Odd Privacy Comments From Google’s Fleischer

    May 30, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

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.