(AbsoluteNews.com) – Privacy rights are becoming increasingly more important in the digital age. There’s also a concern about how the government is encroaching on those rights. That’s exactly why recent reports about the feds trying to access Google users is so concerning.
According an exclusive Forbes report published on October 4, the federal government has been asking Google to secretly provide names of people who have searched a sexual assault survivor’s name, telephone number and address online. Journalists obtained the information about the so-called “keyword warrants” when court documents were accidentally unsealed.
In the case of a keyword warrant, law enforcement asks Google to provide the names of anyone who has searched particular keywords in a specific period of time. They do it to both add to evidence they have against someone and to find suspects. Privacy rights experts worry about the broadness of the searches.
SCOOP – In 2019, the government told Google to provide data on anyone who searched for the name of a kidnapping and sexual abuse victim, her phone number, address and her mother’s name.
We’ve seen “keyword warrants” before, but this is the broadest yet.https://t.co/mZzOaxL23e
— Thomas Brewster (@iblametom) October 4, 2021
The warrants essentially allow authorities to go on a fishing expedition through people’s private data. Americans could be looked at as suspects or even arrested based on what they’ve searched on the internet. That raises major First Amendment questions and Google is complying with law enforcement’s requests, putting users at risk.
Jennifer Granick, ACLU surveillance and cybersecurity counsel, said, “This never-before-possible technique threatens the First Amendment interests and will inevitably sweep up innocent people” and the feds are doing it in secret. What could possibly go wrong?
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