Posted in Menacing Monopoly

City of Los Angeles' plan to switch to Google criticized

It's not just the private sector that Google would like to monetize. It's the public sector too:

A Los Angeles councilman and the head of a police group are questioning the city's plan to move government e-mail and other records onto Google's hosted Web service Google Apps.

“Anytime you go to a Web-based system, that puts you just a little further out than you were before,” LA City Councilman Tony Cardenas told The Associated Press. “Drug cartels would pay any sum of money to be aware of our progress on investigations.”

Paul Weber, president of the LA Police Protective League, also said he is worried about the safety of sensitive police investigation records if they are moved to Google Apps.

Considering that data stored on Google's servers has been accessed by unauthorized users before, that's not a unreasonable concern. It happened earlier this year, and it happened again this month:

[Weber's] worries came just one day after the online-messaging service Twitter acknowledged hackers were able to access confidential information stored with Google, which has been promoting greater use of “cloud computing” – storing data online rather than on individual computers under a company's or government agency's direct control.

The Monster of Mountain View is trying its best to soothe away legitimate fears by calmly claiming its service is secure:

“We agree that security is a very important consideration for any organization considering cloud computing, and we've been working very closely with the City of Los Angeles to address any questions and concerns government officials or citizens might have,” the statement said. “Security is at the core of how we design Google Apps, and as the City of Los Angeles' evaluation report notes, the proposed cloud computing system is an improvement over the level of security currently in place. It also provides other benefits of cloud computing — such as increased innovation at reduced cost — which are driving the city's request for a cloud solution to suit its IT needs.”

No mention of any commitment to user privacy… well, that's not a surprise. Google doesn't even pretend to care about privacy until directly confronted about its lack of safeguards. Then they try to claim they do care. Except they don't. They can't care about user privacy. It would undermine and restrict their business model…. their ability to make gobs of cash.