Wikileaks has issued a furious denunciation of Google after it learned that the company turned over its staff email to the US Government in March 2012 without notifying it. Update: Google says it fought to disclose sooner.
This is in contrast to Twitter, which, when served with a warrant for access to Wikileaks staffers' private tweets, notified the people involved so that they could challenge the warrant. Google says it was bound by a gag-order, though it doesn't say when that order was lifted.
Harrison, who also heads the Courage Foundation, told the Guardian she was distressed by the thought of government officials gaining access to her private emails. “Knowing that the FBI read the words I wrote to console my mother over a death in the family makes me feel sick,” she said.
She accused Google of helping the US government conceal “the invasion of privacy into a British journalist’s personal email address. Neither Google nor the US government are living up to their own laws or rhetoric in privacy or press protections”.
The court orders cast a data net so wide as to ensnare virtually all digital communications originating from or sent to the three. Google was told to hand over the contents of all their emails, including those sent and received, all draft correspondence and deleted emails. The source and destination addresses of each email, its date and time, and size and length were also included in the dragnet.
The FBI also demanded all records relating to the internet accounts used by the three, including telephone numbers and IP addresses, details of the time and duration of their online activities, and alternative email addresses. Even the credit card or bank account numbers associated with the accounts had to be revealed.
WikiLeaks demands answers after Google hands staff emails to US government [Ed Pilkington and Dominic Rushe/The Guardian]
(Image: wikileaks, Hubert Figuière, CC-BY-SA)