Monday, October 10, 2011

Google - warrantless search of e-mail records is routine

The origin of e-mail carrying documents turned over to Wikileaks is not safe from government scrutiny.

According to documents obtained by “The Wall Street Journal,” the Department of Justice has obtained records of e-mails handled by Google and sent by Jacob Applebaum to Wikileaks – as a matter of routine.

A criminal investigation under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986 precludes the fact that the investigation and inquiries were ever made from being revealed to the person under investigation.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the situation is that Mr. Appelbaum is not charged or accused with any form of wrongdoing or violation of the law.

All such inquiries are made without a search warrant under the provisions of the law, which was enacted long before the Internet was devised.

In the six months ending Dec. 31, Google said it received 4,601 requests and complied with 94% of them. The data include all types of requests, including search warrants, subpoenas and requests under the 1986 law.

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