by Susanne Posel
August 5, 2014

from OccupyCorporatism Website







The news that Google peeked into emails from John Henry Skillern and reported to law enforcement that he allegedly was receiving child porn has sparked conversations about whether or not tech corporations should snoop into our private emails looking for nefarious dealings and information about us.


Media outlets are reporting on the great service Google provided in monitoring and catching Skillern because now,

"the rest of us law-abiding citizens have nothing to fear".

Journalist Mark Rogowsky explains :

"Google has been scanning Gmail since its inception more than a decade ago, but the purposes have been very narrow: to filter out spam and to attempt to display targeted ads alongside the mail you're reading mostly.


At some point in the more recent past, it decided it could do more."



Microsoft's "Scroogled" Gmail





Quietly, Google has been linked up to "law enforcement network[s]" with the goal of monitoring emails for illegal content.


In another media report Google's relationship with law enforcement was explained:

"Technology giant Google has developed state of the art software which proactively scours hundreds of millions of email accounts for images of child abuse.


The breakthrough means pedophiles around the world will no longer be able to store and send vile images via email without the risk of their crimes becoming known to the authorities.


Details of the software emerged after a 41-year-old convicted sex offender was arrested in Texas for possession of child abuse images."

The article continues:

"Police in the United States revealed that Google's sophisticated search system had identified suspect material in an email sent by a man in Houston.


Child protection experts were automatically tipped off and were then able to alert the police, who swooped after requesting the user's personal information from Google."



Gmail busts child predator John Henry Skillern

...for private email photos





According to John Simpson, privacy project director for Consumer Watchdog:

"Google has finally admitted they don't respect privacy. People should take them at their word; if you care about your email correspondents' privacy, don't use Gmail."

CWD uncovered court documents that reveal Google believes their 425 million users do not have a "reasonable expectation" to privacy with regard to emails sent and received through their Gmail accounts.





According to the brief filed by Google:

"Just as a sender of a letter to a business colleague cannot be surprised that the recipient's assistant opens the letter, people who use web-based email today cannot be surprised if their emails are processed by the recipient's [email provider] in the course of delivery.


Indeed, 'a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties'."

Simpson remarked:

"Google's brief uses a wrong-headed analogy; sending an email is like giving a letter to the Post Office. I expect the Post Office to deliver the letter based on the address written on the envelope. I don't expect the mail carrier to open my letter and read it.


Similarly when I send an email, I expect it to be delivered to the intended recipient with a Gmail account based on the email address; why would I expect its content will be intercepted by Google and read?"

Attorneys for Google claimed that,

"too little is asserted in the complaint about the particular relationship between the parties, and the particular circumstances of the [communications at issue], to lead to the plausible conclusion that an objectively reasonable expectation of confidentiality would have attended such a communication."

In 2013 it was revealed that while the National Security Agency (NSA) used Google to assist them in spying on Americans, Google used their DoubleClick adverts so they were able to track users while claiming that they,

"work hard to get privacy right... and have taken steps to remove the ad cookies, which collected no personal information, from Apple's browsers. We're pleased to have worked with the state attorneys general to reach this agreement."

By planting cookies into user's computers, Google was about to extract data on search engine entries over 36 states, including the District of Columbia.


Apple's Safari was utilized as Google circumvented default privacy settings to watch and record keyword searches through lying to their customers.


To help out law enforcement, specifically the New York Police Department (NYPD) Google Glass has been used in testing applications to assist officers in finding "bad guys".


The anonymous source stated:

"It's in the early stages. A handful of people are testing it out. If it works, it could be very beneficial for a cop on patrol who walks into a building with these glasses on. It would be like the Terminator.


You walk past somebody and you get his pedigree info if he's wanted for a warrant right on your eye screen. You can identify the bad guys immediately within seconds."

Another media outlet claims to have received information from an anonymous "ranking New York City law enforcement official" that told them:

"We signed up, got a few pairs of the Google glasses, and we're trying them out, seeing if they have any value in investigations, mostly for patrol purposes. We're looking at them, you know, seeing how they work."

CopTrax, a surveillance tech corporation, has reported to have worked with law enforcement on a,

"new ground-breaking in-car video system from Stalker, in conjunction with the Byron, Ga., Police Department, performed the first successful field trail of Google Glass by law enforcement officials."

According to CopTrax, Operation Police Officer (OPO) was a beta-testing trial wherein,

"actual law enforcement situations and environments" were predisposed to participants in order "to test Glass's compatibility with CopTrax's innovative real-time video streaming, high-resolution video capture and cloud storage, and live GPS tracking from any Internet-connected computer."

The OPO trial also evaluated,

"the increased situational awareness and capture of high-quality audio and video evidence from the officer's perspective."

The activities tested by OPO included:

  • Patrol with Radar and Laser

    Each of the officers participated in vehicle patrol using the Google Glass device running with the CopTrax application.


  • Traffic Stop

    Both officers performed several traffic stops while using the Google Glass device running with the CopTrax application.


  • Arrest

    Officers performed one arrest while using the Google Glass device running the CopTrax app.


  • Firing Service Weapons

    Both officers fired their service pistols and patrol rifles to check video stability, device retention, and effects of recoil.