Google to Be Required to Give Justice Department User Data

Alex Bezeau June 3, 2013 0
Google to Be Required to Give Justice Department User Data


The justice can’t leave Google alone in the past period of time. Last month, we received some news that the U.S Department filed a lawsuit in Manhattan which was meant to approve all federal agents’ access to the Google’s user records. This caused a pretty heavy reaction from Google that right away stood behind the customer’s privacy. Some Google representatives have voiced discontent saying that these requests are illegal and can jeopardize user’s privacy.

We didn’t know many details about this lawsuit because it was filed confidentially and secretly, of course. In order this lawsuit to be passed on, the bureau used the National Security Letters which is a very secret technique used for gathering electronic data. The controversial moment is that all of this doesn’t need any official judge approval to be accomplished. Officially, this demand from FBI was declined, but all of these things went unofficial until know. FBI has sent over 50,000 National Security Letter requests 7 years ago and many of them have included some strict mandatory orders.

Google has dealt whit this kind of problem earlier when the suit was declined in California by a judge called Susan Illston. Now, that same person has refused to do the same thing explaining that she has no legal right for doing that because the problem is issued in New York. Right after the decision, this case went heavy under seal. FBI and Google haven’t responded with their official version of this related topic.



Google picked another type of fight against the U.S Department of Justice that surprised us all. In the past, Google dealt with these kinds of problems really differently for instance, paying $500 million for settling with the Justice Department for the claim that was related to some Canadian pharmacies back in 2011. Beside this, Google has used “settling” with some other companies and for small suits. But something else has sparked this next Google battle versus FBI. As it seems, this huge company has brought a heavy conclusion that they are right and that these FBI demands are illegal.

This demand included more demands that the law permitted in first place. FBI has sent this demand to Nicholas Merrill, asking for transactional records of the electronic communication. If this is approved, FBI will gain all the internet addresses and browsing logs including: billing records (local and long-distanced), user’s names, addresses and length of service that were in Google’s ownership.

Previously, Google tried to tell FBI that they are not giving anything from their Gmail Content, YouTube videos, and IP addresses of the users or their search queries. This was reported in a statement that was posted on the official Web site. But as it seems, this time the things are different and we will see if this litigation will begin in the next few weeks.

Some judges including previously mentioned, have said that there is no any evidence that allows FBI to comply with the requirements of the Second Circuit. And Google can use this as its advantage in the process. But according to the expanded NSLs, FBI all over the country was authorized to send these National Security Letter requests.

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