Google Hands Private Data to US Government

Google Hands Private Data to US GovernmentGoogle Hands Private Data to US Government

Google handed over emails and metadata of WikiLeaks staff to the United States government on the back of warrants carrying up to 45 years in prison, failing to notify the targets for almost three years, the whistleblower organization announced on its website Monday.

 WikiLeaks investigations editor, section editor and senior journalist and spokesperson have received notice that Google had handed over all their emails and metadata to the US government on the back of alleged ‘conspiracy’ and ‘espionage’ warrants, WikiLeaks said, Sputnik said.

It is said that the information handed over to the US government included all email content, including draft and deleted emails, contacts, metadata, and IP addresses connected to the accounts.

WikiLeaks lawyers demanded explanation from the US Department of Justice over “a serious violation of the privacy and journalistic rights of WikiLeaks’ staff” and also from Google concerning its failure to immediately notify the targets of warrants which allegedly prevented them from “protecting their interests including their rights to privacy, association and freedom from illegal searches”, as it took the search giant almost three years to disclose the handover of the information.

WikiLeaks also noted that the US government is claiming universal jurisdiction to apply the Espionage Act, general Conspiracy statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to journalists and publishers which could make it possible to target the whole media organization as alleged ‘conspiracy’.

The revealed list of alleged offences includes espionage, conspiracy to commit espionage and others which add up to 45 years of imprisonment.

Launched in 2006 by Julian Assange, WikiLeaks made its name by releasing scores of classified diplomatic and military documents from governments around the world, most notably the US.