Google’s Hypocrisy Soars To New Heights

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Google's hypocrisy reached new heights in the latest filing by its attorneys in a class action suit in which the Internet giant is charged with violating wiretap laws when it reads the contents of email messages on its Gmail service.

You'll recall that twenty-six media companies and journalism professional organizations including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The McClatchy Company, Reuters, and the California Publishers Association have filed a motion to intervene in the case and oppose Google's request to seal key the documents in the case.

As I noted when the media organizations filed their request, Google is in the business of gathering data and making it public, often when people want to keep it private.  Indeed, the company puts it this way: "Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful."  The exception, I noted, is when the information is about Google itself, which demonstrates hypocrisy at the company's core.

Federal Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose has yet to rule on the motion from the media groups.

Google's latest court filing takes things to a new level even for the Internet giant.  In a brief opposing the media group's request Google argued:

"To the contrary, as the Court is aware, the parties agreed to proceed with the class certification hearing in this case without any restriction on the use of confidential information. Throughout the course of the two-hour argument, Plaintiffs had every opportunity to present their class certification theories as they saw fit, with no limitations or restrictions on the scope of information that they could discuss. The Media Intervenors cannot claim that Google’s sealing requests will somehow impede their ability to understand and report on the class certification issues in this case, when there has already been a fully public airing of the issues raised by plaintiffs’ motion for class certification."

You'll never guess what Google filed yesterday. It's a "Notice of Intent to Request Redaction of Transcript of Class Certification Hearing." Who would have thought?

John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson
John M. Simpson is an American consumer rights advocate and former journalist. Since 2005, he has worked for Consumer Watchdog, a nonpartisan nonprofit public interest group, as the lead researcher on Inside Google, the group's effort to educate the public about Google's dominance over the internet and the need for greater online privacy.

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