After a six-year dispute, the U.S. Department of Justice and Google have reached an agreement to settle a dispute over the advertising giant’s inability to surrender records requested in a warrant. problem? That data was lost before the case was resolved.
The Department of Homeland Security obtained a search warrant in 2016 for its investigation of cryptocurrency trading platform BTC-e. Department of Justice seized following year. The United States has a law called the Stored Communications Act (SCA) that tells companies what information to surrender in response to a warrant or subpoena.
Immediately after Google receives the documents, another judgment Microsoft’s involvement tied the hands of the U.S. government, establishing that any company facing an SCA warrant could simply spew out data stored on U.S. soil. , said Google was using an optimization algorithm to move data over a software-defined network. So Google argued that it didn’t know what was stored where and what needed to be handed over.
As a result, Google provided only fragmentary information to the DoJ, which did not satisfy Uncle Sam. This is despite Google claiming during the dispute that it has developed better ways to determine where data is stored and what it is legally required to provide.
Google applied for civil contempt certification, allowing it to appeal the warrant, similar to what Microsoft did in its lawsuit. Before the matter passed the courts, Congress intervened to crowd actconcluded the entire discussion by stating that, in response to SCA’s warrant, US companies must turn over data stored outside the US. joint letter [PDF] I commended the passage of the act because it clarified the matter.
During the ongoing debate, the data that the government was trying to collect from Google was deleted by users and could not be obtained.
Inadequate tools to obtain the requested data and simple human error “allow users to remove information after service of a warrant, and as a result, Google will not be able to retrieve the information at the time the warrant is executed.” is no longer able to generate the data it owned and served the warrant in. According to the Justice Department settlement, agreement [PDF] with Google.
Reconciliation with “first of its kindThe DoJ must ensure that Google responds to subpoenas and warrants in a timely and complete manner, and has third-party It said it must retain an independent compliance expert.
“This agreement demonstrates the Department of State’s commitment to ensuring that technology companies such as Google ensure public safety and provide a prompt and complete response to legal processes to bring criminals to justice. ” Said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite.
In addition, while Google is required to periodically report on the status of its compliance program and enact other changes, the DOJ has required Google to implement changes such as those required by the contract over the past six years. , says it has already spent more than $90 million.
This agreement also does not expand the types of data that governments can request, nor does it limit Google’s ability to challenge future subpoenas or warrants. A Google spokesperson said: register Silicon Valley organizations have made no concessions to governments regarding the data they are willing to provide.
“Google has a long track record of protecting user privacy and has sometimes opposed excessive government demands for user data. It’s not a change of commitment.”
To those concerned that this would result in a flood of data for the US government, the DoJ said nothing to worry about. .”®