You’ve probably thought that a Google search might at least seem suspicious if taken out of context. Such as looking for “ammonium nitrate” while in society there is fear of the explosions that this substance has caused.
And this is just an example, but you probably thought you might be questioned about the things you find out about on Google, if anyone sees you.
Well, Google sees you
CNET reports that Google provided police information about users based on keyword searches.
Unsealed court documents revealed Google’s actions. The CNET report claims that law enforcement officers asked the company to disclose the IP addresses of all those who searched for words relevant to their investigations.
Requesting IP addresses falls within a gray area of the law. Police should usually focus on a person before issuing a search and intelligence warrant. But keyword mandates are outside the scope of the current language of legislation.
The disturbing practice came to light when Florida police investigated an incident in which a woman who accused singer R. Kelly of sexual assault discovered that her car had been vandalized right in front of her house.
CNET reported that police officers “sent a search warrant to Google requesting information about users who searched for the address of the residence in the period close to the vandalism action”.
In the case of Florida, this led to the arrest of Michael Williams, a relative of one of R. Kelly’s former publicists.
Williams’ lawyer, Todd Spodek, is challenging the warrants for keywords.
“Think about the ramifications of the future if everyone who looked for something in the privacy of their own home was interviewed by federal agents,” he told CNET.
“Someone might be interested in how people die in a certain way or how drug transactions are made and could be misinterpreted or misused.”
Google has not commented on the report yet.