Google sues America

In the latest installment of anti-trust drama in the upper echelons of technology industry giants, Google has filed suit against the United States Government. The complaint is that when the US was looking at options to improve their messaging functionality, they specifically looked for only Microsoft products, and didn’t once take into consideration a Google Apps solution. Google’s argument is that restricting the Request for Quotation to Microsoft Is “unduly restrictive of competition.” It happens to also be unduly restrictive to Google’s financial standing, but that probably wouldn’t fly in court.

The US defends its position by claiming that although Google could have been considered in the RFQ, Microsoft offered two things that Google couldn’t offer in their Google Apps platform: Unified Mail/Messaging, and “enhanced security.” That last security bit probably raised all kinds of hackles over at Google, and they are understandably fighting against that argument trying to convince Microsoft that Google, Apple could very well have been a possibility, and that it was unfair to exclude them from the outset. The official complaint, as provided by Techdirt, outlines a scenario, where, after Google tried to present themselves as a possible provider for the service, the CIO of the Department of the Interior informed them that a “path forward had already been chosen.”

On the off chance that this lawsuit actually goes anywhere in court, we could be seeing an interesting shift in power in the war on government tech contracts. Microsoft has been the de facto choice of the US government (and for most of the world) for quite some time, and if Google can really prove that they could offer a viable solution for government email/messaging, Microsoft may actually have a real fight on their hands. 

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Google are part of the gubberment. Anyone believe that they came from nowhere to become one of the world's richest companies in 10 years is having laugh.

Google Earth = EarthViewer 3D, was created by Keyhole, Inc, = spin-off of Intrinsic Graphics = In-Q-Tel, was Peleus.

In-Q-Tel of Arlington, Virginia, United States is a not-for-profit venture capital firm that invests in high-tech companies for the sole purpose of keeping the Central Intelligence Agency equipped with the latest in information technology in support of United States intelligence capability.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In-Q-Tel

In-Q-Tel functions partially in public, however what products it has and how they are used is strictly secret.[8] According to the Washington Post, virtually any U.S. entrepreneur, inventor or research scientist working on ways to analyze data has probably received a phone call from In-Q-Tel or at least been Googled by its staff.[8] The Constitutional repercussions of this disclosure alarm some critics.

"Just to be clear, this is not a settlement in which people who use Gmail can file to receive compensation. Everyone in the U.S. who uses Gmail is included in the settlement"

America sues Google

I always assumed Google was a front, for the US government big brother anyway. What better way to provide communications, that can be secretly monitored by Big Brother?
Google email, messaging, voice service, and video service to look in on people.

Hell, it only makes sense that GOOGLE, was a government funded operation.

I hope Google gets sent a crate of Kleenex before this gets thrown out of court. What next, are they going to sue customers who buy Windows Phone 7 or an iPhone without considering an Android model?

If you want to win a customer, whether its the government or a college student, you have to develop and market a solution that they want. That's why Microsoft won. Not sure Google's giant arrogant head can accept that reality or not.

I am glad Neowin changed the story "Google sues America" to suing the USA. Google has no reason to sue america and its 36 countries.

Google's is not arguing about whether they can provide the services/security that MS can - they are arguing that WERE NOT EVEN GIVEN THE CHANCE. I agree with them. I'm betting Google could have come up with software to do EXACTLY what the GOVT wants at a price that would have blown MS away. Since they wrote and own GMAIL they can change the code to be whatever the GOVT wants inan email/messaging client.

Google's arrogance never ceases to impress me. The stance on this adopted by Google employees is typical, essentially: "We're so good, when somebody chooses a rival product must surely be either some crazy mistake or worse a sinister Microsoft conspiracy. No need to even consider what might be lacking in our product/service, because any competitor is implicitly inferior."

Google simply do not provide most of the services that Microsoft do, that's the reason they don't get the work. Even if they considered Google they could simply list things they needed in the contract and Google wouldn't fulfil those requirements.

Before anyone says that google is right or wrong to US gov't for this, I think we should know what the requirements are and how they are tailored to companies with the Microsoft product. If this is connected to the article months ago, I believe that they do not have a case.

If I remember correctly, one of the requirements was that they must have a desktop client and as we know, Google wants everything done in the browser. That I believe is what they are complaining about. I may be wrong but I remember reading a ZDNet article to that effect.

I thought most government servers ran with Linux, as do Google servers. Sounds like they have a case to me...two words come to mind, bias and prejudice...Guess if it ain't expensive it ain't no good. Have a cigar boys, this ones in the bag

Bugballou said,
I thought most government servers ran with Linux, as do Google servers. Sounds like they have a case to me...two words come to mind, bias and prejudice...Guess if it ain't expensive it ain't no good. Have a cigar boys, this ones in the bag

Not when security is involved. Linux doesn't meet the guidelines or certifications.

Waste of time, waste of effort, waste of money, on both sides. It's a frivolous lawsuit that should be instantly tossed.

This is all I have to say to Google: Cry me a river, build a bridge, and get the f*** over it. So what the government doesn't want to consider your options? GMail is nowhere near as flexible as Microsoft Exchange is, and I'm sure it will stay that way for a long time. Go take some of that cash out of the bank and put it to better uses. Maybe on something more useful than stupid lawsuits about an entity not considering your product line when looking for something new.

What is this country coming to...?

I think (based on my Dad working w/ the federal government) that federal guidelines mandates that for every major contract over some X amount of money the decision makers HAVE to have at least 5 good responses to RFQs. Google may have a case if the government broke their own guidelines.

Shadrack said,
I think (based on my Dad working w/ the federal government) that federal guidelines mandates that for every major contract over some X amount of money the decision makers HAVE to have at least 5 good responses to RFQs. Google may have a case if the government broke their own guidelines.

Only if Google has some product in the works that meets the requirements of the contract. Pretty safe to assume that self hosted servers is one of those contracts which to my knowledge don't exist in Google's product listing. If they do have it though, Google will have a case.

Wow... wtf...

What next? are they going to start suing individual for not considering google talk as a IM program to chat with their friend? Are google going to sue people who doesn't consider yahoo as a email option? Are MS going to sue people who doesnt consider a WP7 device for their next phone?

Seriously, government or not if they only want to look at a MS solution let them...

Also, how did google get this info? How did google know the government was looking for a new messaging solution and only looked at MS products?

Leonick said,

Also, how did google get this info? How did google know the government was looking for a new messaging solution and only looked at MS products?

Probably because Google has moles in the U.S. government. I wouldn't put it past them.

Leonick said,
Wow... wtf...
Also, how did google get this info? How did google know the government was looking for a new messaging solution and only looked at MS products?

Although this is a bit hyperbolic, but in theory some dork at the government could be using a Gmail account or doing a Google search and Google could have flagged it from their data.

thenetavenger said,

Although this is a bit hyperbolic, but in theory some dork at the government could be using a Gmail account or doing a Google search and Google could have flagged it from their data.

Isn't there a database somewhere that contractors can look at for this sort of thing. The government is suppose to record and announce contract awards to keep the system competitive.

KavazovAngel said,
Fail. You know, there should be a backfire kind of thing, that you will get when you sue someone for an invalid thing.

Lol, that'd be awesome.

Is there some sort of law for this kind of thing? I mean, they're suing somebody for not considering using their product? Really? That doesn't make any sense. I wouldn't think the government has to answer to anybody about what products they use just like anybody else.

prime2515102 said,
Is there some sort of law for this kind of thing? I mean, they're suing somebody for not considering using their product? Really? That doesn't make any sense. I wouldn't think the government has to answer to anybody about what products they use just like anybody else.

Yes there are laws the require government contracts to do more than simply go back to the same contractors every time because those contracts get paid for by tax payer dollars. Its meant to prevent corruption such as a construction company bribing someone to award the contract to the company for 2 mill when the job at hand can be done by another company for 1 mill.

lol Google. Get over it. When will companies start to realise that Microsoft's products in this area are simply the best?

Nashy said,
lol Google. Get over it. When will companies start to realise that Microsoft's products in this area are simply the best?
Yes but they didn't even consider alternatives.

hotdog963al said,
Yes but they didn't even consider alternatives.
yea? so? if i won't even consider a tom tom device for my next GPS that is a crime or what?

Leonick said,
yea? so? if i won't even consider a tom tom device for my next GPS that is a crime or what?

no, as long as you pay for it with your own money. The government's money is from tax payers, and they have to consider several RFCs before spending huge amounts of cash. I would say Google have a very good case on their hands here.

hotdog963al said,
Yes but they didn't even consider alternatives.

What alternatives? Or more accurately, alternatives specifically from Google?

Sometimes it seems that Google doesn't even know what products Microsoft offers with regard to large enterprise solutions.

Title is misleading. Google didn't sue America, they sued the United States, which is part of North America. Most of North America, and the whole of South America, was in fact, not sued.

zivan56 said,
Title is misleading. Google didn't sue America, they sued the United States, which is part of North America. Most of North America, and the whole of South America, was in fact, not sued.

Although picky, this is actually a valid point. Should read: Google sues the United States.

Indeed a Bold title, Google does have a lot of issues with security and privacy with a lot of there services unlike Mozilla or Microsoft. But suing the US, damn Google better have some amazing lawyers on there side. Watch the US get back at them from the loopholes that Google used for there taxes. But Microsoft, has always been better in there products over Google with there OS and Mail services,Smartphones etc. I wonder what MS has to say about all this, but Google will never be able to compete with Microsoft with government issues, like this.

Xypro said,
but Google will never be able to compete with Microsoft with government issues, like this.

Exactly, which is why its a good thing they are giving it a shot. We never want one company to have the monopoly over any product.

recursive said,

Exactly, which is why its a good thing they are giving it a shot. We never want one company to have the monopoly over any product.

But when no other company makes a competitive product, you can't blame the buyer. Google doesn't make or sell self hosted messaging or email solutions.

Which means they would have to contract for a newly built service and messaging platform, which means that any person that has ever developed an application should also be considered for the contract too then.

Too often people only MS as Windows and what they use on a daily basis, when in reality Microsoft has a lot of infrastucture technology and platforms for governments and corporations, that are off the shelf solutions, and not crap a company would have to throw together and try to make it work.

I bet the people at Google laughed about the security comment as well, but Google doesn't meet any of the US Govt security requirements, and their own commercial products are highly insecure.

If you look to Android, to Gmail, or to GoogleDocs there is a major disconnect in understanding security throughout the Google organization.

Heck if you even follow some of their lead developors on their developer forums/blogs, they say some really stupid things that makes sensible people, let alone Microsoft engineers gasp at the lack of understanding. Spend some time on the Android developer site, and some of the stuff is pee yourself silly or run screaming scary stupid.

recursive said,

Exactly, which is why its a good thing they are giving it a shot. We never want one company to have the monopoly over any product.

But when no other company makes a competitive product, you can't blame the buyer. Google doesn't make or sell self hosted messaging or email solutions.

Which means they would have to contract for a newly built service and messaging platform, which means that any person that has ever developed an application should also be considered for the contract too then.

Too often people only MS as Windows and what they use on a daily basis, when in reality Microsoft has a lot of infrastucture technology and platforms for governments and corporations, that are off the shelf solutions, and not crap a company would have to throw together and try to make it work.

I bet the people at Google laughed about the security comment as well, but Google doesn't meet any of the US Govt security requirements, and their own commercial products are highly insecure.

If you look to Android, to Gmail, or to GoogleDocs there is a major disconnect in understanding security throughout the Google organization.

Heck if you even follow some of their lead developors on their developer forums/blogs, they say some really stupid things that makes sensible people, let alone Microsoft engineers gasp at the lack of understanding. Spend some time on the Android developer site, and some of the stuff is pee yourself silly or run screaming scary stupid.

recursive said,

Exactly, which is why its a good thing they are giving it a shot. We never want one company to have the monopoly over any product.

But when no other company makes a competitive product, you can't blame the buyer. Google doesn't make or sell self hosted messaging or email solutions.

Which means they would have to contract for a newly built service and messaging platform, which means that any person that has ever developed an application should also be considered for the contract too then.

Too often people only MS as Windows and what they use on a daily basis, when in reality Microsoft has a lot of infrastucture technology and platforms for governments and corporations, that are off the shelf solutions, and not crap a company would have to throw together and try to make it work.

I bet the people at Google laughed about the security comment as well, but Google doesn't meet any of the US Govt security requirements, and their own commercial products are highly insecure.

If you look to Android, to Gmail, or to GoogleDocs there is a major disconnect in understanding security throughout the Google organization.

Heck if you even follow some of their lead developors on their developer forums/blogs, they say some really stupid things that makes sensible people, let alone Microsoft engineers gasp at the lack of understanding. Spend some time on the Android developer site, and some of the stuff is pee yourself silly or run screaming scary stupid.

Having to retrain all of their staff on a new system, replace servers, services, staff etc... It would cost a lot more than just replacing the OS/servers as a whole. Where is Lotus in this? lol

Pauleh said,
You can be sued for anything these days.

I didnt get picked for the soccor team this year...

Its kinda the same thing right?

To court i go...

Google already has exclusive contracts with FBI, NSA and our military. Why can't they be happy with only 80% of the worlds data? Probably because Google is magical and they'll remain so if they can reach 90% of the world's data... all within their data centers.

I think that Googligans should think a thousand times before taking actions like these.
Security and privacy for Google is a serious issue. And this is a fact.

DaveGreen said,
I think that Googligans should think a thousand times before taking actions like these.
Security and privacy for Google is a serious issue. And this is a fact.

Very well put!

DaveGreen said,
I think that Googligans should think a thousand times before taking actions like these.
Security and privacy for Google is a serious issue. And this is a fact.

This.

bguy_1986 said,

what the hell does "This" mean?

"This" means the Bengals "Stink" this year stop taking your anger out on an IT board.
GOO Ravens
Sorry just having some fun

Wir3Tap said,

"This" means the Bengals "Stink" this year stop taking your anger out on an IT board.
GOO Ravens
Sorry just having some fun

Especially after my Dolphins beat them up this weekend

Oh and also GOOOO RAVENS!

a.mcdear said,
Good... at least somebody will stand up against this broken government.

So picking the best software makes the US government broken?

a.mcdear said,
Good... at least somebody will stand up against this broken government.

Fail troll is fail.

This has nothing to do with the things you are implying make ours a "broken government".

Microsoft is more secure... Their messaging, Exchange, can be run on the governments servers. So they can fit the bill for however secure the government wants...


I wouldn't store my own personal email in Gmail. I imagine the US government won't be storing Classified data there anytime soon.

Frazell Thomas said,
Microsoft is more secure... Their messaging, Exchange, can be run on the governments servers. So they can fit the bill for however secure the government wants...


I wouldn't store my own personal email in Gmail. I imagine the US government won't be storing Classified data there anytime soon.

Exactly. Gmail has a TON of security issues anyways, what government would choose it! They picked Microsoft because Microsoft has better software for what the government needs, plain and simple.

Frazell Thomas said,
Microsoft is more secure... Their messaging, Exchange, can be run on the governments servers. So they can fit the bill for however secure the government wants...


I wouldn't store my own personal email in Gmail. I imagine the US government won't be storing Classified data there anytime soon.

I'm sure Google could customize a solution that would run on government servers instead of being hosted by Google. And it's not like Microsoft has the best reputation for security either. They are getting better, I'll give them that.

farmeunit said,

I'm sure Google could customize a solution that would run on government servers instead of being hosted by Google. And it's not like Microsoft has the best reputation for security either. They are getting better, I'll give them that.


And why? If google were to complete custom solution only for the government that would cost millions and would be unproven as well.

If I was running a corporation and had to choose between:
1. A solution that already exists, is used and trusted by millions and some of the top fortune 500 companies.
2. A custom solution based on one that has privacy / security issues.

You can bet I will be choosing 1.

Frazell Thomas said,
Microsoft is more secure... Their messaging, Exchange, can be run on the governments servers. So they can fit the bill for however secure the government wants...

How can you say that without seeing the source code, server architecture and many other variables.

/- Razorfold said,

And why? If google were to complete custom solution only for the government that would cost millions and would be unproven as well.

If I was running a corporation and had to choose between:
1. A solution that already exists, is used and trusted by millions and some of the top fortune 500 companies.
2. A custom solution based on one that has privacy / security issues.

You can bet I will be choosing 1.

+1

Murloc said,

How can you say that without seeing the source code, server architecture and many other variables.


Simple, google won't let you host one of their services on your own servers...

Murloc said,

How can you say that without seeing the source code, server architecture and many other variables.


i think that the government, being the government, already have...

Murloc said,

How can you say that without seeing the source code, server architecture and many other variables.

There are SERIOUS Certifications the software has gone though. For example, there is NIAP Certification for software, and even FISMA compliance. RSA's products are going for FISMA compliance, because certain government bodies require it. Before Google cries, they should look at themselves first and see if they met the US Government security standards as set by NSA and NIST.

Google is so full of themselves punching the sharp end of iron nails, going against the Chinese Government, and now, the US Government.

Want to know more about standards like NIAP or FISMA? Well, Google it, ROFL!!!

thenonhacker said,

<strong>There are SERIOUS Certifications the software has gone though. For example, there is NIAP Certification for software, and even FISMA compliance. RSA's products are going for FISMA compliance, because certain government bodies require it. Before Google cries, they should look at themselves first and see if they met the US Government security standards as set by NSA and NIST.

Google is so full of themselves punching the sharp end of iron nails, going against the Chinese Government, and now, the US Government.

Want to know more about standards like NIAP or FISMA? Well, Google it, ROFL!!!
</strong>

Google is already FISMA-compliant.

Leonick said,

Simple, google won't let you host one of their services on your own servers...
Exactly! And we don't need Google storing anything more than the free crap they get from public servers on the interwebs.

Julius Caro said,
There's a difference between being a corporation and being the government.

Of course there is. But the government isn't likely to choose a new custom solution, based of gmail, that they can't host over one that a huge part of the world uses. And corporations will do the same thing.

You want to go to your boss one day and say 'hey lets try out this solution, where we have no control over the data, hosted by a company that has a new privacy problem every other week, and has never really been proven in a security environment'? How fast do you think you'd be fired?

somethingelse said,
The US defends its position by claiming that although Google could have been considered in the RFQ, Microsoft offered two things that Google couldn't offer in their Google Apps platform: Unified Mail/Messaging, and “enhanced security.”

NOT TO MENTION, PRIVACY!!!

somethingelse said,
Ha! See how YOU like it US government!

Well, keep in mind if google wins the money will ultimately be coming out of taxpayers pockets. So, it's really, "see how YOU like it, taxpayers".

somethingelse said,
Ha! See how YOU like it US government!

Really, Google?
Do you think that the government could make a very complex spreadsheet with graphs in Google Docs? Or a thousand page report or bill? Were will be stored? Do you think you are ready to load and cleanly import one of the zillion word, excel, powerpoint documents in the government archives? Are you ready to respond when some hacker breaks into your servers and steals some national security document or email? If the banks do not trust Google, why the government should? Last time I checked Google Docs and Gmail could only be recommended for a small company and non sensitive data, but even in these small applications now Office 365 is a much better choice. And what about training and support? What Google has? Really, this is very lame and arrogant at the same time, thinking that Google email and docs are appropriate and sufficient for the needs of a government, give us a break.

somethingelse said,
Ha! See how YOU like it US government!
I would rather have Google stay as far away from government information as possible. Don't need those blind idiots storing sensitive government information too to track people. "Don't be evil." Ha! Storing people's information without consent and data mining it is the height of evil.