Google refuses Indian Gmail encryption request by crying "privacy!"

Eric Schmidt’s do-no-evil see-all-evil web outlet Google is displaying supreme hypocrisy in the Indian courts – refusing access to encrypted communications citing, get this, privacy concerns for its users.

Never mind that Google and the CIA are certainly in cahoots. And never mind that it has mapped a considerable portion of the planet and stored emails, passwords in the Street View van fiasco.

That was, of course, a mistake – and it’s sorry. Google does no evil.

India’s got a bee in its bonnet over encrypted communications. Earlier this year it demanded that RIM hand over keys for the Blackberry messaging service, worried about alleged terrorism. Since the Radia tape scandal erupted RIM’s been doing great and deadlines have been extended. 

While it’s arguably a good thing that Google refuses to hand over encryption to a heavyweight global government it seems at least halfway hypocritical. Anyway, Google says, it would be impossible to offer real time access to Gmail services as it is governed by US laws according to the India Times

“When users entrust their data with us, we are expected to protect it, which is why user privacy is very important for Google,” said India products chief Vinay Goel. It has made a pig’s ear of that so far. 

Goel did say that Google isn’t being obstructive. In the event of a “large-scale risk to human life and property,” he said, Google is “open to offering the Indian government access to encrypted Gmail communication.”