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Judge orders Google to hand over personal user data to the FBI

Dan Graziano
May 31st, 2013 at 2:25 PM
Google Personal User Data

Judge Susan Illston of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday ruled that Google must comply with the FBI’s warrantless request for private information. Google had previously refused to give the agency access to personal data such as the search history of its users, claiming such demands were illegal without a warrant. The judge rejected Google’s bid to modify or dismiss 19 “National Security Letters” it received from the FBI asking for confidential data, CNET reported. National Security Letters allow FBI officials to secretly request phone and Internet companies to disclose a user’s name, address, length of service and other information to the agency without requiring approval from a judge. The FBI issued nearly 200,000 National Security Letters between 2003 to 2006, 97% of which contained a mandatory gag order.

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