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Google Engineer Spied On Teen Users

CmdrTaco posted about 4 years ago | from the i-see-what-you-did-there dept.

Google 338

bonch writes "Former Google employee David Barksdale accessed user accounts to spy on call logs, chat transcripts, contact lists. As a Site Reliability Engineer, Barksdale had access to the company's most sensitive information and even unblocked himself from a teen's buddy list. He met the minors through a Seattle technology group. Angry parents cut off contact with him and complained to Google, who quietly fired him."

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All the data on Google (5, Insightful)

odies (1869886) | about 4 years ago | (#33585492)

And not only call logs, chat transcripts and contact lists. The article notes:

he pulled up the person's email account, contact list, chat transcripts, Google Voice call logs—even a list of other Gmail addresses that the friend had registered but didn't think were linked to their main account—within seconds.

So even if you think logging out and making a new separate account is enough, it's all linked

And what about Google Analytics and everything else? They can see everywhere you've been on the internet, and obviously abuse it.

More than enough reason for no business (1)

Shivetya (243324) | about 4 years ago | (#33585628)

to store any business e-mail on their servers and no one with any e-mail which has real world value.

Sorry, but if they can read my e-mail account on GMail without my permission, as in my password, then there is zero security regardless of what all their policies and procedures declare. They should just step up and encrypt all of it using the user's password as part of the key, if not that then automated systems which send e-mail to an audit team, the user, and anyone the user designates, when access by SQL or direct means is performed on the mail accounts from within Google.

I wonder if they store our passwords plain text as well.

Re:More than enough reason for no business (3, Insightful)

Xiph (723935) | about 4 years ago | (#33585688)

Then they couldn't index it for advertisement, which is Google's business

Re:More than enough reason for no business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585938)

They only need to index it while it is open in gmail. If the user has to enter his/her password to get into gmail, and that would allow Google to decrypt it just long enough to show the user, and long enough to automatically read and insert advertisements.

Re:More than enough reason for no business (3, Informative)

Rob Kaper (5960) | about 4 years ago | (#33585828)

More than enough reason for no business to store any business e-mail on their servers and no one with any e-mail which has real world value.

You are basically suggesting that no one uses the Internet anymore. End-to-end encryption aside, there will always be a system administrator with the technical ability to snoop data stored or in transfer. The only reason you can slam Google here is because they actually caught the guy.

Re:More than enough reason for no business (4, Insightful)

jgagnon (1663075) | about 4 years ago | (#33585962)

Exactly... any admin worth their position could extract similar information from their corporate network. This was an inside job like any other inside job. It's only news because it is Google.

If this has been an admin of Facebook or MySpace it would have had similar impact. It should be no surprise that any information you give to a company is available to their admins to use or abuse.

Re:More than enough reason for no business (0, Redundant)

odies (1869886) | about 4 years ago | (#33586172)

No, it wouldn't been a similar impact. Just think how much data Google has from analytics alone. It's all over the Internet and the user is not giving any info in that case. On top of that they have all the search queries, emails, what videos you watch on youtube, chat logs, all the information from Android devices.. the list goes on. This is also much more private and personal data, especially when its put together, than whatever you decide to write on facebook or your myspace profile. But the worst is analytics and the quantity of data you give them along, unknowingly for many casual users.

Re:More than enough reason for no business (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#33586264)

No, if it had been Facebook or MySpace, it wouldn't be a surprise. Dumb-ass kids willfully give up information which could be used to harm them in some way, including "cyber stalking" (its new cause its on the innernets!), and you don't even have to be an employee of the company to perform it. Chances are there are enough holes in the Facebook API that someone could find a way to force an unblock action for themselves.

Of course, no, this doesn't really surprise me either. But, I deleted my Google account a couple of months ago and stopped using them for anything other than search. I have my own mail servers (no gmail), am capable of setting up my own blog (no blogger), find that honestly, I think that Bing maps are a little bit better, and don't really have much use for any of their other services/products. I block all the ads, too.

That doesn't mean I'm really that much safer. I no longer work for the hosting company that houses my VPS, so its at the mercy of the admin staff there. Luckily, I still have my hooks in and don't need to worry about malice, so much as the occasional incompetence with regards to mismanagement of infrastructure. But, no one gets to search index my email on my end of the conversation, so that's something, at least.

Re:More than enough reason for no business (5, Insightful)

arivanov (12034) | about 4 years ago | (#33586112)

It was not Google who caught the guy which is what is worrying in this case, it was the parents of the kids involved.

I would have expected a shop of their size to have proper security and use at least some of their precious IPR on log analysis.

Re:More than enough reason for no business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585850)

Is there any hosted mail solution that keeps actual mail encrypted? I mean, I think it's a given that your mail administrator can read your mail, so if you use a managed, hosted mail provider, they can read your mail. I don't think that should come as shock to anyone.

Re:More than enough reason for no business (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | about 4 years ago | (#33585906)

What makes you think any email you send in unencrypted form is safe from prying eyes?

Re:More than enough reason for no business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585954)

You do realize that every place with password requirements (capital letters, numbers, etc) reads your password too, right? And, as many sysadmins here can attest, much of the time they _can_ do a lot of dangerous things. The good guys don't do those bad things (not to be confused with the ones who are careful enough to not get caught).

Re:More than enough reason for no business (1)

spottedkangaroo (451692) | about 4 years ago | (#33586088)

If your email is cleartext, then there's always someone that can read it, no matter what the environment is. You can chose GPG/PGP, SSL, and various other things to solve this problem, but if *you choose* to cleartext, the problem will always exist.

I can read my bosses emails... doesn't seem at all right to me, but I need to have that access to maintain the mailserver. I'd suggest encryption, but nobody can be bothered to bother with it. Even when they do, it's only for that one email in a year, so attackers would know exactly which ones to work on.

If you're thinking maybe gmail wouldn't work with pgp/gpg or ssl, well... they do offer free imap, so that's wrong.

Their IMAP is slow though (1)

e065c8515d206cb0e190 (1785896) | about 4 years ago | (#33586258)

I've tried it. Came back to the web based client. Within 2 minutes.

Re:All the data on Google (2, Informative)

mandark1967 (630856) | about 4 years ago | (#33585714)

"...So even if you think logging out and making a new separate account is enough, it's all linked"

That's relatively easy to get around. Create your initial gmail account on 1 machine using a particular ISP, and create your second acct by using a different computing device(like a droid) on another ISP. Of course, you must remember to never use one machine to check both accounts. It takes dicipline, but it an be done.

I have a gmail account that I created on Comcast with my home desktop, and a completely different one that was created when I purchased my droid through verizon.

I never check the droid gmail account from home on the phone because I do not want GPS to put me close to the other gmail account. I never check my original gmail from work (I'm blocked)

I highly doubt that google can link these two accounts together.

Re:All the data on Google (1)

datapharmer (1099455) | about 4 years ago | (#33585834)

Perhaps you forgot your browsing habits and the fact that correlation can be a powerful tool. Couple that with the ubiquity of google code (analytics, adsense) and I don't believe it is completely unreasonable to hypothesize that they could figure it out... Not to say that they do "automatically", but if you were to come under investigation for something I'm sure they could do the math.

Re:All the data on Google (2, Funny)

Aeros (668253) | about 4 years ago | (#33586062)

oh...we can NOW!

Re:All the data on Google (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about 4 years ago | (#33586134)

That's relatively easy to get around. Create your initial gmail account on 1 machine using a particular ISP, and create your second acct by using a different computing device(like a droid) on another ISP. Of course, you must remember to never use one machine to check both accounts. It takes dicipline, but it an be done.

I have a gmail account that I created on Comcast with my home desktop, and a completely different one that was created when I purchased my droid through verizon.

I never check the droid gmail account from home on the phone because I do not want GPS to put me close to the other gmail account. I never check my original gmail from work (I'm blocked)

I highly doubt that google can link these two accounts together.

Have you accessed gmail from both of these devices? Have you visited a web site that runs google analytics or adsense at least once from each of these devices? Gotcha.

Re:All the data on Google (2, Insightful)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 4 years ago | (#33586150)

Even better, DON'T USE GMAIL for your private and sensitive info....

Re:All the data on Google (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | about 4 years ago | (#33586294)

Even better, DON'T USE GMAIL for your private and sensitive info....

Even better, don't store your private and sensitive info in plain text on the Internet.

If your email is more sensitive than a postcard use PGP/GPG to provide reasonable security. And if it's too sensitive to have a copy stored on someone else's servers either host it yourself or keep a physical copy in a safe instead.

Re:All the data on Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33586234)

Until now.

Re:All the data on Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585776)

No shit, Sherlock?

Anyone who cares enough to use multiple accounts already knows enough to know swapping them on the same machine lets anyone at google see the link -- their point is to keep other entities from seeing the link without google's cooperation, or because they believe (rather optimistically, IMO) that google will respond to a subpoena for their paying-for-warez/drugs/hitmen account only with the directly-asserted data in their user profile, not the (buttload of) reliably inferred data google either has saved or can extract in seconds.

Re:All the data on Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33586124)

Ahhh, another nice sopssa/odies/SquarePixel troll.

And what about Google Analytics and everything else? They can see everywhere you've been on the internet, and obviously abuse it.

Nice generalization asshole. One bad apple at Google and everyone at Google now is abusing their power? You assume Microsoft employes are saints? Or Yahoo employees? Or Amazon employees? Or cops on the streets are also saints?

Nice trolling boyo. Fucking parasite.

Do No Evil (5, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | about 4 years ago | (#33585506)

Google's policy may be "Do No Evil" but each individual's policy may differ...

Re:Do No Evil (5, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 years ago | (#33585642)

And the quietly letting him go rather than warning others about this persons actions is ... whose policy?

Re:Do No Evil (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585722)

Unless he is charged and convicted, let's not hang a man in the realm of public opinion. He was fired, and hopefully he learned something.

Re:Do No Evil (3, Funny)

Shabazz Rabbinowitz (103670) | about 4 years ago | (#33586044)

...let's not hang a man in the realm of public opinion...

You're new here, aren't you?

Re:Do No Evil (4, Funny)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33586174)

So new that Slashdot hasn't had time to assign them a user ID.

Re:Do No Evil (2, Interesting)

xouumalperxe (815707) | about 4 years ago | (#33585724)

And the quietly letting him go rather than warning others about this persons actions is ... whose policy?

I expect that quietly means "no media coverage". I guess that, internally, word spread pretty quickly why he was being let go.

Re:Do No Evil (1)

bickerdyke (670000) | about 4 years ago | (#33586116)

Despite "no media coverage", it landed on /.

Re:Do No Evil (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | about 4 years ago | (#33585786)

The shareholders'.

Re:Do No Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585810)

Yeah, a single employee gets laid off because of a privacy breach involving approximately 0.000001% of their user base and no public announcement was made. I wonder, why that happened.
What would you have them do? Put "if your one of these four users, your account has been compromised" on the home page?

Re:Do No Evil (3, Insightful)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 years ago | (#33585926)

If this case involved credit card numbers, what would your suggestion be then? What about this case does not scream invasion of privacy, misuse of privileges, abuse of trust and numerous other things? This person should not have been simply let go, it should have been referred to the authorities - he didn't make a simple mistake, he took deliberate action. Simply letting him go allows Google to silently preserve their pristine image.

People seem to be taking my point about quietly letting him go to mean that Google should have issued a press release or made a public announcement - no, that's not what I am suggesting, but its quite apt since reporting this matter to the authorities would have been akin to making a public announcement.

Re:Do No Evil (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | about 4 years ago | (#33586034)

If this case involved credit card numbers, what would your suggestion be then? What about this case does not scream invasion of privacy, misuse of privileges, abuse of trust and numerous other things?
Are those crimes, though? "Lock him up!" "But he didn't commit a crime." "Would you make the same excuse if he HAD committed a crime?" "Huh?"

Re:Do No Evil (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | about 4 years ago | (#33586194)

How do you know he didn't commit a crime? The issue was never put infront of the police or a prosecutor so they couldn't make the judgment if a law was potentially broken or not and thus had no chance of bringing charges.

Your little dialog between two anonymous people assumes that he didn't commit a crime and uses that supposition to suggest that saying his actions should be referred to the authorities is wrong - my stance is that his actions are definitely morally and ethically wrong, and could indeed constitute a criminal act but the authorities were not given the chance to determine whether or not they were.

Report him for what? (1)

KingSkippus (799657) | about 4 years ago | (#33586278)

...it should have been referred to the authorities...

Referred for what? As far as I can tell, the guy didn't do anything illegal. Creepy? Oh, hell, yeah, but illegal?

Fact is, I know that when I send and receive e-mail via Google, there are people in the company that has access to that stuff. I run a few web sites myself, and I hope that people understand that with root access to the server, I have access to everything they do, also. I even go so far as to point that out now and then. But I'm a pretty nice guy, and apparently I'm trustworthy enough for them to believe that I won't use their data for evil. (And I diligently try to live up to that reputation.) I haven't read it in detail, but I'd be very surprised if it doesn't explicitly tell you that in the Terms of Service when you sign up for these services.

What we have here is basically a case of a guy who essentially read some people's diary and used the content within to bug them. If he used the information to lure them into having sex, I'd be right there with you in wanting him thrown in jail. That's not the case. The article even specifically mentioned that he did it to one person with their consent while they were actually watching him to show off his level of access to the systems.

I could be wrong, but I don't think that reading someone's diary is illegal, especially when they hand it to you to keep for them. Or at least, if it is, I seriously doubt much would come of it. I strongly suspect that any competent prosecutor would tell you, "I have murderers, rapists, and even worse--music, movie, and software pirates!--to go after; I don't have time for this."

What Google did was altogether appropriate, and frankly, probably far worse than reporting him to the authorities. They took away his paycheck (which in this economy is no small punishment) and arguably worse, they took away his sweet, sweet access. The guy can't brag to his family and friends any more that he works at Google. He sure as hell can't show off how much trust they have in him to allow him unlimited access to their most trusted data.

I see here that there are people who are so desperate to take Google down a few pegs that they want to take everything crummy individuals do as being representative of the company itself. I think that's a shame. Google's history with the good of consumers has an excellent record, MUCH better than most companies, and they have changed literally entire industries for the better. Their informal "do no evil" slogan should be encouraged and lauded, not picked apart at every opportunity, especially over stuff they have little or no control over. They set a very high standard for themselves, and just because they pick a bad apple now and then, far fewer than most companies, doesn't mean that they're not still a reputable, highly regarded company.

Re:Do No Evil (3, Funny)

antifoidulus (807088) | about 4 years ago | (#33585868)

Holy shit, Pope Benedict must be a majority shareholder at Google!

Re:Do No Evil (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585896)

And the quietly letting him go rather than warning others about this persons actions is ... whose policy?
Reply to This

The Catholic Church's?

Re:Do No Evil (3, Insightful)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 4 years ago | (#33585970)

He no longer has access to Google. He's no longer in the program where he first met the teens. What else would you want them to do? Reading the article it does not seem that he did anything illegal that the police can charge. His position allowed him to access the information but he violated the company policies.

Re:Do No Evil (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 4 years ago | (#33586156)

He no longer has access to Google. He's no longer in the program where he first met the teens. What else would you want them to do? Reading the article it does not seem that he did anything illegal that the police can charge. His position allowed him to access the information but he violated the company policies.

That's the thing isn't it ... besides, good luck finding another job administering anything more than the computers in a dentist's office. Some people want to jump on the "Do No Evil" bandwagon here but I don't think that's the case. Stupid or bad people sometimes get into positions of responsibility. Google got rid of the man promptly, which I think was the right thing to do here. Besides, given all the laws we now have on the books regarding this kind of thing, my guess is this guy will get charged with something, and may well serve some jail time. That should be enough to satisfy anyone's need for a pound of flesh.

Re:Do No Evil (1)

camcorder (759720) | about 4 years ago | (#33586228)

They could inform their users about this and even better tell public what actions they have taken in order to prevent such incidents to happen in future. I don't see any reason why an engineer can access user data. I hope they don't design their systems in a commodity CMS fashion that "admin" can alter any kind of data, let alone viewing them.

Re:Do No Evil (1)

Ollabelle (980205) | about 4 years ago | (#33586308)

Except that now his name can be Googled and found here. How's that for irony.

Re:Do No Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585802)

One can only imagine what a similar employee over at Facebook would be capable of.

Always a concern (4, Interesting)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#33585564)

You never know who is watching or listening in. People don't realize that every single thing they do online can, at some point along the pipe, be potentially seen by someone.

Not just online (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 4 years ago | (#33585654)

I know one or two telephone linemen who enjoyed listening in to phone conversations when they were supposed to be working.

Re:Not just online (2, Interesting)

piffey (1627145) | about 4 years ago | (#33585718)

Not just line men. We used to do that all the time as kids, just cause we figured out we could.

Re:Not just online (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33586208)

What's so hard about hooking a speaker up to the phone line? ;)

Re:Always a concern (3, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 4 years ago | (#33585680)

People don't realize that every single thing they do online can, at some point along the pipe, be potentially seen by someone.

Not if you're using end-to-end encryption without a public CA. Computer scientists have known this since 1977 and end-users have had tools since at least 1991. Key distribution is still hard, so it's not quite popular. We could really use some apps that securely exchange keys via phone "bumps".

Re:Always a concern (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585748)

People don't realize that every single thing they do online can, at some point along the pipe, be potentially seen by someone.

Not if you're using end-to-end encryption without a public CA. Computer scientists have known this since 1977 and end-users have had tools since at least 1991. Key distribution is still hard, so it's not quite popular. We could really use some apps that securely exchange keys via phone "bumps".

I don't think you realize just how badly implemented PKI in general and SSL/TLS in particular are.

Re:Always a concern (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | about 4 years ago | (#33585928)

And I don't think you read what he wrote:

Not if you're using end-to-end encryption without a public CA.

Key distribution is still hard

Re:Always a concern (4, Interesting)

sjs132 (631745) | about 4 years ago | (#33585838)

An old friend of mine used to work for a high clearance group out in Colorado someplace. This is going back to 1995'sh... He has since gone silent (No contacts) , but I remember one conversation that we had had where he warned:

"If you want it to be a secret you better keep it in your head. Don't write it down, don't email it, don't call on the phone... Because if they want, they can know." (Paraphrased from so long ago...) But you get the point.

It was true then and even more so now. Who are "They"? Well, that's the problem... in 1995 I presumed it was the Federal Government that could disseminate the information to state/local. And under Homeland Security we do have "FUSION CENTERS" so you know that happens. But also it seems corporations of large magnitude can fall into it. If it is for "research, Statistics & Administration" then big whoop, but obviously it is a big temptation for people to abuse it once they are on the "inside."

Case in point would be Crystal Bowersox. She had her privacy violated multiple times in Ohio. Probably by people paid to dig up dirt for tabloids or something, but just like Google, Creepy.

http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2010/09/09/copy/ohio-apologized-to-idol-star-for-illegal-snooping.html?adsec=politics&sid=101 [dispatchpolitics.com]

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/idolchatter/post/2010/09/crystal-bowersoxs-privacy-breached-by-ohio-officials/1 [usatoday.com]

http://marquee.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/09/ohio-apologizes-to-crystal-bowersox-for-security-breach/ [cnn.com]

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5i_29YKZdSnooBzedGCwrNGaqfyDgD9I4IR7G1 [google.com]

http://au.eonline.com/uberblog/b199540_why_were_cops_snooping_on_idols_crystal.html [eonline.com]

 

Re:Always a concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33586252)

Encrypt, encrypt, encrypt... Even if you have nothing on a drive - encrypt it just to throw up smoke-and-mirrors - use GPG for every E-mail, and when talking on Skype. It doesn't matter if you're talking about what you need at the grocery store - no one has the right to listen in on private conversations, regardless of what a law may state. Remember there are laws on the books that forbid fat women from hunting rabbits on horse-back - so there are lots of insane laws on the books. I choose to see all of them impinging on my Constitutional Rights as non-sense, and as long as I have a way to negate it, I will...

Re:Always a concern (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33586268)

We house a "fusion center" from DHS, you give the government too much credit. Unless you are worried about a datacenter of all the traffic tickets and arrest records for a region. Look elsewhere for powerful government agencies.

Did Google do enough? (1)

newviewmedia.com (1137457) | about 4 years ago | (#33585578)

With the amount of personal/business information stored in Google servers I wonder if Google did enough by just firing the guy? Googles internal system is built on trusting those with access to the information and most Google employees don't want to dig into their databases... but some do. Google replied that this isn't the first time it happened. So what is Google going to do differently in the future? Probably nothing since it has already happened before. It's amazing the amount of damage that can be done through reading personal emails. Google should of stepped it up a bit and sent this guy off to jail to set an example.

Re:Did Google do enough? (1)

gparent (1242548) | about 4 years ago | (#33585670)

What do you want them to do, hang him high?

You can't prevent access to the info without stopping them from doing their jobs. All you can do is severely limit the access, and strike whenever someone abuses the right.

Re:Did Google do enough? (1)

sunking2 (521698) | about 4 years ago | (#33585900)

When you hang a man, you better look at him.

Re:Did Google do enough? (4, Insightful)

bberens (965711) | about 4 years ago | (#33585952)

Google has no grounds to prosecute the guy. The kids/parents may have some grounds based on harassment or something but the guy legitimately had access to that data, he just abused it. It happens, he was fired. I love these posts which act as if "my company" could never hire anyone who would abuse their access to data. It happens regularly at every company I've ever worked at to some degree or another. When it happens, you deal with it. *shrug*

Re:Did Google do enough? (1)

Spad (470073) | about 4 years ago | (#33586204)

There's little you can do.

Administrators of IT systems almost always require - or can trivially gain - access to personal data at some point in order to do their jobs and while sometimes there are signs that point to it, you often have no idea who's going to flip and start abusing their power until they've already started doing it.

The best you can do it put detection and auditing mechanisms in place and ensure that you deal with an violators swiftly, but you're never going to entirely prevent it from happening.

Privacy (1)

Arcorn (1209534) | about 4 years ago | (#33585582)

And people think Google is watching everything we do. They are all nuts...Oh wait.

fitting theme (0, Redundant)

cosm (1072588) | about 4 years ago | (#33585598)

who watches the watchers?

Re:fitting theme (0, Redundant)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 years ago | (#33585672)

who watches the watchers?

Me. I stalk paedophiles. I keep looking over my shoulder for the guy who stalks people who stalks paedophiles though.

Re:fitting theme (1)

srussia (884021) | about 4 years ago | (#33585700)

who watches the watchers?

meta-voyeurs?

the mourning screed reposted (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585614)

like a swan song....sort of

scary guys

google.com/search?hl=en&q=bush%2Bcheney%2Bwmd%2Bwolfowitz%2Bblair%2Brumsfeld%2Bobama

another interesting (in that there's no (0) discussion) ?weapon?

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=weather+manipulation&aq=f&aqi=g10&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=

meanwhile; (you'll be told how long & what to do?); the corepirate nazi illuminati is always hunting that patch of red on almost everyones' neck. if they cannot find yours (greed, fear ego etc...) then you can go starve. that's their (slippery/slimy) 'platform' now. see also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisocial_personality_disorder

never a better time to consult with/trust in our creators. the lights are coming up rapidly all over now. see you there?

greed, fear & ego (in any order) are unprecedented evile's primary weapons. those, along with deception & coercion, helps most of us remain (unwittingly?) dependent on its' life0cidal hired goons' agenda. most of our dwindling resources are being squandered on the 'wars', & continuation of the billionerrors stock markup FraUD/pyramid schemes. nobody ever mentions the real long term costs of those debacles in both life & any notion of prosperity for us, or our children. not to mention the abuse of the consciences of those of us who still have one, & the terminal damage to our atmosphere (see also: manufactured 'weather', hot etc...). see you on the other side of it? the lights are coming up all over now. the fairytail is winding down now. let your conscience be your guide. you can be more helpful than you might have imagined. we now have some choices. meanwhile; don't forget to get a little more oxygen on your brain, & look up in the sky from time to time, starting early in the day. there's lots going on up there.

"The current rate of extinction is around 10 to 100 times the usual background level, and has been elevated above the background level since the Pleistocene. The current extinction rate is more rapid than in any other extinction event in earth history, and 50% of species could be extinct by the end of this century. While the role of humans is unclear in the longer-term extinction pattern, it is clear that factors such as deforestation, habitat destruction, hunting, the introduction of non-native species, pollution and climate change have reduced biodiversity profoundly.' (wiki)

"I think the bottom line is, what kind of a world do you want to leave for your children," Andrew Smith, a professor in the Arizona State University School of Life Sciences, said in a telephone interview. "How impoverished we would be if we lost 25 percent of the world's mammals," said Smith, one of more than 100 co-authors of the report. "Within our lifetime hundreds of species could be lost as a result of our own actions, a frightening sign of what is happening to the ecosystems where they live," added Julia Marton-Lefevre, IUCN director general. "We must now set clear targets for the future to reverse this trend to ensure that our enduring legacy is not to wipe out many of our closest relatives."--

"The wealth of the universe is for me. Every thing is explicable and practical for me .... I am defeated all the time; yet to victory I am born." --emerson

no need to confuse 'religion' with being a spiritual being. our soul purpose here is to care for one another. failing that, we're simply passing through (excess baggage) being distracted/consumed by the guaranteed to fail illusionary trappings of man'kind'. & recently (about 10,000 years ago) it was determined that hoarding & excess by a few, resulted in negative consequences for all.

consult with/trust in your creators. providing more than enough of everything for everyone (without any distracting/spiritdead personal gain motives), whilst badtolling unprecedented evile, using an unlimited supply of newclear power, since/until forever. see you there?

"If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land." )one does not need to agree whois in charge to grasp the notion that there may be some assistance available to us(

boeing, boeing, gone.

Happens on every website. (3, Insightful)

onion2k (203094) | about 4 years ago | (#33585620)

Someone always has access to the data, and they're going to look at it at some point. The expectation that no one will be nosey when they're bored one day is just naivety (or stupidity). In this case the motivation is a bit creepier but on other websites people will be looking through "private" data when they're bored - be it Facebook messages, Twitter DMs, GMail emails, or Slashdot private journals.

If you want it to remain secure and unread by other people, don't put it where other people might access it.

Re:Happens on every website. (1)

CraftyJack (1031736) | about 4 years ago | (#33585692)

If you want it to remain secure and unread by other people, don't put it where other people might access it.

This is Google. They drive up and take pictures of your house.

Re:Happens on every website. (4, Insightful)

Aqualung812 (959532) | about 4 years ago | (#33585772)

This is Google. They drive up and take pictures of your house.

OMG! Pictures of my house, on a public street, where thousands of people can drive by and see it? MY PRIVACY IS RUINED! I might as well post my SSN on the Internet now!

Re:Happens on every website. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585968)

While semi funny. What you say is true. People have an expectation of what is 'secret'/'private'. When much of what they say or do is not anywhere near that.

People seem actually shocked when they find out their backyard is not that private...

Also I think to the point of the gp post. These dudes come up and take pictures of your house, catalog everything, then put it on the web. These guys are anything but discrete with your information. But that is what their site is about, index *everything* and make it *accessible*.

If you want to keep a secret a secret you do not tell/show anyone. You have 0 control over if they will blab or not.

Re:Happens on every website. (1)

nschubach (922175) | about 4 years ago | (#33586320)

I think it's a matter of how many people have access to that information. While it's not "private", now people are shocked that that information can be stored and kept literally forever and searched by many.

Walking down the street talking on a cell phone is fairly private even though you are in a public place because people will tone you out, forget about what you said, or only catch parts of your conversation. However, if someone followed you around with a microphone you might get pissed off.

Re:Happens on every website. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33586298)

I'd be really surprised if my home showed up and took pictures at my place. There is a sign in front of the house that says...

    "Trespassers Will Be Shot.
      Survivors Will Be Shot Again.
      Trespassers With Cameras Will Be Tortured."

    They do have beautiful shots of my neighbors houses though.

    I don't believe in security through obscurity. I do believe in security through unnecessary violence.

Re:Happens on every website. (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 years ago | (#33585712)

People will be looking through "private" data when they're bored - be it Facebook messages, Twitter DMs, GMail emails, or Slashdot private journals.

In the latter case they usually run out screaming "aaaaaghhhh...." never to be seen again. Access logs show they have been reading a file named "CowboyNeal's sexual fantasies".

Re:Happens on every website. (2, Informative)

mikael_j (106439) | about 4 years ago | (#33585800)

In this case the motivation is a bit creepier...

Well, if the linked article has its guesses and quotes correct then it seems this guy was just trying to show off with his neat GEP (Google Employee Powers) and overstepped privacy boundaries doing so. Now, IMHO this is generally worse than just being curious or "nosey[sic]" but probably not creepier (I worked tech support just after college and I saw more than one "curious" co-worker search the customer database for members of the opposite sex who happened to live in the same city as we were in and who had a date of birth within a few years of their own. Sure, I'm guessing none of them actually used this info to their advantage (by say, looking up phone numbers and email addresses to people they had met at a club or something) but that's still a lot more creepy than trying to show off in front of others).

Oh, and in case someone missed it, I didn't say this guy shouldn't have been fired or that what he did was ok, simply that I'm not sure "creepy" is the best word to describe it (since that word tends to lead the minds of readers into "OMGZ SEX OFFENDARS PERVART!!" territory which apparently doesn't apply in this case).

Re:Happens on every website. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33586014)

but on other websites people will be looking through "private" data when they're bored

I disagree. I know people that "don't look" and I have never looked myself. I know people that do though.

To be honest (1, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | about 4 years ago | (#33585674)

Well to be honest Google employees some of the smartest and clever people in the tech field. When you employee that many intelligent people you tend to run into their odd habits, and thought processes. Employeeing that many strange ducks I imagine it was only a matter of time before one of them managed to make the company look bad, or do something stupid with their position. I really doubt there was anything sinister in it, but you can't keep someone employeed after something like this.

Re:To be honest (1)

deek (22697) | about 4 years ago | (#33585930)

Smart and clever, sure. But immature and lacking self-esteem as well? That is a recipe for disaster, especially if you put them in a position of informational power.

A mature person, no matter how strange their thought processes, does not spy on the conversations of others (work purposes excepted), or brag about their hacking abilities. He may have had the smarts, but he didn't have the maturity for his position.

Google would do well to employ more older staff to help in this regard. This may not have happened if there was an older figure present to dispense wise advice.

TFA firewalled off here (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | about 4 years ago | (#33585682)

But I found anotherFA. [computerworld.com]

Re:TFA firewalled off here (2, Informative)

Jeslijar (1412729) | about 4 years ago | (#33585890)

according to this FA, it wasn't some creepy stalker type deal.

He found a techie group and wanted to impress them with his 'haxor' skills. It probably didn't come out until later that he worked for Google. It was a stupid move and an abuse of power, but it wasn't something as creepy as the original post here makes it sound.

"Barksdale's harassment did not appear to be sexual in nature, although ... [he] demonstrated extraordinarily questionable judgment. ... It seems part of the reason ... was to show off the power he had. ... A self-described "hacker," Barksdale seemed to get a kick out of flaunting his position. ... The parents of the teens whose Google accounts were violated by Barksdale were hardly amused, however."

Doesn't sound newsworthy. Google did what they should have did; They got rid of him. Sounds like "do no evil" to me. He doesn't deserve to be burned at the stake for something like this, as immature and stupid as it may have been.

Big Google is watching (2, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#33585706)

"Is it 1984 already?" Daria

Duh (5, Interesting)

ebonum (830686) | about 4 years ago | (#33585708)

Young single male admins at companies like Google and Yahoo are golden contacts. If you are looking to research something, they can help. For a price.

Re:Duh (3, Funny)

M4n (1472737) | about 4 years ago | (#33585920)

"Research something" or "Research something"?

Is anyone suprised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585728)

Slashdot is filled with IT People who have access to various levels of personal data. These things happen. This guy has just ruined his career though. Half of the job of a good database manager is being trustworthy with sensitive information.

Come on... (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | about 4 years ago | (#33585770)


...the question is: what's his /. ID? It must be in the 4 or 5 figure range.

When I was a DBA..... (1)

The Diver (310313) | about 4 years ago | (#33585816)

When I was a DBA, I had access to all of the companys data and I couldn't care less. The company audited the payroll departments paycheck but, us, who had access to the raw data, didn't. All I cared about was the integrity of the data. That and performance. I was too business chasing women and drinking beer. Oh, wait, this is Slashdot. Let me correct that... I was too busy drinking beer.

Alan

This just in! (4, Insightful)

mdm-adph (1030332) | about 4 years ago | (#33585818)

Individual person does nefarious actions -- name of company he works for used in title of news article for salacious reasons. More at 11.

Re:This just in! (2, Insightful)

crunzh (1082841) | about 4 years ago | (#33585908)

mayor company that keeps houge amounts of personal data dont protect user data from employees, I think thats the story.

Re:This just in! (1)

kevinNCSU (1531307) | about 4 years ago | (#33586102)

Well if the mayor of Google isn't properly protecting our user data then I'm certainly not voting for him again!!

Re:This just in! (1)

mdm-adph (1030332) | about 4 years ago | (#33586192)

Barring not letting any employee see protected user data (a completely unreasonable practice), I don't see how this could have been prevented.

If simple forms and NDA's are good enough for HIPPA, it's good enough for Google.

Re:This just in! (4, Insightful)

Combatso (1793216) | about 4 years ago | (#33585956)

so you think they should have left out Googles name? I for one will think twice about how private any emails / chats sent through google really are. Without getting in to a 'think of the children' rant here... the real story is this guy was spying on teenagers conversations, chatting with them... and actually unblocked himself... if one rogue employee at google can do this, than many more can... and I stand by theory that anything than can happen, will happen... So yeah... the company name belongs here..

Re:This just in! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33586324)

Yeah, you'll think twice about it. Then you'll use a smaller mail provider with tons more insecurity and privacy breaches, that aren't as newsworthy as Google's and feel 'secure' again.

Google knew something was wrong... (1)

GPLDAN (732269) | about 4 years ago | (#33585842)

Barksdale was working on GChat Roulette.

wonder if he did it for the lullz (1)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 4 years ago | (#33585886)

He sounds a little like an egomaniac windbag that hasn't grown out of adolescence yet (like a lot of geeks). I find it hard to beleive that anyone who wears a "Free the Mallocs" and "I Love toxic waste" t-shirts isn't going to keep tight-lipped about freaking someone out with his "m4d l33t 5k11z".

That's why ... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#33585950)

...any sane person should be skeptical about moving everything to the fucking Cloud.

ah (5, Funny)

Chrisq (894406) | about 4 years ago | (#33586070)

What part of heaven is most popular?

...the fucking Cloud.

Cannot really be prevented (5, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | about 4 years ago | (#33585960)

As anybody with real system administration experience knows, what protects user privacy is that you do not look at their data without explicit permission. That means people with this level of access have to have certain personality traits, and a high level of personal integrity is the most important one. I guess this is just another failed Google hiring process result.

What now needs to follow is criminal proceedings resulting in a a rather unpleasant punishment. Oh, wait, the US does not have working privacy laws...

Luckily for David Barksdale, creepy kiddy stalker (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 4 years ago | (#33585994)

He - David Barksdale, notorious harasser of vulnerable teens, I mean - shares a name with a more famous chap, who will remain at the top of Google searches. Unless enough people start referring to David Barksdale primarily in the context of the famous freaky violator of childrens' privacy. You know, David Barksdale. The freaky creepy weird fucked up emotionally stunted probably-not-a-pederast basket case fired by Google for stalking children. That guy.

Surprise! (4, Interesting)

nomad-9 (1423689) | about 4 years ago | (#33585998)

Hardly surprising, since Google CEO Eric Schmidt's notorious "if you want privacy, you have something to hide" remark.

The problem with this guy power-tripping on some kids, was not that he didn't give importance to people's privacy - which is apparently along the lines of the company's general mindset - but that he got caught for being stupid.

Re:Surprise! (0)

shish (588640) | about 4 years ago | (#33586242)

notorious "if you want privacy, you have something to hide" remark.

Citation needed? The only similar quote I remember was more along the lines of "if you have something to hide, don't put it on google's servers (or anyone else's servers) because the government can force us to give it up"

define 'quiet' (2, Insightful)

WhitePanther5000 (766529) | about 4 years ago | (#33586008)

Google, who quietly fired him

Not as quietly as they might have hoped...

But Why??? (1)

stanlyb (1839382) | about 4 years ago | (#33586054)

When they asked him, WHY, TELL US WHY??? He answered: BECAUSE, i can do it...... I hope, you have got the joke....which turns out to not be a joke, but..........

Anybody still up for The Cloud ? (1)

obarthelemy (160321) | about 4 years ago | (#33586082)

This is a taste of things to come. Companies will do it. Subcontractors will do it. Employees will do it. Trainees will do it.

When you put your data out there... well, it's out there. Your choice. THis was Google's responsibility.. what was their punishment ? nothing.

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