Sunday, September 27, 2009

Google Ordered to Cancel User's Gmail Account

Tags: google

In my opinion, Google has the right to deactivate Gmail accounts for whatever reasons they like. It's a free country and with it being their service, Google can choose to alienate users by deactivating accounts if it so chooses. However, when a court orders Google to not only deactivate a user's account but to also disclose that user's information when the user has broken no laws whatsoever, well, then we've got a problem on our hands.

The user in question did nothing except receive an email that was accidentally sent to him. Sure, that email contained some highly sensitive financial documents, but it was the sender's fault not the recipient.

There's really not too much else to say about this. Anybody with any grasp of common sense should be able to see the huge problems with this court ruling. Basically, I could send some important documents to any Web account and get that account deactivated and the personal details revealed to me. That could include not only email accounts, but social networking accounts like Facebook and Myspace (they have their own messaging systems that can send and receive so-called "sensitive information").

Let's hope some sort of appeal will overturn this ugly ruling. Let's also wish for District Court Judge James Ware to find himself quickly out of work due to his lack of sanity in his rulings.

Friday, September 25, 2009

SOTW: Directory Blog

Tags: seo, spam

Hello there. I have been on your website a fair bit recently and thought I would email to let you know how much I find it highly entertaining and well presented. I also find some of the blog posts are very well written and quite interesting as well as useful. What I was wondering was, if I and my company would be able to buy a link on your site? We would offer yourselves a very fair price to you for a month's worth. Our sites are very relevant to your site; Bingo, Poker, Casino...etc... I wish to hear from you whatever your decision maybe. Hopefully speak to you soon and keep up the fantastic work of your blog!

[name removed]
[company removed]
Contact Me On: [removed]

When looking at the above email, you may not think it worthy of Spam of the Week. It seems fairly harmless - a SEO company is trying to buy advertising on one of my sites to help improve the rankings of one of their clients' sites. Seems good right? Well, not when you take into consideration that the site they are trying to buy advertising on is a Web directory that offers free links with no strings attached (though they do need to be approved). Also throw in the fact that they say they like my "blog" when (as I just mentioned) the site was not a blog but a directory. The guy even says the "blog posts are very well written and quite interesting as well as useful". Quite a feat for a directory with no blog posts to be found.

Monday, September 21, 2009

FCC Chairman Outlines Stance on Net Neutrality

Tags: fcc, net neutrality

A few weeks ago the FCC came out and declared that they would be supporting the idea of net neutrality. At the time, there weren't any real specifics talked about so many were skeptical of any action being taken.

While no direct action has been taken, the FCC Chairman has published a prepared statement that contains a few details on the finer points of the FCC's stance on net neutrality. It's a rather long statement, but there are some pieces that should be welcomed by proponents of net neutrality.
continue reading...

Friday, September 18, 2009

SOTW: Creating a Love Tornado

Tags: spam

This week's spam is like most spam these days in that it's trying to promote some sort of sex-related product. I just couldn't help but giggle when I read the subject line "Create a Love Tornado". Luckily for me, I don't think leather clothes and special toys will ever stop arousing me... oh wait... perhaps I've said too much.

Subject: Create a Love Tornado
If leather clothes and special toys don't arouse you no more, V-booster is here to help your passion.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Linking Not Libelous Says Canadian Court

Tags: canada, defamation

Sadly, courts generally seem out of touch when it comes to how to apply the law to the internet. In a rare win for common sense, a Canadian court has declared that it's not libelous to link to defamatory content. While it is disturbing that the decision was not unanimous, it's still an important decision that should help protect websites from rediculous lawsuits in the future.

I completely agree that while free speech needs to remain a protected right, most forms of defamation should not be tolerated. With that said, a person who links to another site that is the source of the defamation, shouldn't be held responsible for the words on the linked page. If the Canadian court ruled that such hyperlinking could be consider libel, it'd open some potentially dangerous floodgates. Imagine all the sites (such as this) that have contextual based advertising on it. Contextual ads are dynamically generated and can be linking to any number of websites at any given time. If a site owner could be held accountable for what those ads linked to, it could very well cripple that form of advertising - a form of advertising many websites survive on.

In the end common sense prevailed and we can all hope for continued rational thinking in the various courts of the world.