ran over a kid...

...is VASTLY different than arguing that a convicted sex offender has the "right to privacy" when trading child porn online.

If you can't see the difference here Word, time to exit the gene pool!


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 11:24:41 AM , Rating: 2
Who are you replying to?


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/2014 12:21:44 PM , Rating: 2
This guy:

"Aren't you one of those who objects to giving up freedom and privacy for the sake of children?"


By wordsworm on 8/6/2014 1:06:11 PM , Rating: 2
So are you willing to give up protection against police authority to make their job easier? Are you willing to give them the right to scan all your phone calls, email, mail, install videocameras in your house? Surely if they had these abilities, they would better be able to combat not just crimes against children, but all crimes.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By ACE76 on 8/6/2014 1:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I'm sure you also feel anyone that criticizes Israel's military action in Gaza as some hardcore anti-semite nazi....god forbid anyone voice an opinion against what the majority think or feel....we can't have that nonsense!


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By Etsp on 8/6/2014 1:50:28 AM , Rating: 2
As far as the framing stuff goes... if the attacker can get access into your PC, they can use your PC to download the images from the source and then upload them to Google.

Far fetched, but possible, and probably a lot less effort involved than your scenario.


By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 2:28:22 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
C'mon man.... I'm all for privacy, but Google is doing its best to weigh these issues and only alert authorities in cases of clear guilt. What do you expect it to do?

Is that what you got from my post? You think I'm defending this man at all? He is scum of the Earth and absolutely deserves what he got. I think Google did the right thing.

I just thought the poster brought up a valid point.


By HoosierEngineer5 on 8/6/2014 8:09:58 AM , Rating: 2
If Google is scanning my email, why don't the scan it before they put it in my inbox and warn me if one of the hashes match?

I have an alarm system that tells me if anybody is trying to break into my house. I have no warning if somebody is trying to plant something in my email account.

Seems like Google has a responsibility here.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By ACE76 on 8/6/2014 1:18:03 PM , Rating: 2
lol...clear guilt? Yeah ok...I guess we don't need a justice system or courts anymore...if Google's scripts find child porn, your guilty, end of story.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By karimtemple on 8/5/2014 11:30:34 PM , Rating: 2
Except the suspect is the one who sent the e-mail, lol. Your argument is invalid.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By inighthawki on 8/6/2014 2:42:49 AM , Rating: 2
So we have the very first case of this occurring, and suddenly we all know the well defined algorithm Google uses to detect these things? Do you really think it won't raise a red flag to only be on the receiving end of the child pornography?


By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/2014 8:02:42 AM , Rating: 3
You keep saying you think Google "did the right thing", but then make absurd posts like this. What's your objective here anyway?

quote:
Do you really think it won't raise a red flag to only be on the receiving end of the child pornography?


No because criminals are usually very stupid. I mean my god, this guy was using Gmail for this stuff! How retarded can you get?

Raise a red flag...just LMAO.


By karimtemple on 8/6/2014 8:51:57 AM , Rating: 2
Well, lol, I do know. They explained it themselves.

If you're saying I shouldn't believe them, that they'd lie this way, or that you think they can even get away with lying like that, then that's a different conversation. And you'd be crazy, and wrong again. But as it stands, your argument is invalid.


By atechfan on 8/6/2014 4:54:21 AM , Rating: 2
Did you miss the part where Google states that if a suspicious file is flagged the a human checks the thread to determine if you were an active party? If you randomly get sent a child pornography pic, simply report the sender. Yo will not get blamed.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By Tunnah on 8/5/2014 11:45:51 PM , Rating: 2
Well said sire.

I am absolutely gobsmacked that anyone can go against this. Literally every reputable company states no kiddie-fiddlers in their contracts.

I just wish the punishments were a bit more severe - thrown in a volcano, genitals first.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By ie5x on 8/6/2014 5:55:57 AM , Rating: 2
Bilbo Baggins would do that!!? The world has really become a very sick place...

On serious note though, Google and the feds deserve applause for implementing this procedure. If there's ever a justified cause for checking your customer's data, it is this.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By ACE76 on 8/6/2014 1:45:07 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder....what if in their ever-so diligent efforts to find child porn, they happen to come across some snuff videos...would it be ok to play internet police and have that person arrested?

This case is not about child porn and those defending Google need to wake the hell up...it's about the methods that the police used to obtain evidence...Google and their TOS agreements will mean absolutely NOTHING in court...this isn't a lawsuit in civil court where contracts are used to determine fraud...it's a felony crime and has the potential to send the defendant to prison....totally different ball game, totally different rules. The judge will most likely see this as a "fruits of a poisonous tree" scenario and will not allow the evidence into court because there was no active investigation on the guy and no search warrant was used to obtain the evidence...furthermore the evidence was NOT just found randomly by a 3rd party of obtained by the police in plain sight or through some other case...Google doesn't have the right to give the authorities incriminating evidence that the police themselves would not be able to get without a warrant...Google deliberately searched for incriminating evidence and some stupid TOS agreement doesn't give them powers the police don't have....the fact that the cop said he did things lawfully by getting search warrants after the fact is just plain laughable...sorry kids, this guy will walk and then sue the crap out of Google and maybe even publications like DT for trying to incite violence against him and his family by letting the world know what street his parents live on...hopefully this pisses people off enough into having more common sense when trying to put guilty-as-sin people like this loser away....how many more Casey Anthony incidents have to happen before people stop behaving like zealots??


By SteelRing on 8/6/2014 4:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
Like google said, they draw the line at child porn, and I think it's a good line. Child molester is the lowest of the lowest life form....heck I'd consider hitler ways above child molester.

I would even suggest google in all their might uncover the whole internet so as to expose every single child molester out there so they can be thrown into the sea with a rock hanging over their necks.

But if it were any other thing, yes I would be mad as hell that google is playing police. So far I don't see any indication they are playing police other than child molester as they promised, so I'll take their word for it. However, if you think you should put your privacy above catching child molester then you can go to hell.


RE: This Time, DT Is In The Wrong
By ACE76 on 8/6/2014 1:08:33 PM , Rating: 2
Google isn't a law enforcement agency...as much as anyone is happy they did this, it is a huge issue...as pointed out earlier, the post office isn't allowed to open mail for child porn pictures. If they did and the recipient was subsequently arrested, the evidence wouldn't be admissible in court...this isn't a civil case, it's a criminal case and this loser, unfortunately has a lot of laws on his side...I'm sure there's hundreds of law firms lining up to defend him for free....he will most likely get this dismissed and then will sue the police dept. and Google....if Google happened to come across this evidence and submitted it to the authorities, it would be different...but they deliberately were looking for child porn...their TOS or any other agreements they made him sign to use Gmail won't matter in a criminal trial...in a civil case it would matter.


By SteelRing on 8/6/2014 4:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
By all means, I'd rather have Google scan my email, provided it's done by scripts and not by human being, since it's clearly part of the term of agreement for using their services. If you don't like the term then don't use it, quit whining.

The alternative is the government dictating they need to search gmail for suspicion of child porn. I'd rather have google spying on me than the G-man any day, at least I have the option to be molested by google than be raped by the government without my consent.


By catavalon21 on 8/7/2014 10:13:14 PM , Rating: 2
Your argument about the Postal Service (at least the U.S.) and Google are totally different. The USPS is an agency of the US Government, and is forbidden from snooping by their governing policies (Bill of Rights, for starters, against unreasonable search). Google is a company, not the US Government, and they are not bound by the 4th amendment; they are bound by just about whatever agreement users make with them. If I signed away my right to privacy, that's MY fault, and I have no right to complain if they act within the guidelines of the agreement.


By catavalon21 on 8/7/2014 10:23:19 PM , Rating: 2
By the way, I see where there was an article on this very subject a year ago next week on DT.

http://www.dailytech.com/Google+Yes+we+Read+Your+G...


Someone please think of the children....
By coburn_c on 8/5/14, Rating: -1
By JasonMick (blog) on 8/5/2014 10:34:30 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
Microsoft is in court fighting to gain us privacy rights because they were shamed.
Uh Microsoft is fighting to stop NSA data collection. It is NOT suing to protect child pornographers.

Guess what?

Google has also sued to stop several of NSA data collection orders!! But that's an entirely different topic so why are we talking about it?

Microsoft, Google, and Apple ALL screen their services for child pornography. Read the terms of service then doing a bit of Googling. They're private businesses. If they want to try to prevent child abuse that's within their rights.

All you people talk about privacy.... you probably have a Facebook, right? Comparing your images you upload to a hash at upload time does not compromise your privacy. It simply checks if you uploaded known child pornography.

Maybe if you are unaware of how the technology works I might see where you're coming from.... but cmon... its just a hash. Microsoft and Apple employ similar technology. If anything Google is the most liberal in allowing free expression.

Apple, for example bans political satire, religious parodies and other somewhat controversial artistic statements that Google allows.

Google may sacrifice your privacy for its profit at times, which is about what you'd expect from a service you pay nothing for.

But in this case it's not making any money. It's just looking to prevent illegal behavior via a responsibly written contract, a clear technological safeguard (hashing of uploads), and a transparent effort against users who appear to be violating its terms of service.

Can mistakes happen? Sure. But it isn't putting you in jail. It's just kicking you off the platform for appearing to breach your contract and letting authorities investigate. If it was all a misunderstanding, I'm sure it will welcome you back so it can advertise you more kittie calendar adwords.

If the accusation proves true... well, you got what was coming to you, for being a pervert, breaking the law, and breaching a contract (which is a legally binding contract, so you also broke a civil law).


RE: Someone please think of the children....
By coburn_c on 8/6/2014 2:36:22 PM , Rating: 3
The ACLU represents the privacy rights of child molesters all the time. I don't think it's because they advocate molestation. I think it's because they advocate privacy. I think it's because they know it's only a matter of time before those privacy violations extend to other crimes. I think that what I said. I think you heard what you want to hear. I think that sums you up in a nutshell.


By HomerTNachoCheese on 8/7/2014 9:07:39 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Is the traditional boot in the door of all invasions. Microsoft is in court fighting to gain us privacy rights because they were shamed. Lets keep shaming.


Yep. Now I see what you were saying. That has ACLU and their fight for privacy written all over it.

No wait. Weren't you talking about Microsoft and shaming? I think that what you said. I think you forgot to type what you meant to say, but we are all supposed to know what you meant.

Sure we can all bash Jason Mick from time to time. You are just doing it wrong. I don't think you really understand what is going on or how this works. I think that sums you up in a nutshell.

One undeserving bash against someone here deserves another, right?


RE: Someone please think of the children....
By sprockkets on 8/5/2014 10:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
FYI, Microsoft is also doing exactly the same as Google when dealing with child porn.


By althaz on 8/5/2014 11:07:07 PM , Rating: 2
They certainly are.

Actually, I'm not sure why this is even slightly a big deal - Google were already reading every email to and from your account to better advertise to you (and you agreed to that as part of the GMail terms of service), is it really worse to also check for child porn instead of just advertising opportunities?


RE: Someone please think of the children....
By Reclaimer77 on 8/5/2014 11:22:32 PM , Rating: 2
Yes because you have the "right" to be a child molester and store the evidence on a public service?

Just...wow.


RE: Someone please think of the children....
By SeeManRun on 8/6/2014 10:57:20 AM , Rating: 2
They might be opening up a can of worms here. Once they admit they can scan email, they may be help liable when child porn does get through. I think they would be better off doing like Blackberry and saying "We don't know what users are sending, and we don't have the ability to find out". That would ensure privacy and limit any possibly liability.

Child porn today, but what excuse tomorrow? The road to ruin is paved with good intentions.


RE: Someone please think of the children....
By wookie1 on 8/6/2014 12:31:14 PM , Rating: 2
Well that approach would not enable the business plan! They have to know what you're sending and receiving so that they can target advertisements towards you. That's the reason they offer the free e-mail. Same for Google Voice. They transcribe your conversations for the same purpose, which is why they give you a free phone number.


RE: Someone please think of the children....
By SeeManRun on 8/6/2014 1:20:13 PM , Rating: 2
I don't necessarily agree with this. Their machine scans your email for words that sponsors pay to have associated with their ads. So if you talk about your baby wetting his DIAPERS, then Google can send you an ad for Pampers.

However, if you send over an email about the nuclear reactor research project you are doing, Google does not send you ads for a nuclear reactor.

It would be interesting to see what his email said to trigger Gmail's filters, but one could logically assume they have added filters not just for ads, but to filter out this kind of email message. Which could lead one to the question, what else might their filters be scanning for if not advertisements and child exploitation.

I am sure we would all be furious if we learned their filters helped them intercept job applications to competitors, or stock tips on upcoming transactions. Clearly they have demonstrated they have that ability with this report. Whether they use it or not we won't know until someone leaks it. They almost certainly do not use it, but knowing they can should give us all pause on what we send via Gmail.


By wookie1 on 8/6/2014 3:35:43 PM , Rating: 2
Whatever they're scanning for, it's proprietary and they won't be revealing it. It could be anything or everything. That's the tradeoff you're making for free mail and phone. You can either rely on the "don't be evil" slogan, or be careful what you do on free platforms that you know derive revenue from scanning through your mail and conversations to sell information to their advertisers.


By Reclaimer77 on 8/6/2014 12:31:27 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone knows they scan emails!! How in the hell do you think the spam filter works?

quote:
they may be help liable when child porn does get through.


I don't believe there is any law stating Google could be held accountable if this were to take place. However they COULD be held liable if they didn't take action. They took action though, and the world is better for it.

They did an internal investigation and then handed it off to the authorities. It doesn't get more professional and thorough than that, also it made sure that they covered their asses.

quote:
I think they would be better off doing like Blackberry and saying


That's easy when you don't have any users anyway :P

*rimshot*

HIIIIOOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHH!!


By atechfan on 8/6/2014 4:49:51 AM , Rating: 2
Why should we be shaming Google? No country that I know of gives you a constitutional right to store illegal material on someone else's property. No rights were violated here. This guy chose to use Google to store child pornography. Google does not want that there because allowing it would make them complicate.


"It looks like the iPhone 4 might be their Vista, and I'm okay with that." -- Microsoft COO Kevin Turner














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