New video details how Google responds to U.S. search warrants

by: Andrew GrushMarch 28, 2014

In light of NSA snooping and all the other privacy drama that hit last year, companies such as Google have been doing their best to clarify exactly how they handle government requests for user information, and what the company does to protect our privacy.

Just last week, we learned about how Google is planning to better protect our data by constantly requiring an HTTPS connection and by encrypting every email message you send or receive while moving internally between Google’s data centers. Now Google wants to also clarify how it handles U.S. search warrant requests, using a 3 1/2 minute semi-humorous video to do it.

The video takes us through the entire process starting with a federal agent obtaining a warrant from a judge. Google then takes us through the steps involved after they receive the warrant, such as Google’s efforts to check for errors and narrow the scope of information given to the government. The video also talks about how Google will send back a warrant and ask for further clarification in the event that the warrant is too vague in terms of what the government is looking for.

While hopefully none of us ever have to worry about a warrant for information be issued against our Google account, the video is still worth a look if you’re at all curious about the process and what Google does to protect its users.

  • Mark Lynch

    And what kind of protection do us European’s get I wonder? I’ve grown pretty distrustful of putting my data in the hands of American companies I’m afraid.

    • Mur

      Several European governments also conduct mass surveillance, I’d be more wary of them if I were an EU citizen.

      • Mark Lynch

        I don’t think there has ever been a government or organisation in human history that has spied on it’s own or another countries citizens to the extent the NSA has done. The EU actually takes privacy and data protection laws very seriously and for governments to collect sensitive data from an EU citizen strict procedures and legal process must be followed.

        One European commentator said after 9/11 Bush didn’t just declare war on terror but war on freedom too. I’m really shocked and saddened that US citizens aren’t more outraged than they are.

    • Andrew White

      US governance has been about commercial interests and leverage in the past, maybe more so now untill real growth figures are realised.
      Lets not forget the Israel administration. Non compliance of any international law, they spy on whom ever they bloody want and refuse to be held to account.
      There have been greater autrocities against ‘man’ than 911, but never have the the goal posts been shifted as far because of a single event in terms of personal privacy worldwide, than under ex-president Bush and his so ‘capable’ (self interested) senior administrators.
      The tragedy wasn’t just America’s by the way, persons from so many other nations died that day.
      My trust for Google of late is steadily being regained, Facebook…probably never.

  • Keg Man

    seems like a fluff piece. it would be easier and cheaper to just run a script to “send everything” than to screen it, review it, etc.

  • Guest123

    This video is about “proper” gov requests, not NSA rubber stamped, gag ordered “requests” for “data” — which they have no “warrant” only an “order” and there is only one “court” they can go to, and we all know full well that that court rules in favor of the gov 99.9% of the time.

  • Mike – Construction Contractor

    8-10 years ago, Google was asked by the government to supply data. They didn’t and it was a big stink in the media. In support of their actions, I sent an email to Google showing my support. They wrote back and said that they have no plans to comply with such request.

    I should have saved that email but when I purged old emails a couple years ago, it and many others were deleted.

  • Guest123

    Everyone. . . and I do mean every single person over 10 years old, should watch “Terms and Conditions May apply,” especially if they believe google isn’t handing over data hand over fist and is somehow different than facebook.