Business

Judge says government can access everything in a Gmail account — privacy warriors weep

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All your emails are belong to us.

At least that’s what the latest court order from a judge in New York says. The warrant, granted on June 11, states that the government can access all the content and files contained in a Gmail account.

Yes, this is a significant blow to privacy.

The subject of this specific search relates to a money laundering investigation. The judge compared this access to the way law enforcement has previously needed to seize documents to see if they even needed to be included in the warrant.

However, the decision is quite contrary to what other judges across the country have ordered in the past. Judges who have ruled counter to this order included those in Kansas and the District of Columbia, as was pointed out in an opinion written by Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Apparently, a judge in the District of Columbia ordered that the entire contents of an email account were off limits because it would allow the government to look through any old emails it wanted, “for which it has not established probable cause.”

The order made by the New York judge allowed law enforcement to take whatever they wanted from a Gmail account. Not just emails in the inbox, mind you, but all address book contacts and draft emails.

Gorenstein points out that there isn’t a big different between searching hard drives and email accounts, and that in the past “on-site searches” of hard drives just weren’t practical due to the quantity and complexity of the information at hand. He also noted that it’s fruitless for Google employees to search the emails because they wouldn’t have any idea of what they’re looking for without training in the investigation at hand.

There’s no time frame on when, or for how long, the emails should be searched.

Via: IT World.


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20 comments
Higgz Bozzen
Higgz Bozzen

This Government isn't a legitimate anymore,,,We are living under total Fascism and if you don't get it by now you never will,  understand that what the Nazi's did ( spying on its own citizens, detaining citizens with no probable cause, search and seizure with no probable cause) was the letter of the law in Germany at the time.... and when this US Government collapses and the little Government stooges are  arrested and persecuted the "I was just doing my job" will not be an excuse.

Lee Trav
Lee Trav

One last thing. They argue it'S code being used That's nonsense. You can download a encryption code breaker that can decipher any code. All codes have a pattern no matter how complex.

Any angle we got them covered. Use your email nothing to worry about. Just always email as if the person you are speaking about is right in front of you. You will never go wrong.

Lee Trav
Lee Trav

In addition, every time they are caught doing things they should not, we get a new law or court decision. All of society is not corrupt or terrorists. Time for accountability across the board. Tired of reading nonsense. Nothing to hide, but that's not the problem. It's when data is manipulated or altered to cover up wrong doings.

Lee Trav
Lee Trav

Nothing to worry about. If one judge orders it accessible and others do not, the evidence will not be allowed, as any lawyer worth his salt will site privacy and charter violations. The information that's was obtain was altered then that judge will no longer be a judge.

Get real. What organized crime would use email to log their activities.

They simply want access to read manipulate and cover up.

Elizabeth Ozbun
Elizabeth Ozbun

If more citizens changed their view of government from an 'us vs. them' mentality, this breach wouldn't happen. If you don't like what is happening in a democracy, them you need to participate to create change. Bellyaching does nothing.

Biizh Kwe
Biizh Kwe

E-mail is no different than mail sent through the government post, otherwise known as "snail mail". That would be saying they could open your mail delivered to your mail box at your home address. And we all know that THAT is a FEDERAL OFFENCE.

Michael Cruce
Michael Cruce

Wtf is their problem? the government thinks all Americans are criminals apparently. What about the illegals. The government allowing the illegals to keep their privacy? This whole thing is racist. If that's the case.

Paul Vance
Paul Vance

well you guys didn't care that the firefox ceo donated 8 years earlier, #HypocriticalBeat

Alberto Solano
Alberto Solano

Hello everyone. Welcome to what the tin foil hat crowd has been saying since the 70's. Maybe you should be listening more.

Thomas K
Thomas K

Your emails have already been copied, all your calls are already being recorded, and everything you do online is already being captured, analyzed and stored indefinitely. It's really surprising people don't understand this.

So, whatever you might have tried hiding is already known - and either the government simply hasn't acted upon the intelligence in your case yet, or they never will because your little secrets aren't of any consequence or impact to anyone with political or financial power.


Sorry to burst anyone's bubbles, but that's just how it is.

Christopher Kenner
Christopher Kenner

Just another reason to use software with end-to-end encryption .. (like Telegram, Threema, Stackfield, Cyberdust etc.) :)


Higgz Bozzen
Higgz Bozzen

good point. one thing I have noticed is the Pro-Obama people are always the ones that say "oh im not into politics that much" or they  really have no clue about what really going on.

Johnny Vivic
Johnny Vivic

@Thomas K You say that it is "really surprising people don't understand this," but what proof do you have? Simply telling me without even a whim of evidence and expecting me to "understand" (a better word would be believe, as I understand this concept just fine) is what is actually the surprising thing here. Look at where I'm coming from, and tell me how it is surprising that I don't believe it. You ought to understand that anything anyone says without evidence to back it up is merely an opinion to other people.

Alexander Pavlovsky
Alexander Pavlovsky

@Johnny Vivic @Thomas K It's common sense to anyone who knows anything about how data is transmitted over the wire. So what Thomas said is a fact that needs no proving or supporting evidence. Like for instance the fact that if you jump out of a commercial airliner at 30k feet....naked....you will die. No one tried to prove it (I assume) but then again why bother right?