Here are a few samples from the comments section of a story about this:
"Google has no right to examine your email, no more than the Post Office has the right to open and examine your letters."
"Despite the laudable outcome of their illegal act, they should be charged for this and people should be sent to jail."
"I think the children have far more to fear growing up in a police state with no privacy, total surveillance, and all powerful federal government than they do from some guy jerking off in his basement."
I am a strong believer in libertarian principles. I believe in personal autonomy, freedom of choice and limited government interference. So I am not happy about Google or anyone invading my privacy. And granted, a lot of the comments written at the end of articles are to be taken with a grain of salt. Many of the negative comments are from a bunch of wackos that hide behind their computers and just criticize anything and everything.
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I am not interested in protecting the rights of villains like pedophiles, terrorists and defenders of Justin Bieber. They should be outed to the world. But here are some basic truths about why we shouldn't get so upset about this:
Google is free. What do you expect for free? Google tells you of their privacy rules when you sign up for their FREE service. The company admits it scans your email for key words. (Look that's on you if you clicked "I agree" without reading the fine print.) They give you a free service and then use the free information you give them to collect personal information on you. Then try and profit off this information with targeted ads. How else do you expect them to make money?
It seems that we want Google to provide us a free service, use the technology they built and then demand they don't use our stored information.
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I informally asked the question about Google privacy to a bunch of people. Almost everyone said Google should keep their emails private. Then I asked the same people if Google charged $1.99 a month to keep it private would you pay? And the answer was a resounding "No, I wouldn't pay the extra money." So for less than $24 a year it isn't that important to keep private. Which brings me to my next point.
Nobody really cares. The irony is the people that care most about their privacy, are the people that have the emails that are the most uninteresting. Let's face it. Nobody really cares about reading your email except for companies trying to sell you stuff. Look, I don't want Google reading my secret recipe for spaghetti and meatballs. I don't want the NSA reading my creepy stalker text messages to that red headed cashier at Target. But get over yourselves! You aren't important enough to be watched. If you are that important, then take the necessary steps to protect yourself.