Found this gem called The Great Google Coverup about Google changing their minds about continuing to filter searches following a Chinese supported cyber-attack. Whether the attack origin was by Chinese government employees, corporate thieves, or kids living in their parent’s basement, accounts were compromised. Personal data fell into the hands of people who didn’t own it.
This led to this gem:
For the first time, many of us Google converts feel like the cloud, where Google wants us to organize our personal and professional digital lives, is less secure than that encrypted hard drive under the desk.
Sounds like Douglas Rushkoff didn’t understand the Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, or even GeorgiaVIEW for which I work didn’t invent impenetrable computer systems for developing the cloud systems. There are best practices which may or may not be followed. There are code improvements to counter known security holes which may or may not be applied. Personally, I think the public is doing well just to be informed there was a security breach.
Security isn’t about absolutely preventing someone from getting the data. It is about placing stumbling blocks in the way to make attempting to get the data so difficult the perpetrator moves on to an easier target. An extremely determined person or group could unwind the layers of the best security.
Gmail does encourage encryption of POP3 and SMTP. I wonder though how much communication between email servers operates through encrypted SMTP? In general, I figured email to be sent via plain text. Which is why if something is sensitive or super important, email might not be the best medium through which to transmit it.