Google sends Android developers email about FBI investigation

by: Andrew GrushOctober 2, 2012


In August, the FBI seized three Android app sites for copyright infringement. Now, the FBI has subpoenaed Google asking for information about the company’s registered app developers.This includes contact information.

Why would they need these details? The Federal Bureau of Investigation is concerned that many unofficial sources for apps are offering out copyrighted programs without official consent.

In response to the subpoena, Google’s legal team took to their email and sent out a notice to its registered developers. Here is what the message had to say:


Google has received a subpoena seeking information related to Android applications that may have been made available on alternative markets without the consent of the developer. The subpoena seeks information about those Android applications, including contact information for the developers of the applications. Our records show that your Android developer account will be included in the information Google will provide in response to this subpoena.

Google is not in a position to provide you with legal advice or discuss the substance of the process in our possession. For more information about the subpoena, you may wish to contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation — Atlanta Field Office at (404) 679-9000, reference #2011R00320/FBI/ORKIN.


Google Legal Investigations Support

While only a few developers will likely be contacted by the FBI, it’s good that Google quickly let developers know what is going on. Imagine if they would have kept silent and a developer was contacted out of the blue by the FBI. This would have likely been even more alarming. At the very least, it would have resulted in an angry email to Google.

Many times businesses tend to be less than upfront with their customers, and even their partners. If you were a developer, would you be angry at Google for releasing your information? Or would you be glad that they at least kept you informed on the situation?

  • You might want to keep the telephone number and reference out…

    • KB26

      Lol’d a little.

    • If it’s a federal subpoena then it will be subject to public record anyways.

  • Nick Schiwy

    If I were a developer I would be a little peeved that the FBI subpoenaed my contact information from Google for this type of investigation. But, I couldn’t be mad at Google for giving it to them because it’s unlawful for them to not do so. I am glad Google contacted all of the affected developers though to let them know that their information had been subpoenaed because although not legally, it is still their (Google’s) duty to inform their developers of their personal information being shared with a third party. That is something that you don’t see everyday and should be admired.

  • Leh-hoo-seh-hurrrs

    What total bullshit. Fuck the FBI. It’s comprised of a bunch of dumb dudes who claim credit when some civilian spills the beans/reports.
    They have zero right to the information of developers.
    FBI: Go fuck yourselves. Seriously.

  • Somedude

    Leh-hoo-seh-hurrrs, you may want to consider getting professional help, many good psychiatrists advertise on google I would suggest that you consult one and get the help that you so obviously require.