Paul Alan Levy writes “Last month, you wrote about the travesty perpetrated by Rocky Mountain Bank when it sued Google to shut down the gmail account of a Google customer to whom the bank had mistakenly emailed a pile of customer records. Equally disturbing was the way that Google — which is usually pretty good about standing up to subpoenas for customer identity — just rolled over and obeyed the court’s order even though a second’s review of the company’s ex parte arguments to the court showed both that the bank never explained what the Gmail customer did wrong, never explained how Google could be sued in the face of 47 USC 230, and never showed that there was diversity jurisdiction.
So we have gone back to court, representing MediaPost Communications, arguing that Google’s report to the Court, showing its compliance, is a judicial record that should have been, and now must be, filed publicly. We agree of course that any actual customer identification in the compliance report should be redacted.”
This is a tricky issue. After all, Google, as a private company, has the right to shut down an email account on its own. But, seeing as this was all a part of a legal case, with a number of questionable elements, it does seem like the information that led to the account being shut down should be a part of the public record.