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Google Tells Feds to Obtain a Warrant to Access Gmail

By - Source: ArsTechnica | B 18 comments

American government agencies made over 8,400 requests for nearly 15,000 accounts.

Search engine giant Google has told U.S. government agencies to obtain a warrant should they wish to access Gmail user accounts.

American government agencies, which consists of federal, state and local authorities, made over 8,400 requests for nearly 15,000 accounts from July through to December 2012. 88 percent of those queries saw Google complying with a certain amount of the requests.

Google added that 22 percent of the aforementioned requests were made under search warrants delivered through the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).

"In order to compel us to produce content in Gmail we require an ECPA search warrant," said Google spokesperson Chris Gaither. "If they come for registration information, that's one thing, but if they ask for content of e-mail, that's another thing."

During the December of 2012, the U.S. government approved a bill that sees law enforcement not being able to search through email, private Facebook messages and other electronic forms of communication without a warrant.

 

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    meluvcookies , January 25, 2013 5:43 PM
    How was this already not a legal requirement for law enforcement agencies?

    Good for Google
  • 24 Hide
    Daedalus12 , January 25, 2013 6:21 PM
    Hard to believe they were trying to get this information without a warrant. Way to hold your ground Google!
  • 16 Hide
    Skippy27 , January 25, 2013 6:59 PM
    All the government agencies should ALWAYS be required to get a warrant for any information or any US person for any reason.

    There is absolutely no reason they can't take the time to show a judge reasonable cause to justify it. Even in cases of emergency that time is of the essence, they are able to get a judge to review and sign off on a warrant quite quickly. Even when it involves classified or sensitive information there are judges available for this exact thing. The procedure of getting the information and then a warrant is ridiculous and a flat out violation of the rights of the people of the US regardless of any law they attempt to create skirting the issue.
Other Comments
    Display all 18 comments.
  • 26 Hide
    meluvcookies , January 25, 2013 5:43 PM
    How was this already not a legal requirement for law enforcement agencies?

    Good for Google
  • 24 Hide
    Daedalus12 , January 25, 2013 6:21 PM
    Hard to believe they were trying to get this information without a warrant. Way to hold your ground Google!
  • 13 Hide
    kingnoobe , January 25, 2013 6:46 PM
    Google maybe a little corrupt, but this is why I still welcome our new overlords.
  • 8 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 25, 2013 6:58 PM
    Google turns around and says 'FUCK YOU' to the government.
  • 16 Hide
    Skippy27 , January 25, 2013 6:59 PM
    All the government agencies should ALWAYS be required to get a warrant for any information or any US person for any reason.

    There is absolutely no reason they can't take the time to show a judge reasonable cause to justify it. Even in cases of emergency that time is of the essence, they are able to get a judge to review and sign off on a warrant quite quickly. Even when it involves classified or sensitive information there are judges available for this exact thing. The procedure of getting the information and then a warrant is ridiculous and a flat out violation of the rights of the people of the US regardless of any law they attempt to create skirting the issue.
  • 9 Hide
    BreadWhistle , January 25, 2013 7:06 PM
    At least I know that Google at least cares a TINY bit about their customers. Any other company wouldn't even have to be asked to look into their user's accounts, they'd already be selling us away.
  • 5 Hide
    ddpruitt , January 25, 2013 8:16 PM
    meluvcookiesHow was this already not a legal requirement for law enforcement agencies? Good for Google


    USAPatriot act
    FISA
    etc.

    Did you really need to ask or are you really this naive? If you really are that Naive I hope you didn't vote.
  • 0 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 25, 2013 9:05 PM
    88% compliance but on 22% warrants? Doesn't sound so great to me. And their cavalier attitude towards registration information? That should need a warrant as well.
  • 0 Hide
    eijiyuki , January 25, 2013 10:06 PM
    abbadon_3488% compliance but on 22% warrants? Doesn't sound so great to me. And their cavalier attitude towards registration information? That should need a warrant as well.


    Doesn't specify what kind of information was provided. It could've been just registration info as mentioned.
  • 3 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 26, 2013 12:58 AM
    ddpruittUSAPatriot actFISAetc.Did you really need to ask or are you really this naive? If you really are that Naive I hope you didn't vote.

    The remark could be sarcastic, which I guess you missed. Even if it wasn't, don't be so arrogant. Not everybody is up-to-date on the goings on in America in specific. We are not in the center of the universe.
  • -6 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 26, 2013 12:59 AM
    ddpruittUSAPatriot actFISAetc.Did you really need to ask or are you really this naive? If you really are that Naive I hope you didn't vote.

    The remark could be sarcastic, which I guess you missed. Even if it wasn't, don't be so arrogant. Not everybody is up-to-date on the goings on in America in specific. We are not in the center of the universe.
  • -6 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 26, 2013 12:59 AM
    ddpruittUSAPatriot actFISAetc.Did you really need to ask or are you really this naive? If you really are that Naive I hope you didn't vote.


    The remark could be sarcastic, which I guess you missed. Even if it wasn't, don't be so arrogant. Not everybody is up-to-date on the goings on in America in specific. We are not in the center of the universe.
  • -6 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 26, 2013 1:00 AM
    ddpruittUSAPatriot actFISAetc.Did you really need to ask or are you really this naive? If you really are that Naive I hope you didn't vote.

    The remark could be sarcastic, which I guess you missed. Even if it wasn't, don't be so arrogant. Not everybody is up-to-date on the goings on in America in specific. We are not in the center of the universe.
  • 0 Hide
    dark_wizzie , January 26, 2013 6:08 AM
    ddpruittUSAPatriot actFISAetc.Did you really need to ask or are you really this naive? If you really are that Naive I hope you didn't vote.

    Let the downvote riot begin because you obviouosly have no suitable retort...
  • 0 Hide
    dextermat , January 26, 2013 2:16 PM
    Don't you know satan is google pet :p 
  • 5 Hide
    ddpruitt , January 26, 2013 3:26 PM
    dark_wizzieLet the downvote riot begin because you obviouosly have no suitable retort...


    Actually I didn't downvote you, I assume you got downvoted because you posted the same thing three times. However in response, this is something that occurs in most countries not just the United States, the article specifically mentions US government agencies, a large percentage of the user's on the English versions on the site are from the US, and most people are unhappy with the way the US is running things anyway, if you're complaining without any facts you need to shutup.

    And finally these aren't new by any stretch of the imagination ECPA is from the 80's, USAPatriot act 2001, and FISA has origins in the cold war.

    I don't see how the remark could be sarcastic, this comes up often and shouldn't be treated lightly. These are civil liberties someone could be joking about. They should be taken seriously and should be fought for every step of the way, not just in the US but all over the world. By joking about them your essentially saying you don't care if your rights are trampled upon. In my view this is the same as joking about murder, sure it may be funny but it's a serious subject. Of course I may just be crusty as I get older.
  • 1 Hide
    okibrian , January 28, 2013 4:46 AM
    meluvcookiesHow was this already not a legal requirement for law enforcement agencies? Good for Google

    Ask Bush and his patriot act.
  • 2 Hide
    abbadon_34 , January 29, 2013 1:10 AM
    Or ask Obama and HIS patriot act (renewal)