Press suckered by anti-Google group’s bogus claim that Gmail users can’t expect privacy

TechDirt: Okay, so as a bunch of folks have been sending over today, there’s been a bit of a furor over a press release pushed out by Consumer Watchdog, a hilariously ridiculous group that has decided that Google is 100% pure evil. The “story” claims that Google has admitted in court that there is no expectation of privacy over Gmail. This is not actually true — but we’ll get to that. This story is a bit complex because the claims in most of the news coverage about this are simply wrong — but I still think Google made a big mistake in making this particular filing. So, first, let’s explain why the coverage is completely bogus trumped up bullshit from Consumer Watchdog, and then we’ll explain why Google still shouldn’t have made this filing.

First off, you may recall Consumer Watchdog from previous stunts such as a putting together a hilariously misleading and almost 100% factually inaccurate video portrayal of Eric Schmidt, which was all really part of an effort to sell more copies of its founder’s book (something the group flat out admitted to us in an email). They’re not a consumer watchdog site — they’re a group that makes completely hogwash claims to try to generate attention on a campaign to attack Google.

The press release from Consumer Watchdog fits along its typical approach to these things: take something totally out of context, put some hysterical and inaccurate phrasing around it, dump an attention-grabbing headline on it and send it off to the press. In this case, it claimed that Google had said in a court filing that you have no expectation of privacy with Gmail. [Continue reading…]

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