Sen. Figueroa, a Democrat from Fremont, last week sent a letter to Google urging the company to rethink its plan to roll out a free e-mail service.
“I cannot urge you strongly enough to abandon this misbegotten idea,” Figueroa wrote last week. “I believe you are embarking on a disaster of enormous proportions, for yourself, and for all of your customers.
“This proposal is little different from asking people to let the phone company listen in on their calls and butt in at any time to say, ‘This call is brought to you by…'”
On Monday, Figueroa said she was drafting legislation to block Gmail because she hadn’t received a response to her April 8 letter to Google.
Since it disclosed some of the details of Gmail — which is still in its early testing stages — Google has come under attack from a wide range of consumer watchdog groups nervous about the potential to undermine e-mail privacy.
Gmail, which would compete in the space dominated by Yahoo Mail and MSN’s Hotmail, will offer up a full gigabyte of storage space for messages and a Google-based search tool for quickly locating stored messages. In return, users would allow Google to use computerized tools to automatically scan incoming mail, then use the keyword results to place targeted ads on the service’s Web pages.