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California Senate Passes Preemptive Strike Against Gmail

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the mail-bomb dept.

Google 540

Technically Inept writes "The California Senate has passed a measure to force Google to limit search capabilities on Gmail to real-time, with no records. What if I want them to search my mail in advance?"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Only here, apparently. (5, Funny)

Uriel (16311) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280527)

We're legislating technology most people haven't even seen yet.

Re:Only here, apparently. (5, Insightful)

Incoherent07 (695470) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280588)

That's the trick... all of the hoopla about Gmail's ads, and they're no different from the ads you see when you search Google normally.

California Legislature: "OMG Google knows I'm searching for pr0n, I'd better pass a law against it!"

Re:Only here, apparently. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280658)

Calif Legislature: "OMG, people have realized that we are undercover socialists!"

death to all tax and spend liberals! death!

Re:Only here, apparently. (0, Troll)

F34nor (321515) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280732)

Its Funny becasue Bush is the worst tax and spend liberal in history. I like to call him a "steal and spend liberal."

In other news (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280528)

In other news Google announced it was moving out of California to get away from the usual knee-jerk legislation that plagues the state.

Seriously, what's wrong with these people?

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280550)

Yahoo! has some powerful lobbies... Or, more likely, Yahoo! stock is owned by a lot of legislators.

Re:In other news (3, Funny)

wo1verin3 (473094) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280698)

It's not knee jerk.. I kind of understand it.

The lawmakers are concerned about logging in to Gmail from a public area because someone around them may see the ads for 'cheap hooker now' and 'discount for bulk viagara purchase' ads generated after Gmail scans their archived e-mail.

first post (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280532)

NOT!

uh.... (0, Offtopic)

cartzworth (709639) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280533)

and this affects me how?

Off shoring? (5, Funny)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280536)

Perhaps now we'll see Google move their operations and offices to India.

Re:Off shoring? (1)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280581)

They already have office [google.com] there.

Re:Off shoring? (1)

TykeClone (668449) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280628)

Maybe he meant Iowa

Your information already has a passport (3, Informative)

schwaang (667808) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280692)

From the gmail privacy policy [google.com] :
Transfer of information.
Personal information collected by Google may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Google Inc. or its agents maintain facilities. By using Gmail, you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country.

Italics mine.

At least Google is up front about this, unlike your bank, credit card company, tax preparer, and medical records transcriber. This kind of notification is what California should have passed.

[Yes I know this isn't exactly the point the parent was getting at. Sue me.]

ffasdfasdfas (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280540)

first it!

You can sign away rights, yes? :-) (1)

BerntB (584621) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280542)

But we can sign away rights so they can do two versions?

At least for us booring nerds that are mainly interested in hiding how booring we are? :-)

Re:You can sign away rights, yes? :-) (1)

ozric99 (162412) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280573)

I don't think you can. Well, at least not the more important ones - you can't sign yourself into slavery, for example.

Re:You can sign away rights, yes? :-) (2, Interesting)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280613)

... and yet cigarettes and caffeine are legal.

You can sell yourself into slavery of sorts, in this case to an addictive substance and the slave drivers that produce and sell them... just so long as said substance is legal.

You can sign away your rights. Yes. (1)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280627)

Sure you can sign yourself into slavery. It's called alimony. Once you've signed that paper, you keep working, but your ex gets all the benefits.

You can't contract (1)

Prince Vegeta SSJ4 (718736) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280661)

to do something illegal, so if California makes a feature illegal, you can't sign away your 'right'. Depends on how they right the law.

They're kidding right? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280545)

Seriously, how can they legislate against that kind of a thing? Could google at least make it an option that defaults to off?

What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (5, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280547)

Good 'ol stupid California*.

It seems to me that companies ought to have a right to exchange services with people on terms that both sides agree on. If Google wants to offer a gig of email in exchange for being able to stick context-oriented ads in it, they ought to be able to do so -- if you don't like it, buy your own damn email.

Hell, if Google wanted to offer me a gig of email in exchange for being able to read my messages, print out the embaressing ones and pass them around their offices, they should be able to do that, too. If I don't like it, I don't have to sign up.

But no, here in CA we never met a regulation or inhabition to business that we didn't like. God forbid the legislature not spend yet more time not fixing our insane budget problems.

* - Don't kid yourself. We still beat the hell out of your crappy state/country.

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (4, Insightful)

savagedome (742194) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280607)

I completely agree. And for the paranoid, remember, that regular email is like sending postcard. Anybody on the route to destination can read it. If you don't want people reading/searching/printing your email, you should encrypt it. Period.

How many times do we need to say this? Jeez

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280619)

Don't worry, NY is doing all it can to see that you aren't the only state that can screw things up so badly.

>* - Don't kid yourself. We still beat the hell out of your crappy state/country.

I'd agree, but we have Elliot Spitzer, and I'm afraid agreeing would get me indicted.

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280629)

* - Don't kid yourself. We still beat the hell out of your crappy state/country.

Oh no you don't. You don't have a group of DFL'ers that got owned by Fox get completely drunk during late night sessions and voting either wasted (or better yet, having someone else vote for you). Minnesota might suck basketballs but they certainly aren't fucking around when it comes to making laws.

See here [kmsp.com] for all the great details.

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (0)

Unnngh! (731758) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280631)

You're right in regards to Gmail, IMO. However, this is a small example of a larger effort by the government (any government) to protect the people. What if Gmail was some nefarious product that would hurt people who used it, and it was just too complicated for most users to understand the potential harm? Then the government's restrictions would most likely be lauded. Many here and elsewhere are for the government placing restrictions on MS, which I think is bunk myself. Oh, well...

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (3, Insightful)

Nephilium (684559) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280697)

But what if I don't want the government to protect me?

If I want to pollute my body with cigarettes, booze, caffeine, fat, and sugars... I should be able to... (mmmmm... Irish coffee...)

If I want to allow anyone access to my computer, I should be able to. If people can't understand what they're doing, why is it my job to protect them? (Barring when they're doing something that harms me in some way.)

We don't need more laws... we need smarter people...

Nephilium
Age does not always bring wisdom, but it does lend perspective. -- Jubal Harshaw in Stranger in a Strange Land

Two points (1)

Xhad (746307) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280635)

It seems to me that companies ought to have a right to exchange services with people on terms that both sides agree on

-Some of the things people are whining about may also affect anyone who so much as sends a message to a Gmail user.

-A great many laws are made to outlaw "voluntary" undesirable agreements, because when companies can't propose those types of agreements they tend to offer something better. Example: Minimum wage laws.

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (1, Interesting)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280637)

While I agree with you for THE MOST PART, it really CAN NOT always be that way.

Remember the 80's when credit card companies would give anyone a credit card at like 50% interest, compounded minutely? Some people were just stupid... some mislead... but either way, it had to stop, because even though there was a mutual agreement, more times then not, people signed away their soul because of other dire situations.

This IS good. It keeps commercial entities from offering a service, and requiring your soul as payment. As rediculous as some corperations would be, there would always be someone that will sign their life away.

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (5, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280669)

Remember the 80's when credit card companies would give anyone a credit card at like 50% interest, compounded minutely? Some people were just stupid... some mislead... but either way, it had to stop, because even though there was a mutual agreement, more times then not, people signed away their soul because of other dire situations.

Whatever. I don't consider protecting people from their own stupidity to be a major legislative priority -- all that ever does is end up hurting the rest of us who have some detectible level of brain activity.

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (3, Insightful)

JofCoRe (315438) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280723)

Some people were just stupid... some mislead... but either way, it had to stop, because even though there was a mutual agreement, more times then not, people signed away their soul because of other dire situations.

Stupid people deserve to be held responsible for their stupid actions. What is it w/the thinking that nobody is responsible for what they do, because someone "tricked" them or whatever the fuck the reason is this week. If you don't know what you're getting into, ask someone that does. Even stupid people sometimes have smart friends. And if you're too fucking stupid to get along in society without royally fucking yourself over due to your own stupid decisions, then you deserve what you get.

Bottom line: people need to be held responsible for their own actions. The government should not be protecting us from our own stupidity. They're just hindering natural selection :)

Jurisdiction Issue (1)

chadjg (615827) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280638)

It seems to me that this law will be struck down. Isn't Gmail in the federal regulatory domain, or shouldn't it be?

Even if you ignore the goodness or badness of the restrictions this California resolution imposesit's a big problem. Trying to program to obey 51 different groups of technical ignoramuses has to be hell.

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (5, Insightful)

drmike0099 (625308) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280650)

Schwarzenegger said it, and now I'm starting to believe it, that our full-time legislature simply has too much free time on its hands and is passing all sorts of silly laws (I think that's almost a direct quote). It's mind-boggling to me that they would waste my tax money to pay for them looking at this sort of useless crap, but they can't be bothered to look at other stuff that is actually important (education, environment, etc).

Not to argue with extremes, but... (1)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280656)

Not to argue with extremes, but I could sell crack and make quite a profit. The government says I can't do so. There *are* limits to what everyone will accept.

Just a point. Though I have a gmail account, and love it, and think it's ridiculous that CA would pass a law against it.

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (5, Interesting)

six11 (579) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280668)

Just one of my many ideas on how to make government better: affix a time limit on every law. When the time limit is up, they have to vote on it again, and it has to pass with a larger percentage than it did the first time. Not only would this cull out silly knee-jerk laws like Patriot or this Google nonsense, it would also force lawmakers to deal with their mistakes by repealing laws, rather than spending time fucking things up for everybody else and increasing the number of laws on the books.

Re California: If Cally is so cool, why are you all migrating to Colorado?

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (1)

AJC123 (733606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280691)

* - Don't kid yourself. We still beat the hell out of your crappy state/country.
Now you think California is a country? Then again, if they're passing laws like this, maybe you aren't alone.

Re:What, do lawmakers get paid per law now? (1)

spankfish (167192) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280733)

well, it _is_ a republic... go figure.

No kidding (4, Insightful)

billybob (18401) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280694)

This is pretty much what I've been saying.

Google's a good company. They've never done anything that has raised my eyebrows before in terms of violating someone's privacy, or anything really. It's not like humans are going to scan your emails and decide what ads to put next to them. (Side note: the article was misleading in that it said gmail would place ads IN your email. Pure FUD. They're NEXT TO your email, which is way different). The whole system is automated, just like their AdSense program. It figures out what ads to display based ont he content of the web page.

The only argument that I've heard that makes any sense is if someone is against Gmail beacuse of this ad thing, so they dont sign up for the service, but then all their friends do so when they send email tot hem, their emails are scanned for content, even though they're not signed up with the service. Seriously though who cares. Google's not going to do anything like sell your email content to third party's so they can email your ads and stuff. People need to stop getting their panties all in a knot.

in case cnn gets farked (1)

anthrax_spork (532086) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280552)

Calif. tries to limit Google's Gmail
State senate supports a bill setting restrictions for the e-mail service over privacy concerns.
May 27, 2004: 7:11 PM EDT

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California's Senate voted Thursday to support a bill to limit a new e-mail service by Google Inc. over concerns it could threaten the privacy of users.

California's state Senate approved the first-of-its-kind bill by a vote of 24-8 to restrict how Mountain View, California-based Google's upcoming free "Gmail" service could work once it is available in wide distribution.

The No. 1 Web search company's Gmail service, which will be supported by advertising and free for users when it launches for the public, is currently in beta testing.

Google had intended the service to scan e-mail for key words and concepts and use them to place targeted advertisements in personal messages.

The bill by Democratic state Sen. Liz Figueroa would require Gmail to work only in real-time and would bar the service from producing records.

The bill also would bar Gmail form collecting personal information from e-mails and giving any information to third parties.

Figueroa's bill now goes to California's Assembly.

A Google representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

Industry analysts see Gmail as a key product for privately held Google because it could boost revenues from advertisers and expand the company's business as it nears its widely anticipated initial public offering of stock.

The move by Google into e-mail comes amid increasing competition from Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.'s Internet Division, MSN, which built strong user bases around free e-mail services and have been attacking Google's prominence as a Web search service.

Google fought back by adding a price-comparison shopping tool to its services and a new site exclusively offering news.
Copyright 2004 Reuters All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

I don't see... (2, Insightful)

xenostar (746407) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280557)

...how what a company does with its website users has anything to do with the California state law.

Re:I don't see... (2, Insightful)

DaHat (247651) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280648)

Because they are based in California and are ultimately bound by the laws of that state.

Even if that weren't the case, it wouldn't be the first time that a law body as tried to regulate something outside of its jurisdiction.

Little overkill (5, Insightful)

Zinic (780666) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280558)

Google has yet to actually give us even the slightest notion that they would use Gmail in ways that would invade privacy. This is simply an act, I believe, by worried politicians that something good might dominate the Internet and threaten their pockets.

Not necessarily bad (2, Interesting)

aramith (773470) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280559)

This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Yeah, legislating technology that doesn't really even exist yet isn't THAT good, but neither is your email provider data mining you, and possibly selling that info to other companies. Plus, it is email. Sensitive data may pass through that (you'd be stupid to use something like Gmail or Hotmail to do so, but it happens).

So go get your own email (5, Insightful)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280582)

If you want your email to be private, go get an account someplace that won't scan your messages. Hell, you probably *have* one right now from your ISP.

You don't have a right to free email. In fact, I would go so far as to say there ain't no such thing -- you're paying for it one way or another. If you find one certain payment method objectionable, don't use it.

Re:So go get your own email (2, Insightful)

aramith (773470) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280620)

I do use a (relatively, nothing is entirely) private email, through my university. But many many many people use "free" email. I'm not saying it's wrong of Google to scan emails and provide advertising based on that, but rather that it would be wrong for them to store possibly sensitive information, or have leaks of sensitive email happen because of that system. To me, that's the important part of the law that was passed.

Re:Not necessarily bad (1)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280640)

Yeah, legislating technology that doesn't really even exist yet isn't THAT good, but neither is your email provider data mining you, and possibly selling that info to other companies.

If you have a problem with a commercial company minnig your data, setup your own domain, your own mail server and be done with it. I hate complainers.

Why does this need legislation? (5, Insightful)

th1ckasabr1ck (752151) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280560)

If you don't agree to their terms, then don't sign up.

Can they even do that.... (2, Interesting)

Jim Starx (752545) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280561)

Can the government restrict what type of information a company collects on its customers when they volentarily opt in to it, especially when thats kinda the point of the service?

Fools (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280562)

How is this legal - is Google forcing people to use Gmail? I always assumed there are other players in the free online e-mail circuit.

Initial thoutghts. (4, Interesting)

vicviper (140480) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280564)

Time for google to move out of Cali.

Is this law necessary if they disclose such practices? Isn't it up to the consumer not to use the product?

Time for google not to offer gmail in cali.

Just knee-jerk thoughts after reading the article.

First, kill all the lawyers. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280565)

First, kill all the lawyers.

Wait a minute (1)

Blair16 (683764) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280568)

Why would Google do anything but search in real-time? There is no point in scanning ahead, since the difference in response time would be minimal. The only thing I could see impacting them would be the no records thing, since they won't be able to track users interests and such, which can be in turn used to attract advertisers.

Re:Wait a minute (1)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280722)

Scanning a mail as soon as it hits the google mail servers and adding some meta-data about what ads to display,
where to store this mail ( in case this is based on the ads-to-be-shown) etc. might be efficient

Anyway I haven't been part of the designers so i might be completely wrong

Okay, no gmail for California (4, Insightful)

jrockway (229604) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280574)

Google should just say that it's illegal to use their service in California. Eventually enough angry Californians will complain, and the law will go away.

But what's the point of a law? Nobody is forcing you to use gmail. If you're worried about privacy, don't use gmail. Use Hotmail, Yahoo!, Hushmail, .Mac, your ISP, your own server, etc, etc. It's called a free market...

Good thinking there, shooter. (1)

Skyshadow (508) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280608)

Disclaimer: I think it's a stupid law.

But if you seriously think that any American company is going to lock themselves out of the globe's 7th largest economy, you're kidding yourself.

IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT (4, Funny)

metalhed77 (250273) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280575)

IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT DON'T USE IT.

This isn't an OS, it's email. I'll start to worry the day google implements GMTP (google mail transport protocol) until then, as a californian, I call our state govt. a steaming pile of shit.

Good God (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280576)

How is this a democratic system? It's THEIR PROGRAM, not the governments.

once again (1)

Random Web Developer (776291) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280579)

another senator without a clue passing on a prefab amendment

Too bad we can't use Google to... (4, Funny)

overbyj (696078) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280580)

search the brains of the geniuses who are pushing this bill through. I sure would like to know what they think they are accomplishing by limiting something not widely available and something that people have to opt-in to.

Re:Too bad we can't use Google to... (4, Funny)

Carnildo (712617) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280675)

Too bad we can't use Google to search the brains of the geniuses who are pushing this bill through.

Don't you mean "search for"?

advanced search (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280584)


What if I want them to search my mail in advance?

Contact the NSA [nsa.gov] and ask for "Mr. Echelon".

Re:advanced search (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280734)

They have a kids page at nsa.gov. What's up with that?

Not exactly against Google (5, Insightful)

GreyyGuy (91753) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280585)

The bill, as I've read in other articles is agaisnt any service retaining information about the contents of people's emails. They can still scan it realtime and give ads based on keywords, but they can't store it in a database or share that information with other people.

It is a good thing, in my opinion, because you know as soon as Google announced they were going to do it and let people know about it, hundreds of others figured it would be a good idea to do it and not say anything and then sell email information to advertisers.

And Google approved the legistation as well. It is *NOT* a Bad Thing.

User Agreement..? (1)

dustinbarbour (721795) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280590)

It's a voluntary service. Just make sure users know about it before they signup to use the service. Then you're free from liability. Not too difficult. Or am I mistaken?

yet more proof (0, Flamebait)

falcon5768 (629591) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280591)

that California should be allowed to fall off the earth!

I mean seriously, you KNOW what your getting yourself into when you sign up, the company TELLS you FLAT OUT your mail is going to be scanned for ad placement, California has no right to say we we dont care its a intrusion even if the person agreed to be intruded on.

The fact that this is comming from a state that elected twice elected a actor as gov, and has tried to get rid of the master/slave lables yet also says people should have the right to decide what to put in their bodies (in regards to marajauna smoking) shouldnt come as unexpected....

Fucking stop all this pre-emptive shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280592)

Isn't there anybody else who sees that pre-emptiveness is seriously wrong.

Or should we have pre-emptive justice? Hell yes, we're all potential criminals and therefore we should be kept under 24h/7 days a week house arrest.

Think of the children!

California [sigh] (1)

the_rajah (749499) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280594)

So what happens when the servers are moved somewhere else? Give me a break. It's voluntary. Don't sign up if you don't like what they are doing..

If you are not a liberal when you are young then you have not heart. If you are not a conservative when you are old then you have no brains.? -Winston Churchill

reminds me of union negociation... (2, Funny)

Walrusss (750700) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280596)

It reminds me of some union negociation.

You put pressure on the boss now, making a strike to "prepare the negociations" even if they are not started yet.

*sigh*

Re:reminds me of union negociation... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280715)

negotiation

Nanny State (2, Insightful)

koniosis (657156) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280600)

Yeah, great, so people can't make their own minds up?!? If you want to have your e-mails scanned, use it, if you don't, then don't use it! Do they really think people are so stupid that they can't make up their minds for themselves!?!

Give me a break, this is just taking it too far, what next, making it illegal to eat McDonalds because it's bad for you?

Sounds like it already is (4, Insightful)

khendron (225184) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280601)

"The bill by Democratic state Sen. Liz Figueroa would require Gmail to work only in real-time and would bar the service from producing records.

The bill also would bar Gmail form collecting personal information from e-mails and giving any information to third parties. "


Doesn't Google state that GMail already works this way? So in effect they are legislating it to do only what it already does. Unless Google turns evil and wants to invade our privacy, they won't mind at all.

Ok, what are these people thinking? (1)

deanj (519759) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280609)

When I was able to get a GMail account, I knew full well that they would do this (the ads). I'm fine with that.

It's not like having a GMail account is a right or anything; If you don't want the ads, don't use GMail. Simple.

Similar legislations for spam filtering!?! (1)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280612)

How can one be sure that the spam filtering mechanisms do not save info about their mails??

Are there any similar legislations about the spam filtering done by all the email providers!?!?

Surprising, the Feds will be all over Gmail (3, Insightful)

treerex (743007) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280618)

GMail is John Ashcroft and John Poindexter's wet dream: billions of messages nicely indexed and ready for mining.

Fortunately experience shows that Google doesn't much care to help the USG.

Arnie (1)

oZZoZZ (627043) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280621)

Doesn't the govenator own some Google stock? I remember reading somewhere that he was an early investor... I'm sure he'll swing something to protect his investment.. he is a Rebuplican after all! :)

Not the government's job... (3, Insightful)

marderj (725013) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280622)

Where the hell does the Senate get off telling Google how to run their email service? This doesn't seem right. Not that I want Google harvesting my email for personal information they can use as they please, but it just doesn't seem like its the government's place to make that decision. This is something that should be decided in the free market. Don't like the terms of service? Then don't f-ing sign up. Anyways last time I checked, the Hotmail terms of service basically said that anything you send through Hotmail belongs to them. I'm sure there are similar provisions in the TOS for the others too. The article was a little light on details. Does this single out Google or does it apply to other providers as well?

Searches in Real Time? (1)

PetoskeyGuy (648788) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280623)

That would make it faster them my computer.

A little overkill as usual (1)

hurfy (735314) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280624)

Seems the obvious answer to alot of these types of things is making them CLEARLY tell people what they are doing to/with what info. DOnt read my mail without telling me. Dont install stuff without telling me. Dont send out info without telling me. Preferably telling me why in the process. Then i can tell em to take a hike. Personally i thought them adding ads from email might be amusing when most my mail is trying to sell me something in the first place. Next we need animated mail where the ads can duke it out...

I'm glad (4, Funny)

thebra (707939) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280625)

that they are going after google now that they have put a stop to SPAM , adware and spyware. The web will now be a safer place.

Face it! Google is not what it used to be. (1)

lyolyo (783274) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280657)

I can't believe I read posts about people defending Google when they are trying to read *your* email and send it to *3rd parties*. You say people don't have to accept it. How many people do read the privacy policy? And do you think Google will write in big red font WE ARE READING YOUR EMAIL AND SENDING IT TO ADVERTISERS! I don't think so. Google Inc. is becoming just another Yahoo, and it is really time for some people to wake up.

Why target Google? (1)

tkr2099 (656707) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280659)

It seems to me that it would make much more sense to go after things like spyware and spammers, instead of Google, which is one of the few companies that seems to be concerned with something more than profit.

Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280665)

They're going to prevent Google from collecting personal information, like names and addresses and email!

Waitaminute....

MSN, Yahoo! or AOL tie-ins? (1)

femtoguy (751223) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280666)

Has anybody looked into whether there is any money from competitors involved in this? It seems like MS has been gunning for Google for a while, and if GMail succeeds, it would be the end of Hotmail forever. There must be a money trail somewhere. Oh, and why is it that nobody cares about spyware which sends your browsing history to people without even telling you it is there, but this is so bad.

Re:MSN, Yahoo! or AOL tie-ins? (1)

tkr2099 (656707) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280701)

It certainly wouldn't be "the end of Hotmail forever." There are simply far too many 13 year olds that refuse to give up their hot_n_sexay_four_U@HOTmail.com accounts.

Pssst....Hey Cali (1)

flinxmeister (601654) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280676)

It's called a "plaintext protocol"....

California laws? (1)

Tailhook (98486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280677)

Someone help me here, I'm too lazy to look it up. Wouldn't this bill have to be signed by Gov. Ahhh-noold? He's probably looking forward to giving this joke a good, swift kick in the pants, unless he needs to buy off some members to get what he needs to fix the budget...

Why, do they do that? (1)

Pizentios (772582) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280683)

Why do goverenments make laws against things that in reality ether don't affect them, or they can't really control. For instants, the laws against mp3 trade etc... now this... The way things are headed, soon it'll be illegal to post your political opinion on the net if it says somthing that the party in power doesn't like. People have to realize that the more we use the internet the more and more other people are going to know more about our personal lives. I for one, don't really care if sombody knows what i write in my emails...or if i do, there are tools on the net to encript your messages. I am tired of hearing about how people walk around getting influenced by what the media/goverenment says....IT'S TIME TO MAKE YOUR OWN CONCLUTIONS ABOUT THE ISSUES...information is power. Arm yourself.

California is on crack (1)

cheeseSource (605209) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280688)

See how fast they made a move on google. Now compare that to their E-voting progress. To have or not have an audit trail, damn how simple is that.

Whatever happened to priorities...

An alternate law (1)

vijaya_chandra (618284) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280690)

You continue with ads, but
i) Give me 1 TB of space
ii) Send me $100 every month for watching the ads
iii) .
.
.
.
.

Email as a postcard (1)

Talking Toaster (695539) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280706)

It's been said before, but email is about as private as a postcard. Privacy is important but let's not kid ourselves. Until both sender and recepient are using encryption on their own PC (and assuming that their PC is not infected with spyware, or otherwise insecure) there is no privacy when it comes to email. The best we can hope for is relative anonymity. Restricting one end of the email trail will not give us privacy.

So, how are the laws these days when it comes to having a free or open source email client with built in, easy to use encryption? I don't know, I haven't looked into it lately. But assuming things haven't changed much in the last few years, if our politicians really want us to have privacy they should decriminalizing encryption for the masses.

People who know what they are doing can fairly easily set up our own email clients, but until it is trivial for everyone we correspond with it won't do much good. Unless maybe Google encrypted it for you, and both sender and receiver are using gmail.

Spam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280707)

One small Step for spam, one giant leap for spam kind, now doesnt the bill make anti-spam software illegal in california..way to go senetors..way to go

WTF (1)

zarthrag (650912) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280712)

I didn't RTFA, but this is insane. Pre-emptively limiting an email service's search facilities. For what reason? Privacy?

If that's the case, then I'm pissed. Where were the "pre-emptive privacy legislators" when Gator came along, or any other data mining company? I like to see some laws stopping windows from phoning home, or at least asking first. Ooooh, here's one: How about a law that will limit from being in the phonebook, until I OPT-IN?

Useful, probably not. But moreso than limiting pre-cached searches.

What if this were MS? (1)

NitsujTPU (19263) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280717)

Hold up...

So, it's ok for Google to, rather than even aggregating results, to search your email, profile you, and direct ads toward you?

I'm not saying that this is necessarily a bad thing, but I would imagine that if MS were to put features into Exchange that would send the results of the equivalent of a dirty word search back to them, then they were to target you with advertisements, /. would be thoroughly upbraided.

Wake up folks, California is protecting against something that /.ers typically don't like. The fact that Google is doing it makes it no more permissable.

Personally, I think that it's a-ok to target adds based on such results, but I would prefer that it be done on the spot, in real time, rather than have the results cached.

Ridiculous (1)

saddino (183491) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280718)

As many have mentioned, nobody is forcing anyone (including Californians) to use GMail.

If you live in California, I advise you to write the bill's sponsor, Liz Figueroa [ca.gov] and ask her to find something better to do with her time and your tax dollars. In case her page is Slashdotted you can always send her an email. [mailto]

Missing the point (4, Insightful)

AntigonusPiglet (744432) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280720)

Many people commenting on this issue say "If you don't want Google to read your mail, don't sign up." That assumes that the only person who has a potential privacy issue is the recipient of the e-mail. My problem is on the other end: when I SEND someone e-mail I don't want someone else to read it. Why should I compromise my privacy so you can get a bigger mailbox?

(Sigh) (1)

thewldisntenuff (778302) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280726)

Well, before we all start knocking politicans for being poltically and technically inept, let's at least give them some credit for trying (/ducks :) )

Seriously, if we /.-ers got together and found some sort of solid canidate for an office, we could have something very powerful. A politican that actually gives a sh!t about technology and the rights of the people online, etc.

We could give a government homepage for this canidate the real /. effect....SLASHDOT UNITE!

Already happening? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280729)

Doesn't server side SPAM filtering already require some reading of messages? How is Google reading a message to target adds any different than Yahoo, or my ISP, reading a message to decide if it's SPAM?

It's the Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280730)

Microsoft's Law.

So what? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280740)

So Google has to do this as the page/email loads instead of in advance... Who cares? All this means is Google will have to put more power behind the service, which Google can certainly afford.

People are screaming bloody murder, but this doesn't affect them, so they really should shove it. The only people here who have the right to complain about this bill is Google, who will have to spend more money to operate their service.

What!? (5, Interesting)

Neurotoxic666 (679255) | more than 10 years ago | (#9280741)

First, those who voted for that bill most probably can't even turn on a damn computer. Let alone use an email service. The story should end right here. But these technophobic fuckers actualy have some power over what Google can do.

Google is a private company and they offer a free -- FREE -- service to users who agree to some terms and conditions of use. These users will most likely be very happy to use this service.

Now can anyone tell me why should the govt even consider thinking about voting anything concerning Gmail!?

No one is FORCED to use it. It's not like a Govt agency decides to send you spam based on your credit report and your annual income... Google is private and the users are free to use it or not.

I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. I can't. Nothing justifies the intervention of the government in a free, web-based service. Nothing at all. Google does not hide anything and is not violating any law.

The only basis for the vote is that "Google is huge", or something like that. It's just one step away from voting a bill against, say, an automotive email newsletter that contains car ads; or any other free service on the web for that matter.

They just should not have any jurisdiction over the internet... Just screw them. Or better yet: patent the bill and sue them for copyright infringement. I just can't believe those daily stupidities....

what if (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#9280742)

it didnt matter, google has your data and they can scan it anytime they wanted. And real-time is the only way google works (I have never waited more than 1 second for a result from google).
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