Google handing over a blogger’s IP
According to several Israeli newspapers google has exposed the IP address of a blogger that was using the “blogger” service.
You might think he was posting instructions on how to prepare a nuclear bomb or the secret Coca Cola formula. It’s much much worse. He was defaming officials in the “Sha’arei Tikva” municipality, which most Israelis can’t even place on a map, and needless to say have little to no interest on the intrigues and political wars there.
My point is, there is no benefit to anyone for exposing the blogger’s IP except to let these officials take him to court, and while google gave a weak legal fight, the decision was reached by out of court settlement, which means they didn’t even try to go the distance in order to block this request.
I think the main issue is not the blogger’s right for anonymity; it’s more about google’s unclear policy on what they do with the information they have. We know google save search data. We know that they have access to deleted emails on gmail (for who knows how long). We don’t know what they do on google talk, but we can guess. What we already know is scary; the fact that we don’t know the rest is even scarier.
It’s clear to everyone that google has information about us and our private life more than any other Internet entity (we had a securitoon about it a while back). Now it’s clear they are playing loose cannon with that information.
Update: Someone identifying herself as “google employee” writes in the talkback comments to the article that google only handed the IP, but the ISP gave the complete identifying information from that IP, and that the press’s picking on google is unjustified. If that google worker is reading this, feel free to email me your version of the story and it will be posted here anonymously (or just leave a comment below).