The Department of Justice today issued an order and agreement to settle a dispute with Google over the loss of data in response to a search warrant issued in 2016.
Based on the first resolution, Google has agreed to revise and update its legal obligation to ensure proper responses and complete responses to legal actions such as signatures and search warrants, which are required under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and other applicable laws. To monitor Google’s compliance with its legal obligations, a dedicated Compliance Professional will be retained as an external third party related to Google’s compliance improvements.
“The Department is committed to ensuring that electronic communications providers comply with court orders to protect and facilitate criminal investigations,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice. “This agreement reflects the Department’s determination to ensure that technology companies, such as Google, provide prompt and complete responses to legal requirements to ensure public safety and deliver the sinners to judgment.”
“Warranty under this agreement was sought in connection with a major criminal investigation,” said U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds for the Northern District of California. “This agreement will help ensure that, going forward, Google will maintain the technical capability and resources necessary to comply with warrants and legal orders, such as the one at issue in this case, which is important to federal criminal investigations.”
As detailed in the Statement of Facts accompanying today’s agreement, in 2016, the United States obtained a search warrant in the Northern District of California for data held by Google about investigation of the criminal cryptocurrency BTC-e. The warrant was issued under the SCA, the federal law that requires providers like Google to disclose customer information when served with a warrant signed by a judge and supported by cause. perhaps.
After a judge in the Northern District of California reviewed the warrant, which was sworn, signed, and served on Google, the U.S. Court of Appeals issued a ruling that the search warrants were invalid. SCA access to data stored outside of the United States. Google has stopped enforcing search warrants and is making reverse releases that only contain information it can confirm is stored in the United States. Because Google’s data protection tools when data is stored in the United States – thus bringing the data under US jurisdiction – Google will also try to create new tools to prevent data recovery. Google and the government have been fighting for a search license since 2017 and 2018, when Congress clarified that the SCA will reach the data that US providers choose to store abroad. During the intervention period, attention data were lost to validation.
In settling the case with the agency, Google has agreed to a number of improvements to its due process obligations, as set out in the agreement that has been issued. The improvements are intended to ensure that Google complies with its legal obligations to respond to court orders, including those issued under the SCA. Google maintains staff compliance levels to support improvements to the program and allocates engineering resources to support compliance.
Google is committed to implementing policies and procedures to respond appropriately to legal requirements, as required under the SCA and other applicable legal frameworks, and to produce an accurate record. for missed periods, will be provided to the government upon request. Google develops and maintains the tools needed to return data in response to legal procedures, and develops plans for legal process responses related to new product launches.
In the filing, Google told the court that it spent more than $90 million on additional resources, systems, and personnel to implement compliance improvements.
Google maintains its legal protections for user data, and the agreement does not give the United States access to Google user data.
Senior Counsel C. Alden Pelker of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crimes and Intellectual Property Section and Corporate Fraud and Securities Section negotiated the agreement with Lloyd Farnham for the Northern District of California. side with the government.