By Tony Winterburn •
Published: 10 Oct 2020 • 22:47
Revealed: Google is handing ‘customers’ private information to police in the event that they search key phrases associated to an investigation’.
Unsealed courtroom documents have revealed that internet giant Google has supplied police with information on customers simply based on their keyword searches. However, there are concerns it could possibly be a violation of US civil rights.
According to a report, police officers had requested that Google over the IP addresses of everybody who had searched for phrases related to their specific investigations. Ordinarily, police must hone in on a person suspect earlier than giving Google a warrant that orders them to offer that individual’s historical search past.
Earlier this year, police in Florida launched an investigation after a lady who accused singer R.Kelly of sexual assault had her car set on fire outside her house. CNET studies that investigators ‘despatched a search warrant to Google that requested information on customers who had searched the address of the residence involved in the arson’.
Google subsequently ‘provided the IP addresses of people who searched for the arson victim’s address’. That eventually led police to arrest a suspect by the name of Michael Williams – a relative of one of R. Kelly’s former publicists. Williams’ attorney, Todd Spodek, says he is now planning to challenge the legality of the ‘keyboard warrant’.
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