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When it comes to search technology, Brin and Page are OK. When it comes to marketing, Brin and Page are excellent. [And now they have Eric Schmidt to turn them into billionaires. Woo-hoo.]

But when it comes to privacy and security, Brin and Page don't have a clue. Worse: they don't care.

As one prophet expressed it: 'there are thousands of PhDs working at Google to make 1984 a reality'.

Google's sole aim is to amass as much information as possible about everything possible. They're after 'world domination'; they don't understand that you may have concerns and they don't care about you anyway.

For over two years Google had a 'dead letter box' for security advisories. This means that whilst they ostensibly welcomed information and advice about potential privacy and security leaks they in fact destroyed all incoming mail without even bothering to read it.

Over two years.

Such is the company you want to trust with your privacy - with your safety.

Google too often give the game away by not remembering that their perception of privacy might not be yours. They openly tell you they're going to scan and store information about your personal mail - that's how clueless they are. For not only is this a grave privacy threat but also: they either don't recognise it as such or don't give a damn.

People sign up for Gmail because it's cool. Because Google conducted a clever campaign to stir up interest: a beta programme by invitation only. Like the queue outside a fashionable nightclub, it only serves to make people want it more. And that's what they have today as more and more people - now that Gmail is finally out of 'beta' after years of being in production - clamour to get their accounts.

Any webmail provider may sell you out at any time but most are smart enough to know you don't exactly go broadcasting the fact. Brin and Page don't even see this. They float on their own cloud where the money flows. They're the new Microsoft.

The danger can't be dismissed simply because Brin and Page insist they're not going to do evil. Privacy is not about ensuring data is not abused - privacy is about the struggle to make sure data is not available at all.

History is littered with stories of do-gooders who guaranteed they would not do anything untoward with data they had no right to - only to find other powers took over, usurped their data, and did all the things people were afraid would happen.

Look no further than Anne Frank for a shining - a nightmarish - example. The Dutch authorities conducted a census asking for ethnic affiliation; the Dutch people rose in protest; the authorities assured the people they would never think of doing any kind of untoward data mining with the census results. And they didn't.

But then the following morning the Nazis walked in.

Think about it. And remember: it's not about the reliability of the powers that be to not abuse the data they should never have been given - it's about the data never being out there in the first place.

Information is power - more so today than ever before. And people are greedy for power. If the data is there someone is going to try to steal it.

Here are several links to more information about Google and Gmail. DO THE RESEARCH. For all the Gmail fanboys have as an argument is that they think Gmail is cool - in other words they're the ultimate suckers: Google's kindergarten marketing scheme worked on them brilliantly.

DO THE RESEARCH.

Google Search: Gmail Sucks
Google Search: Gmail Dangerous
Privacy Rights: Open Letter to Google
Edward Hasbrouck: Google's Gmail Tempting But Dangerous

Rixstep accept correspondence from Gmail but discourage its use and never reply to a Gmail or other webmail account where data mining is used openly.

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