| || |
Why is Verizon proxying our email, and can we stop it?
Alright, I've always wondered about why, when there is a Gmail app on my Droid 4, that there was a "universal inbox" in a separate email map that covers Gmail, Corporate Sync, etc. I've actually gone into my Gmail app and tried to add additional Gmail mailboxes, and it always takes me to the Verizon/Moto "Accounts" application, and then puts the new Gmail account into the "universal inbox" instead of the Gmail app. That always bothered me.
Recently I've started noticing LONG delays in email delivery for my Gmail accounts. If someone sends me an email, I can log into Gmail on my PC and see it almost immediately, but it may take up to 30 minutes before I get the notification on my phone (even though push is turned on for all email accounts on my phone). Also, I've noticed that I am somewhat regularly getting duplicates of messages in my Gmail accounts on my phone, though when I look at Gmail from my PC there are no duplicates.
The final clue came this morning, when I woke up and had an notification on my phone that it couldn't retrieve mail for one of my Gmail accounts. When I tapped on the notification it took me into my "universal inbox" and the error message stated that it couldn't connect to "imap.vzw.net". After that, I tried removing and re-adding the account, and the message when I added the account read "adding account to server". I had never noticed that message before when I initially configured my phone, but it seems pretty clear that it's storing credentials somewhere other than on my phone.
So in summary, it appears pretty obvious that the Droid 4 does NOT directly connect to your email providers, at least for Gmail. Instead, when you configure you accounts on the phone it sets up some sort of mail proxy account on a Verizon server, which then retrieves your email on your behalf. Then, when you get your email on your phone, you are actually connecting to Verizon's servers to retrieve your email. So basically, all of your Gmail messages are being duplicated onto Verizon's servers and then pushed to you. Not only does this represent a performance issue (as I have experienced), it's a HUGE security issue. Verizon is essentially playing "man in the middle". Verizon has no legitimate purpose to access my email.
What's even more of a concern is that this may not apply only to Gmail accounts. I'm using corporate sync, so does that mean that Verizon is proxying and storing copies of my company emails as well? Dropbox? Facebook? LinkedIn? The "Accounts" app has logins for all my email and social/cloud services, does this mean that Verizon has access to all of this?
Most importantly, is there any way around this? This is definitely NOT ACCEPTABLE!