Google To Begin Alerting Users if Gmail Account is Targeted by Government

March 28, 2016   |   Clarice Palmer

Clarice Palmer
March 28, 2016

(ANTIMEDIA) As privacy advocates celebrate the FBI’s decision to stop harassing Apple over the San Bernardino shooter’s encrypted iPhone, other tech giants seem to have finally noticed that what consumers want is privacy. But for privacy to prevail, the government must stop snooping. With that idea in mind, Google decided to change how the game is played.

In an official Google blog update detailing new security measures for Gmail, the tech giant announced it would begin alerting consumers whenever the firm detects an account is being targeted — or rather, hacked — by government agencies or their proxies. While the company believes less than 0.1 percent of Gmail users will receive this type of warning, the idea that a tech giant is going to these lengths to give users peace of mind and privacy should give advocacy groups across the country reason to continue celebrating.

Google opened its official statement by announcing the company has a “variety of new protections” in store “that will help keep Gmail users even safer.” The idea, Google added, is to “promote email security best practices across the Internet as a whole.” As one of these efforts, Google announced improvements to its “state-sponsored attack warnings,” a system that has been in place since 2012, when Google began warning Gmail users when their accounts were being targeted by attackers tied to the government.

While these “warnings are rare,” Google noted, “we’re launching a new, full-page warning with instructions about how these users can stay safe.”  The blog pointed out that “the users that receive these warnings are often activists, journalists, and policy-makers taking bold stands around the world.”

Enhancing its warning system is not the only thing Google is doing to keep users safe. According to the tech giant, its “safe browsing” notifications will also be expanded to warn users beforehand that a link they are about to open appears suspicious.

Google will also improve its email encryption securities by partnering with Comcast, Yahoo, and Microsoft.

From BGR:

Google wants to further improve email encryption, and the company partnered up with Comcast, Microsoft and Yahoo to submit a draft IETF [Internet Engineering Task Force] specification for ‘SMTP Strict Transport Security.’ Essentially, Google and its partners want to make sure that encrypted email stays encrypted along its entire path from sender to recipient.

This idea was originally explored by Google on Safer Internet Day, the day the California company introduced a new tool giving Gmail users a visual warning whenever they receive a message that hasn’t been delivered using encryption. The warning is also displayed whenever a user is about to send an email to an account whose email service provider doesn’t support TLS encryption.

While this step had a positive effect, as Google reported on its blog announcement, the company decided to go even further by partnering with other companies in order to develop a new IETF specification standard. This is intended to help companies “ensure that mail will only be delivered through encrypted channels, and that any encryption failures should be reported for further analysis, helping shine the spotlight on any malfeasance occurring around the Internet.”

The move was Google’s response to research carried out by its researchers, along with the University of Michigan and University of Illinois. According to researchers’ findings, “misconfigured or malicious parts of the Internet can still tamper with email encryption.” That created the necessity for further action in order to protect Gmail users.


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Author: Clarice Palmer

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  7. Wait they want to do what? Oh how sweet ok thats a really nice thought. I am glad that they have the lower class Americans who's growing diversity and backgrounds constantly changing and growing. The middle class becoming more the predominant sector of population, working hard and adding those tax dollars to the pockets of limited few, to provide us with things still out of reach but promised and a future that will never be paid back.

    I mean lets just ignore the Government contracts with Google and the reach of the "puppeteer(s)" To help ease the funding and deny any intended backlash or wrong involvement on the govern. part, allowing 3rd party or "Private investment sectors" to have a say in the development and utilization became easier. Wire magazine states "GOOGLE HAS REORGANIZED itself into multiple companies, separating its core Internet business from several of its most ambitious projects while continuing to run all of these operations under a new umbrella company called Alphabet." >> That was a section from an article posted August 2015.

    The data/information collection that 97% don't understand or click past rapidly to not really concern themselves with irreparable damage it can induce for future generations. We as a ignorant, naive & blindly trusting whole of people…. (tools as we are) allowing the dawning relization we asked for it. Just to give us what has been created, tenderly cultivated by the government… to basically become a communication NECESSITY. Masses of us use it more than we admittedly like. We cry when we dont have it, we crave it go through withdrawals from it, hell we even kill on it or with it.

    I am thinking these programming "protocols" they have created would allow the strongest (Gallant old Party) GOP in power of the house at the time…. to sneak inside and BAM solve whatever they deem is suitable or that they can get away with. In such of course they wouldn't want to alert the American average citizen of this reversal invasion of the situation, ha then they would parade the original justified cause openly enough to maintain the "harmless" deception and make it look like well basically something similar to this article above.

    However nothing new and kudos to some of the security measures Google does take. I personally love the integrated simplicity they offer joe shmo like me, to enhance, & allow quick access to all sorts of necessary things in our technology driven modern world we live in. I don't see any real harm in whatever the "underlying" objectives are. ??????
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________________

    BWHAHAHAHA Heck I mean it won't be in my life time that we all become mindless nano chipped drones in basic "concentration camps" while a strict marshal law is in effect, while the "power hungry" (whatever the authoritative collaboration of persons will call themselves by then)…. FDA or Medically prescribe, study, examine, experiment, genetically engineer the common human beings consumptive food sources including all the way into the altering of food origins such as "Organically Grown" foods. Pacifying the majority, cloning the elite, or annihilate the rebellious.

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  8. They need to investigate DELTA RISK LLC. George Norcross has been known to meddle and interfere in hacking into smart phones, private emails, personal images, facebooks and computers. He and Chernoff are part of this government security opt that is dangerous and illegally operating hacks. http://www.delta-risk.net/board/

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  9. They need to investigate DELTA RISK LLC. George Norcross has been known to meddle and interfere in hacking into smart phones, private emails, personal images, facebooks and computers. He and Chernoff are part of this government security opt that is dangerous and illegally operating hacks. http://www.delta-risk.net/board/

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