FBI obtaining personal info from Google users without a warrant, in attempted secrecy

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FBI obtaining personal info from Google users without a warrant, in attempted secrecy

Google reveals warrantless FBI data requests
Posted March 6, 2013 - 06:16 by Emma Woollacott
The FBI attempted to get data on more than a thousand Google accounts last year without a warrant, Google has revealed.
Instead, the Bureau used a procedure known as a National Security Letter - which Google has never before discussed in detail. They are used, generally, to gather information for criminal investigations.

"The FBI has the authority to prohibit companies from talking about these requests," says Richard Salgado, Google's legal director for law enforcement and information security.

"But we’ve been trying to find a way to provide more information about the NSLs we get — particularly as people have voiced concerns about the increase in their use since 9/11."

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Google's solution is to

Google's solution is to report the number of requests in terms of numerical ranges rather than exact numbers, sidestepping concerns raised by the FBI, Justice Department and other agencies that releasing exact numbers might reveal information about investigations.

As a result, it's pretty vague. In every year between 2009 and 2012 the company received under 1,000 NSLs in the US. In 2009, 2011 and 2012, it says, these letters related to between 1,000 and 2,000 accounts, 2011's requests covering between 2,000 and 3,000.

Even this limited data, though, represents a big first - as no internet company has ever before revealed that it's received any NSLs at all.

http://www.tgdaily.com/business-and-law-brief/69953-google-reveals-warrantless-fbi-data-requests

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 Don't worry you can trust

 Don't worry you can trust Obama. 


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Lol. I dunno about that.

Lol. I dunno about that. He's smarter than Bush. But that doesn't make him trustworthy.
I miss Clinton. He had a head on his shoulders. Even if it was looking down a bit too often.

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Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) said

Microsoft (NSDQ:MSFT) said it received more than 11,000 U.S. law enforcement requests for information or content data of users of its products in 2012, according to a report issued Thursday.
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In addition, it received up to 1,000 National Security Letters in 2012 from the FBI and other senior officials authorized to issue the demands for user data, according to the company's report. The company issued data impacting up to 2,000 user accounts. Microsoft, in its report, said the letters force Microsoft to provide "the name, address, length of service, and local and long distance toll billing records" of users of its services.
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The report, the first of its kind issued by Microsoft, follows a similar data request transparency report issued earlier this month from rival Google (NSDQ:GOOG).

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"In general, we believe that

"In general, we believe that law enforcement requests for information from an enterprise customer are best directed to that customer rather than a tech company that happens to host that customer's data," Smith wrote. "That way, the customer's legal department can engage directly with law enforcement personnel to address the issue."
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Microsoft said in its report that if it receives a lawful order, it will release content to law enforcement that customers create, communicate and store on or through its services. The content includes email messages between friends or business colleagues or photographs and documents stored on SkyDrive or in other cloud offerings such as Office365 and Azure. Non-content data released to law enforcement includes email address, name, location and IP address captured at the time of registration, Microsoft said in the report.

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The controversial document

The controversial document (National Security Letter) enables the requests to be made in secret and prohibits organizations from disclosing them. A federal district court judge in San Francisco has declared the NSLs unconstitutional earlier this month. The federal government has 90 days to appeal the ruling.

http://www.crn.com/news/security/240151423/microsoft-releases-law-enforcement-disclosure-report-on-cloud-data.htm

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I'm going to go ahead and

I'm going to go ahead and say that as soon as you use something internet friendly these days, the NSA picks it up if it is used in certain ways.

“A meritocratic society is one in which inequalities of wealth and social position solely reflect the unequal distribution of merit or skills amongst human beings, or are based upon factors beyond human control, for example luck or chance. Such a society is socially just because individuals are judged not by their gender, the colour of their skin or their religion, but according to their talents and willingness to work, or on what Martin Luther King called 'the content of their character'. By extension, social equality is unjust because it treats unequal individuals equally.” "Political Ideologies" by Andrew Heywood (2003)