Google MUST hand over sensitive details for thousands of users to FBI – even without a warrant

by DAILY MAIL REPORTER and ASSOCIATED PRESS, Daily Mail  |  published on June 6, 2013

Google must comply with the FBI’s warrantless demands for large amounts of customer data, a federal judge has ruled.

In a ruling written May 20 and obtained on Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston ordered the company to accede to the FBI’s secret requests for information.

She rejected Google’s argument that the government’s practice of issuing so-called national security letters to telecommunication companies, Internet service providers and banks was unconstitutional and unnecessary.

FBI counter-terrorism agents began issuing the secret letters, which don’t require a judge’s approval, after Congress passed the USA Patriot Act in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

The letters are used to collect unlimited kinds of sensitive, private information, such as financial and phone records and have prompted complaints of government privacy violations in the name of national security.

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