Thursday, May 7, 2009

your email? not so private after all.

those of use who have university affiliated emails (,, etc) know--or should know--that our email address and everything to and from that account belongs to the university and can be accessed at any time.

because of this, many of us in the university set up outside accounts at gmail, hotmail, or some other email to avoid the invasion of our privacy by the university.

well, i guess it's too bad for us that York University is trying to set a very dangerous precedent.

a group of anonymous faculty at York U(York Faculty Concerned About the Future of York University) recently received an eerie message from google:


Google Inc. has received notice of application for an order to disclose
information related to your Gmail account in a case
entitled York University v. John Doe.

For more information about the application, you may wish to contact the
party seeking this information at:

Lenczner Slaght Royce Smith Griffin LLP
Suite 2600
130 Adelaide Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 3P5

Unfortunately, Google is not in a position to provide you with legal
advice. If you have other questions regarding the notice, we encourage you
to contact your attorney.

Best Regards,
Google Legal Investigations Support"

having not been able to figure out who was involved in the group legitimately YorkU has decided to go after the information in a manner that is completely underhanded and threatens to set a precedent regarding information in private emails.

YFCFY has released the following statement regarding this disturbing attack on privacy:

"We are a group of faculty (York Faculty Concerned About the Future of York University) at York University. As a recent CAUT investigation has documented, York has in recent years iinfringed upon the free speech rights and academic freedom of faculty and students. For that reason many people at York have chosen to use private email accounts rather than York's email accounts, to avoid administrative surveillance. YFCFYU has likewise made use of a private gmail account to provide us with some anonymity and privacy protection in our efforts to make York a better place. Now we have learned that the University has taken legal action in an attempt to gain access to this gmail account, a worrisome initiative that, if successful, could establish a chilling precedent for email users at York, on the nation's campuses, and beyond."

this has ramifications beyond just this group and the information related to their account. this is a serious breach of the privacy and anonymity that the internet has provided many activists or people who don't have the freedom or just aren't safe to publicly express their opinions.

yet again, those in power at yorku have proven beyond a doubt that they will go to any and all lengths to try to control dissent.

contact the president of york university, ask him if there is actually a law suit pending that would even remotely justify this kind of move, and tell him that you don't support york university setting this kind of precedent:

416-736-5200 extension x55200

contact google and pressure them to not give in to this request if there is no proof that there is a lawsuit:

Google Legal Support <>


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my god! the audacity & egos of such institution dumbfounds me! To think this may actually work is beyond scary!

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