Feeds

Shsssh! Google Voice has 1.4 million users

PDF error spills confidential count

Boost IT visibility and business value

Despite the fact that Google Voice remains an "invitation only" service, it has grown to well over 1.4 million users with a cool 570,000 folks using it daily.

But you're not supposed to know that.

As The Reg reported yesterday, Google on Wednesday sent a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission in response to the FCC's questions about, among other things, Google's blocking of certain rural phone numbers from using Google Voice.

The public version of that letter was supposed to have had chunks of sensitive info redacted and replaced by empty sections bracketed by "Begin Confidential" and "End Confidential."

But not in the copy that BusinessWeek got their hands on.

The BW folks were able to read the redacted data just fine. The reason? Well, as Google explained: "Unfortunately, the PDF submitted to the FCC was formatted improperly." It appears that to err is not only human, it's also Googly.

When the error was discovered, the FCC quickly replaced the errant PDF with a properly formatted version. "As soon as we discovered Google's error, we removed the document from the Web site and posted a new one," an FCC spokesman told BusinessWeek.

Too late. The proverbial cat had escaped from the proverbial bag. To their credit, however, the high-minded BW pros suppressed their guffaws when reporting on the redacted user-base information.

BW also notes that a separate intended-to-be-confidential section of the FCC letter includes a hint that Google is thinking of expanding Google Voice outside of the US. "In another redacted section," they write, "Google hints at the prospect of going global with Google Voice. Google says it has signed contracts with a number of 'international service providers for inputs to Google Voice.' It goes on to say that 'none of the contracted services have yet' been launched."

Despite Google's protestations to the FCC that it isn't a telecommunications service and thus isn't subject to regulations placed on such services by the US Communications Act, with 1.4 million current users and with intimations of global expansion, it's certainly beginning to look like one.

If it looks like a telecom, quacks like a telecom, and walks like a telecom, Google deserves to be treated like a telecom.

Even if it's an error-prone one - and one with 1.4 million current users. ®

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
Orange spent weekend spamming customers with TXTs
Zero, not infinity, is the Magic Number customers want
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.