Secret government docs left in public Google Group for months

Tools

An official at Japan's Ministry of Environment decided to set up a Google Group in order to share internal documents and emails at an international convention. By leaving it with the default privacy settings however, the official unknowingly left its contents open to the public for months.

To be fair, the ministry does appear to have its own system for sharing documents, though it apparently didn't work well outside of Japan. Using it [leads] to "poor connections" and a "bad working environment," said Michihiru Oi, a ministry official.

This presumably culminated in the creation of the ill-fated Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Group, which is under investigation at the moment.

The problem isn't limited to the Ministry of Environment though. According to a separate investigation conducted by the Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper last week, Japanese high schools, health organizations and even political parties have left private files publicly accessible on Google Groups.

The Fierce Take: While a permission snafu is hardly new, having it happen with a public cloud service can be particularly damaging. Aside from banning them outright, one possible solution is to sign up for a "business" version that allows administrators to tweak or overwrite misconfigured permissions.

For more:
- check out this article at IT World

Related Articles:
Can hosting startups save us from government snooping?
Senate tries again on cybersecurity bill