Google moves keep e-mail scanning method secret

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Google, fighting a lawsuit claiming its interception of e-mails amounts to illegal wiretapping, asked U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in a filing in San Jose on Thursday to redact ”confidential” information from the transcript, without being more specific. Google’s latest move to keep records in the case out of public view comes as Koh is weighing a request by companies including National Public Radio, the New York Times and Washington Post to unseal other key documents filed earlier that the company contended were too sensitive to be revealed. According to Rommel, Google in September or October 2010 moved Content Onebox, which previously scanned stored e-mails, to ”the delivery pipeline,” to extract data before users received the messages. The media companies contend that Google improperly sought to seal, for example, an e-mail exchange between employees analyzing different Gmail systems, and documents describing an experiment conducted to better understand how users interact with Gmail, and why they click on ads, according to a court filing. Google’s sealing order relies on a ”nebulous economic harm” that the company claims could result from ”the public disclosure of any information about Google’s business model or technology,” the media companies said in a court filing.

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