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Google Communications Privacy The Courts Your Rights Online

Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails 346

rudy_wayne (414635) writes A Goldman Sachs contractor was testing internal changes made to Goldman Sachs system and prepared a report with sensitive client information, including details on brokerage accounts. The report was accidentally e-mailed to a '' address rather than the correct '' address. Google told Goldman Sachs on June 26 that it couldn't just reach into Gmail and delete the e-mail without a court order. Goldman Sachs filed with the New York Supreme Court, requesting "emergency relief" to avoid a privacy violation and "avoid the risk of unnecessary reputational damage to Goldman Sachs."
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Goldman Sachs Demands Google Unsend One of Its E-mails

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  • by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:34AM (#47375557) Journal
    ...companies in the world.

    This is a test case for them, it's all about control and it's all about the money.

    Do you guys remember this: "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes the laws."?
    Well, you better remember it - and understand what it means, because your FREEDOM is at stake!

    Cryptic to you?
  • How the fuck? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:52AM (#47375701)

    How the fuck did they reach anyone at Google to get that response?!

  • Re:why? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Roadmaster ( 96317 ) <roadmr@tomechang ... m ['ana' in gap]> on Thursday July 03, 2014 @09:54AM (#47375733) Homepage Journal

    Not an entirely accurate analogy. You own the house (and even if you didn't, the *mailbox* from which you retrieved the letter is distinct from the dwelling where you're likely to store it afterwards).

    In gmail's case, google *owns* everything, and they just let you use the storage and mailbox assigned to you. So given a court order, they could remove the email without technically accessing anything that's actually yours.

    Now, if the recipient makes a local copy, then your "break into my house" analogy would be more accurate, applying to the copy in the recipient's system.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 03, 2014 @10:12AM (#47375917)

    Everyone makes mistakes. I understand that. I make mistakes too.

    But here's what I don't get. I am sending an email to and accidentally type But I also I just happen to have's PGP key and a sufficient trust path to know the key is correct, for the confidential information in question? That's the part I simply don't believe. All of Goldman Sachs' protestations that the sender just happened to also know and that they key was verified, ring hollow.

    Of course, the silliness here, is that Goldman Sachs isn't really saying that happened. I'm totally making up the bullshit about their "protestations." And that is the problem, because if the information is confidential and if this is important enough to go to court over (and maybe it really is), then their routine security practices are a joke and they should have a reputation for having complete disregard for protecting confidential information. They are telling the public that they can't be trusted. So, everyone: listen to them.

  • by fustakrakich ( 1673220 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @10:18AM (#47375963) Journal

    You get what you pay for.

    Yes, Goldman Sachs bought themselves a nice compliant government. I would say they got a bargain.

  • by Somebody Is Using My ( 985418 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @10:21AM (#47375995) Homepage

    As disturbing is that the threat of "reputational damage" is enough to get a court on your side.

    The United States government should not be helping people or business protect their reputation from their own mistakes. It opens a floodgate to potential abuses. This request should have been laughed out of court. "You screwed up, bub; you deal with the consequences."

    I can see this ruling being used as a precedent in many future law cases.

  • Unsending E-mail (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DERoss ( 1919496 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @10:53AM (#47376307)

    The ancient Roman Horace (65-8 bce) said: "Once a word has been allowed to escape, it cannot be recalled."

    More recently, Omar, the Tentmaker (died ca 1123 ce) said:
    "The moving finger writes; and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all your Piety or Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all your Tears wash out a Word of it."

  • Re:why? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Thursday July 03, 2014 @11:48AM (#47376933)

    Maybe. The GP raises an interesting point though.
    Is the "address" ( the same as its user (Mike Somehow who uses the previously mentioned e-mail address)?
    Real life example: I rent an apartment which was previously occupied by a foreign citizen. I receive snail mail addressed to:
    - The owner
    - Previous renter
    - Me
    - My wife
    - Unspecified recipient (SPAM)
    - Others (named people who don't live at my address).

    I am legally entitled to open mail addressed to me and "unspecified recipient". Now, in case of an e-mail address, the same could apply. The actual recipient might not be the one who "lives" there, and there might be elements that specifically mention a different recipient than me. Since an e-mail is a non-physical item, I can't really "return without opening" but I could destroy it (after or instead of reading its contents).

    Is this covered by the GMail EULA? I confess I've never read the whole damn thing.

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