Odd Privacy Comments From Google’s Fleischer

Get the WebProNews Newsletter:

[ Search]

The company’s global privacy counsel had some critical things to say about proposed Swedish wiretapping legislation, but picked a strange example when comparing Sweden to other countries.

Odd Privacy Comments From Google's Fleischer
Odd Privacy Comments From Google’s Fleischer

Peter Fleischer became the latest to speak out about Sweden’s proposed law. If it takes effect, the government will be able legally to monitor email and telephone traffic going in and out of Sweden.

A Swedish English-language publication, The Local, cited Fleischer’s remarks from a Tuesday visit to the country:

"We have contacted Swedish authorities to give our view of the proposal and we have made it clear that we will never place any servers inside Sweden’s borders if the proposal goes through," Fleischer told Internet World. "We simply cannot compromise our users’ integrity by allowing Swedish authorities access to data that may not even concern Swedish activity," said Fleischer. "The proposal stems from a tradition begun by Saudi Arabia and China and simply has no place in a western democracy," he said.

That last comment caught our attention. We’re sure Fleischer is a busy guy, but he had to see the memo about Google willingly entering China and acceding to government censorship.

Then there is the matter of similar spying taking place much closer to Google’s Mountain View home. As many in the tech industry and elsewhere have noted, AT&T has been accused by the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a former AT&T employee of doing what Sweden proposes.

Maybe we just missed the news that Fleischer or someone at Google has filed an amicus brief in the EFF case. If they haven’t, Fleischer might want to look into what this western democracy in America has been accused of doing to US citizens on a massive scale.

Odd Privacy Comments From Google’s Fleischer
Top Rated White Papers and Resources
  • William

    The statement makes sense, when you consider Google operates its services / websites for China and under chinese rules, but doesn’t place it’s servers for Gmail and other user services in China. That way the government can’t force them to turn over user data, like they did with other companies (Yahoo).

    Given Sweden’s proposed law, it sounds like Google would probably follow a similar policy: operate its websites and services for Sweden, but from servers located outside the country. As a user, this means I don’t have to worry about the Swedish government having unlimited access to all of my Google documents and history, unless I’m sending them to or from someone in Sweden. For sweden, it means that as Google spends millions (billions?) on its computer datacenters, they won’t see any of that investment money.

    • David A. Utter

      I’m inclined to think China takes a peek at traffic going through its Great Firewall. I’d be astonished to learn otherwise.

      I just don’t get Google slamming Sweden for proposing to do what China and Saudi Arabia very likely do actively, and AT&T has been accused of doing here, while not commenting on China or the US situations.

  • Butte Guy 1991

    So, what else is new? He speaks with forked tongue, just like the guys in the White House.

  • Join for Access to Our Exclusive Web Tools
  • Sidebar Top
  • Sidebar Middle
  • Sign Up For The Free Newsletter
  • Sidebar Bottom