This week, we learned Microsoft has been able to read anyone's Hotmail inbox, if it so pleases. But what about Google? According to TechCrunch founder and friendly VC giant Mike Arrington, his Gmail account was rifled through just the same.
"A few years ago," Arrington recounts, "I'm nearly certain that Google accessed my Gmail account after I broke a major story about Google."
A couple of weeks after the story broke my source, a Google employee, approached me at a party in person in a very inebriated state and said that they (I'm being gender neutral here) had been asked by Google if they were the source. The source denied it, but was then shown an email that proved that they were the source.
The source had corresponded with me from a non Google email account, so the only way Google saw it was by accessing my Gmail account.
A little while after that my source was no longer employed by Google.
I certainly freaked out when this happened, but I never said anything about it because I didn't want people to be afraid to share information with TechCrunch. But I became much more careful to make sure that communications with sources never occurred over services owned by the companies involved in the story.
This is a completely anecdotal, unverifiable report from a man of completely questionable character. But it's probably the first thing Arrington's ever penned that makes nothing but sense.