Feeds

Shsssh! Google Voice has 1.4 million users

PDF error spills confidential count

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Sea-Me-We 5 construction starts
New sub cable to go live 2016
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
BT claims almost-gigabit connections over COPPER WIRE
Just need to bring the fibre box within 19m ...
EE coughs to BROKEN data usage metrics BLUNDER that short-changes customers
Carrier apologises for 'inflated' measurements cockup
Comcast: Help, help, FCC. Netflix and pals are EXTORTIONISTS
The others guys are being mean so therefore ... monopoly all good, yeah?
Surprise: if you work from home you need the Internet
Buffer-rage sends Aussies out to experience road rage
EE buys 58 Phones 4u stores for £2.5m after picking over carcass
Operator says it will safeguard 359 jobs, plans lick of paint
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.