08252014Headline:

Google Reveals User ID

Google has revealed the identity of a user after discovering child abuse imagery in the man’s Gmail account in Houston, Texas, according to a local news report.

It alerted a child protection agency, which notified the police and the man was arrested, KHOU 11 News reported.

Google said it would not comment on individual accounts.

The arrest raises questions over the privacy of personal email and Google’s role in policing the web.

Police in Houston told the local news station that Google detected explicit images of a young girl in an email being sent by John Henry Skillern. After the existence of the email was referred to them by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the police obtained a search warrant and arrested the man.

The 41-year-old is a convicted sex offender. He has been charged with possessing child pornography, it was reported.

“I can’t see that information, I can’t see that photo, but Google can,” Detective David Nettles said.

Google also refused to say whether it searched its users’ Gmail content for other illegal activity, such as pirated content or hate speech.

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