back to article Dutch court orders Google to reveal Gmail user

Google Netherlands has agreed to hand over the IP addresses of a Gmail user in an alleged spy case. The CEO of Dutch internet incubator company iMerge suspected that a former disgruntled employee, who also acted as a system administrator, had secretly created an auto-forward rule in one of the company's mail servers. Several …


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  1. Seven_Spades

    Why keep logs

    Why don't these companies simply just not keep logs. Why does Google have logs of every user who has ever watch video?

    It must be a terrible hassle to fight and comply with these court orders.If you simply keep no records, then all you have to say is that they don't exist.

  2. Chris Thomas

    Proxies anyone?

    who knows how many proxies he used and how many he should have? he'd be home+safe if he used proxies.

    what is the world coming to!!!!

  3. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    Did they?

    n July, Google was told cough up the personal data of every person who has ever watched a Viacom video on the YouTube website as part of a billion-dollar court case. Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) called the ruling a "set-back to privacy rights." ®

    So did they bow to that one? I heard they went to court over it and I then lost track of the story.

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  5. Charles
    Black Helicopters

    Re: Why keep logs

    Not keeping logs presents its own legal risks. For one thing, logs are frequently used *internally* for demographic or security reasons (in case of internal personnel problems). For another thing, the term "obstruction of justice" might come into play, as there are assorted laws that make the logging *mandatory*.

  6. Moss Icely Spaceport

    Orwell was only wrong on one thing....

    The Year.

  7. Mike Kamermans

    RE: Did They?

    In a way. They were allowed to anonymise the logs, as the intended goal for them was assess damages incurred by look at access statistics, rather than finding out which specific thousands of individuals were responsible for those accesses.


    The real question is whether or not they kept a log of the mapping that was used to turn IPs into different unique numbers instead =)

  8. The Mole


    Have to say I'm actually impressed by Google for once, they appear (in these cases at least) to be standing up for the little guy and ensuring due process takes places as opposed to caving in the instant they get a friendly letter from a lawyer.

  9. Luke

    re: did they

    If I remember correctly they agreed to hand over anonymised data to viacom.

    I agree with the poster above - just forget about logs, problem solved. At least until it is made law that they have keep them.

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  11. Tony

    Time for a change of career methinks.

    Frankly if they were stupid enough to set up/access a gmail account for committing an illegal act from an identifiable IP address then they were likely not a very good sys admin and they should have been grateful the company sacked them and gave them the chance to look for another job they might actually have a talent for.

  12. Chris Richards


    does everyone seem to be showing sympathy for this guy!? Why should he be allowed to hide behind google to escape his crime! This isn't the 1600s when you could go running to a church for sanctuary after killng your neighbours goat. If you can't do the time....

    I appreciate people may worry that this is the thin end of the wedge, but the EFF are just moany student activists who aren't students any more.

  13. Twanni

    Obligated to

    In the EU if you want to be an e-mail service provider you have to keep transaction logs, including IP addresses but not containing content for a period of 6 months minimum. There were lots of bruhaha's about that, with Dutch ISP XS4ALL for one. In the end this means that "Why don't these companies simply just not keep logs" is answered by "because they can't do business otherwise". Google was legally obliged to provide the requested data in this case. It's good that Google doesn't just handle over everything whenever it's asked.

    They have the right to quibble and they do.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Re: Why... (@Chris Richards)

    In the Viacom case, the only one for which the article quotes the EFF, it was not simply a case of evildoers claiming breach of human rights.

    There is a surprising number of people who genuinely believe that anything on YouTube has been licensed, and there are others who may have clicked on links by accident and had no intention of breaching Viacom's copyright.

    The number of people on *that* list includes a heck of a lot of naive innocents, as well as a minority of active criminals. Really it's only the uploaders that Viacom should have been concerning themselves with.

    But as for the Dutch mail case -- a lot of commenters seem to agree that this was handled well (not that you'd noticed): refusal, court-order, compliance. It was a legitimate legal investigation, handled according to the law.

    Well done all involved: sensible precedents for internet law were long overdue.

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