Google sends Android developers email about FBI investigation

October 2, 2012
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FBI

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:

Hello,

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.

Regards,

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?

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