WikiLeaks Blames Google for Handing Over Private E-mails to the US Government
WikiLeaks, an open information group, has criticized Google for handing out personal data and emails belonging to three of its employees to the US government.
Google had given away the digital data in response for investigation concerning espionage against three WikiLeaks staff members; Sarah Harrison, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell to the Justice Department order. This data included emails, IP addresses, metadata and other content. According to Google, the company was unable to say anything as a ‘gag order’ had been imposed which restricts them to reveal information.
Google also stated that it has a policy of informing the users about government requests, “except in limited cases like when a gag order is issued by the court, which sadly happens frequently.”
A letter, written by WikiLeak’s New York based lawyer, Michael Ratner, to Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google, to protest that the search engine revealed this scam only a month ago. WikiLeaks says they are ‘astonished and disturbed’ by the fact that Google waited for almost three years to notify its subscribers, possibly robbing them of their rights to privacy.
The letter asks Google to list everything they have provided to the FBI and whether it has yet to reveal any other data demands and as to why Google waited for more than two and a half years to provide any notice.
WikiLeaks was formed by Julian Assange. It came to the public view in 2010 when they published a pile of classified government information, including leaked US diplomatic links.