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Apple, Facebook, others defy authorities, notify users of secret data demands
Washington Post ^ | May 1, 2014 | Craig Timberg

Posted on 05/01/2014 5:51:05 PM PDT by Second Amendment First

Major U.S. technology companies have largely ended the practice of quietly complying with investigators’ demands for e-mail records and other online data, saying that users have a right to know in advance when their information is targeted for government seizure.

This increasingly defiant industry stand is giving some of the tens of thousands of Americans whose Internet data gets swept into criminal investigations each year the opportunity to fight in court to prevent disclosures. Prosecutors, however, warn that tech companies may undermine cases by tipping off criminals, giving them time to destroy vital electronic evidence before it can be gathered.

Fueling the shift is the industry’s eagerness to distance itself from the government after last year’s disclosures about National Security Agency surveillance of online services. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google all are updating their policies to expand routine notification of users about government data seizures, unless specifically gagged by a judge or other legal authority, officials at all four companies said. Yahoo announced similar changes in July.

As this position becomes uniform across the industry, U.S. tech companies will ignore the instructions stamped on the fronts of subpoenas urging them not to alert subjects about data requests, industry lawyers say. Companies that already routinely notify users have found that investigators often drop data demands to avoid having suspects learn of inquiries.

(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Crime/Corruption; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS:
Prosecutors, however, warn that tech companies may undermine cases by tipping off criminals, giving them time to destroy vital electronic evidence before it can be gathered.

Just check with the NSA, they already have that electronic evidence.

It works so much better when you just break down the door and shoot the dog.

1 posted on 05/01/2014 5:51:05 PM PDT by Second Amendment First
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To: Second Amendment First
Prosecutors, however, warn that tech companies may undermine cases by tipping off criminals, giving them time to destroy vital electronic evidence before it can be gathered.

If your email is on the ISP’s server how are you going to destroy that email?

What it might tip you off to is destroying your hard drives at home and work before they can be snatched.

2 posted on 05/01/2014 8:37:58 PM PDT by Pontiac (The welfare state must fail because it is contrary to human nature and diminishes the human spirit.)
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To: Second Amendment First

It’s way past 1984.

Big Brother is watching.

And he’s not amused.


3 posted on 05/01/2014 10:32:36 PM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: Second Amendment First
Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google all are updating their policies to expand routine notification of users about government data seizures, unless specifically gagged by a judge or other legal authority, officials at all four companies said. Yahoo announced similar changes in July.

Weasel words in bold.

I suspect that what they are really trying to do is to just reduce the number of requests they are getting.

From the excerpt: Companies that already routinely notify users have found that investigators often drop data demands to avoid having suspects learn of inquiries.

In otherwords, the minute someone actually forces them to have this reviewed by someone, rather than have it just sail through unchallenged they drop it.

4 posted on 05/02/2014 9:56:15 AM PDT by zeugma (Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened - Dr. Seuss (I'll see you again someday Hope))
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