5 Filters

GMail censorship

I’ve noticed this last week that when you send anyone on a GMail address links to covid stuff it doesn’t get delivered. I won’t give the full bounce-back blurb (unless you want to see it). The basic reason for non-delivery is:

12] Our system has

Note that this isn’t a spam filter on someone’s GMail account. It’s Google blocking it before it even gets to someone’s account.

Am I the only one who’s noticed this just recently?

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I did some experiments in January. The results were pretty conclusive.

To: […]
Subject: Capitol Invasion [second attempt to post this […]]
From: […]
Date: Sun, 10 Jan 2021 […]


The only changes I’ve made are: (1) the addition of this text (which unfortunately might indeed make a difference); (2) the deletion of a stray character at the end of the URL above (but I don’t see how that alone could have caused my whole e-mail to disappear).

Like you, I (now) think that this one will get through. Let’s see …

It didn’t get through.

To: […]
Subject: Re: Test #10
From: […]
Date: Mon, 11 Jan 2021 […]

On Mon, 11 Jan 2021 […], you wrote:

I have received tests 4, 9 & 10 but no others. Hope that is right. Will look at the attachments another time - Monday night is TV night! […]

That’s very interesting. You have received all of the messages I sent to you, except for the three messages containing the URL I wanted to direct you to. It was just an amusing joke, but this heavy detective work has all but drained the humour from it! I’ll try (tomorrow, most likely) to send you another URL that might get you to it indirectly, even if by then it will no longer be at all amusing. Bloody Google!

The fact that you got message #10 shows that even a message whose body consists of nothing but a bare URL is not necessarily censored. Therefore, it must be something to with the specific URL in question - just as my paranoia was telling me - in spite of its innocuous nature.

This conclusion is confirmed by the fact that you also did not receive message #8, whose body comprised a sentence of text followed by the suspect URL. Whether it’s on its own or is accompanied by text, this innocent URL is being censored by Google (or by some other entity in the chain of communication, about which as a whole I know nothing). These tests seem conclusive. They also show that the text in the Subject: line of the e-mail plays no part in the decision as to whether the e-mail is to be censored or not. I had no idea that any censorship of this kind was taking place.

There’s a difference, though. When I sent these e-mails, there were no “bounce-back” messages for the ones that weren’t delivered: they simply disappeared into the ether,with nothing to show that they had ever existed. (As I said of something else recently, Orwell would love it.)

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Very interesting experiment @Twirlip . There are several things here. Google IS the NSA for all practical purposes. The total surveillance society is already here. If one is serious about not letting big brother track you, …

1 Get off Gmail as quickly as possible (of course, other mail clients are probably just as invasive)
2 Help get your friends and family off Gmail as quickly as possible
3 If you think using a VPN on your phone or PC protects you from big brother, well think again
4 Start using Proton Mail, but get onto it (every single time), using TOR browser
5 Get 2 mobile phones. Use one for all “two factor authentication”. Do not install ANY apps on it, do not carry it around with you, and see 4 above

That’s just the start

“Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you”

I’m wondering if this might be why repeated attempts to register with blogs in order to comment, OffG for example, result in no confirmation email being received. Only once did I get a confirmation email, RobG’s blog, but it didn’t seem to unlock WordPress.

I do continue to receive Cremola, Reclaim the Net, and many other email newsletters full of links.