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NSA, Big Brother, Russia, Sergey Brin with Google Glasses, Gmail, body snatcher pod, Columbia.

Google: Invasion of the Email Snatchers



By Duane Thresher, Ph.D.          May 18, 2019

I have been at four American universities since I graduated from high school as valedictorian: MIT, the University of Arizona, Columbia University, and the University of Alaska.

Three of these four have surrendered their email systems to Google. That means that the university email accounts of faculty, staff, students, and alumni are owned by Google -- they are Google Mail (Gmail) accounts just like anyone can get, with the simple exception that the associated email address is not @Gmail.com but @SpecificUniversity.edu.

My fraction of universities, three out of four, is about what Google itself brags about taking over.

Why would universities, who are so concerned about privacy (politically-correct leftist liberals especially don't like having their emails read), if not free speech, and corporations taking over the world, invite an NSA-colluding mega-corporation to take over their primary means of communication?

Because they are IT incompetent and don't care. Instead of making an effort to become IT competent, which should be easy at a university, they lazily, foolishly, and hypocritically hand over their email to Google.

I was at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF; working as a network engineer) before, during, and after they surrendered their email to Google. Admittedly, UAF's email before Gmail was incompetent. Unlike most now-authoritarian universities, UAF actually had a vote on whether to surrender their email to Google. I thought they should just try to become IT competent so voted against it but the majority just wanted to cave in and let Google have their email.

Gmail might have been more IT competent, but nowhere near what people are led to believe. In fact, the first big problem I ever had with UAF email was well after it became Gmail.

Most importantly, this marginal IT competency comes at the cost of your privacy (and despite Google's motto "Don't be evil").

First, Gmail was invented so that Google could read your email. Yes, you read that right and it's absolutely true. Google would read your email so that it could target ads at you (it was all in the deal agreement you signed without even looking at). This is why Google practically forces you to keep your email on their email servers, instead of downloading it to your computer and removing it from their servers. Technically speaking, this means they force you to use IMAP instead of POP. You can use POP but it's still difficult to set it to delete your emails after you've downloaded them. In fact, you still have to go online and manually delete your sent emails or they stay on Google's servers forever.

Reading people's email as a standard business practice is outrageous. Even Microsoft -- itself guilty of extreme monopolistic business practices -- ridiculed Google about this in its now famous commercials. Google's defense of this outrageous practice was that only computers read your email, not people. This of course is nonsense since artificial intelligence is nonsense (see Artificial Intelligence: Savior, Antichrist, or Hyperbole?) and people still have to program these computers. Further, there have been documented cases of Google employees reading others' Gmail; old girlfriends, etc. Moreover, Google consists of rabidly politically-correct leftist liberals and is nowhere near above violating privacy to force that on everyone.

During the 2012 Presidential Election I used my University of Alaska Gmail account to receive Republican email ads and most of them ended up in the Gmail spam folder no matter what I did, like repeatedly declaring them Not Spam. This didn't happen to unsolicited Democratic email ads. The Gmail spam folder is only accessible online since Gmail is webmail. Like many people, I used a non-webmail email client on my computer and usually didn't go online often to look in the Gmail webmail spam folder. Further, uncharacteristically, emails in the spam folder are deleted after 30 days.

At Columbia University, where I got a PhD in a supercomputing field, I used my Gmail account to send out email ads about my politically-incorrect articles on RealClimatologists.org. These were censored by Google; see Google, Columbia, NASA, Germany Censor Real Climatologists' Emails.

Even while Google is rabidly politically-correct leftist liberals, it is well-documented -- from the National Security Agency (NSA) hacking by Edward Snowden -- that they collude with the NSA to allow the NSA to read people's Gmail. Supposedly, only foreigners' Gmail is read, since it is illegal for the NSA to read Americans' email without a court order. However, the NSA has its own secret court, a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court, that is literally just a rubber stamp court -- the NSA just fills out an online form, more of a notification than asking for permission, and if they forget, no problem. Further, if an American is emailing with a foreigner, and the NSA is reading the foreigner's Gmail, then they get to read the American's Gmail without a court order. This is particularly useful at American universities, which have so many foreign students, emailing mostly Americans.

Google could not be more like Big Brother from George Orwell's 1984, constantly violating the privacy of everyone. Well, maybe they could if they invented the observe-and-record-everyone Google Glasses. Oh wait, they did do that too.

Thanks in large part to Google, everybody knows about the alleged Russian influence on the election of President Trump. But do you know about the very real influence Russia has on Google?

One of the two founders of Google was Sergey Brin. He was born and raised in Soviet Russia until he was six, when he came to the United States. Most religions and ideologies know that if they can get to people when they are young, before age seven the Catholic Church says, then they will have them as followers for life.

Totalitarian Soviet Russia obviously had an effect on Brin and thus Google. Brin himself admits it did (although he might, disingenuously, argue over exactly what effect it had). Brin thinks of totalitarian tactics, like allowing no privacy, as perfectly normal.

Soviet Russia was George Orwell's model for 1984 and its Big Brother. Big Brother does not have to be a government, it could be a corporation like Google, as many, particularly leftist liberals, always feared. They don't mind Google controlling their communication now because Google seems to be on their side but things can change fast. Leftists have a habit of eating their own (the first purges are always of other founding leftists).

Soviet Russia was also the inspiration for the repeatedly-remade still-relevant Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with its insidious pods that take you over while you are sleeping.

Interestingly, Brin's father, Mikhail Brin, who graduated from Moscow State University but then fled Soviet Russia due to a lack of freedom (privacy is a freedom), is a professor at the University of Maryland, which uses Gmail. I wonder how he feels about this.

Not only universities but other organizations and millions of individuals have surrendered their email to Google, some, particularly in government, illegally using Gmail accounts instead of their official organization email accounts. Google has even been discussed as a monopoly that should be regulated like a utility or broken up; more like the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) or the old AT&T really. The USPS and the old AT&T were each regulated because they controlled one of the primary means of communication. How is Google any different?

You might have guessed by now which of my universities was not taken over by Google: MIT, #1 in the world in computer science (email is a program). I was Course 6, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, at MIT myself.

This is surprisingly the case even though MIT takes millions from Google for research and the MIT Corporation, which runs MIT, has Google employees as members: This is also surprisingly the case because MIT's email is IT incompetent, as I can attest to from many bad experiences with it. Most recently, MIT's email system was being hacked, risking email privacy, and all they could think to do was run emails through Microsoft's spam filter, both received and, very unusually, sent emails. This resulted in most emails being quarantined and delayed for at least a day. After months of complaints they finally stopped doing this. No word as to whether the hackers were successful ... and there never will be.

You would think that MIT would have its own computer scientists, or at least their students, operate their email system. Nope. They diversity hire non-MIT IT incompetent politically correct leftist liberals to do it. In charge of MIT alumni email is Christine Tempesta, MIT Alumni Association Executive Director of Information Systems. Tempesta is neither an MIT alum nor does she have an IT education -- she has a BA in English and literature from an obscure second-rate university! While the email system is going to hell, she spends her time distributing politically-correct leftist liberal propaganda in the name of MIT's alumni.

Actually, all this isn't that surprising. MIT just doesn't care anymore about IT excellence (they did when I went there). These days they are far more interested in spreading politically-correct leftist liberal propaganda than excellence in IT. This is because MIT's diversity-hire president, Rafael Reif, is a non-MIT-alum who was born, raised, and educated in Venezuela so is a lifelong follower of rabid communist Hugo Chavez. Sound familiar? See Sergey Brin above.

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