Cynthia Brumfield reports:
The main existing law that limits the scope of law enforcement electronic snooping violates the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution when it comes to Internet communications, a top Google expert said here today. Speaking at the Congressional Internet Caucus’ Annual State of the Internet Conference, Google’s Director of Law Enforcement and Information Security Richard Salgado said that “our view is that the statute [the Electronic Communications Privacy Actor ECPA] is out of compliance with the Fourth Amendment because the government can call for the production of your data without a search warrant.” The Fourth Amendment guards against unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.
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David Kravets of Wired reports that Google has suited their action to the word:
Google demands probable-cause, court-issued warrants to divulge the contents of Gmail and other cloud-stored documents to authorities in the United States — a startling revelation Wednesday that runs counter to federal law that does not always demand warrants.
The development surfaced as Google publicly announced that more than two-thirds of the user data Google forwards to government agencies across the United States is handed over without a probable-cause warrant.
A Google spokesman told Wired that the media giant demands that government agencies — from the locals to the feds — get a probable-cause warrant for content on its e-mail, Google Drive cloud storage and other platforms — despite the Electronic Communications Privacy Act allowing the government to access such customer data without a warrant if it’s stored on Google’s servers for more than 180 days.
“Google requires an ECPA search warrant for contents of Gmail and other services based on the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which prevents unreasonable search and seizure,” Chris Gaither, a Google spokesman, said.
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