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A California judge has refused to throw out a class action case that claims Google’s(s goog) scanning of Gmail accounts is a form of wire-tapping and an illegal invasion of privacy. The lawsuit is still at a preliminary stage but it’s significant that the judge refused to accept Google’s claim that the scanning was allowed because it formed part of its business operations. The ruling also addressed the larger question of whether users lose privacy rights in their email when they rely on services like Google or Yahoo. The Verge has a rundown, including the implication of the third party doctrine, here.