People are finally beginning to understand the issues I’ve been tightening my tinfoil hat over for years now. Refreshing.
Where we go from here, is a choice I leave to you.
Google’s customers should be free to vote with their feet (or their data), and to use services that offer them the greatest degree of privacy protection, both via technology and the law. Google’s total failure to be transparent on this issue robs its customers of the ability to take reasonable steps to protect their own communications from warrantless government surveillance.
Finally, while Google’s lawyers hid behind the non-answer provided by their PR team, Google’s competitors were far more transparent. Twitter and Facebook both offer some functionality to their mobile users via SMS, including the ability to send private messages to their friends. In response to queries from me, both Twitter and Facebook confirmed that the companies treat communications metadata the same regardless of whether users’ messages are transmitted to the companies’ servers via SMS or the internet. No court order? No metadata. Not only have these companies apparently adopted a more pro-privacy reading of the law than Google, but they’re also willing to talk about it.