Start A Petition

13,753 Gov't Requests for Google E-Mail Data in 2012, Most Without a Warrant

US Politics & Gov't  (tags: abuse, americans, obamaadministration, corruption, cover-up, crime, democrats, dishonesty, ethics, government, news, obama, usa )

- 1914 days ago -
( - American government agencies - state, local, and federal -- made a record 13,753 requests to read emails or gather other information sent through Google's Gmail and other services in 2012, more than half without warrants, according to...

Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Carol D (346)
Friday February 22, 2013, 10:56 pm
( - American government agencies – state, local, and federal -- made a record 13,753 requests to read emails or gather other information sent through Google’s Gmail and other services in 2012, more than half without warrants, according to statistics released by Google.

The total number of users about whom government agencies wanted information also set a record at 31,072, up from 23,300 in 2011, the first year Google began reporting the data. The discrepancy comes because government agencies request information on multiple users or accounts at the same time.

Most of these 13,753 requests, 6,542 of 8,438 in the latter half of 2012 alone, were done without a search warrant, Google data show. Google did not make available any detailed data prior to June 2012, nor did it make available which requests came from the federal government and which came from state or local law enforcement agencies, when asked by

Google spokesman Chris Gaither said the company only started tracking which type of legal authority – subpoena, court order, or search warrant – was used in the latter half of 2012. Google issues biannual reports on the requests for user data it receives from government agencies from around the world, including ones in the U.S.

Google announced in June 2012 that it had 425 million active Gmail subscribers, making it the largest e-mail provider in the world. It also provides users the ability to store documents via its Google Drive service, phone service via Google Voice, YouTube, personal blogs via Blogger, as well as email hosting services for corporate clients through Gmail.

Google keep records of all email and other communication sent through its e-mail, telephone, YouTube, and other services, storing the information on cloud servers – a move that allows government agencies, local, state, and federal, to access some information without a warrant.

Federal law allows government agencies to access Google’s archived email and other data, including chat logs, YouTube user information, voice messages, and blogger information without obtaining a search warrant or establishing probable cause, and Google says that it complies with the vast majority of government requests for data.

From July-December 2012 Google provided user information in 88 percent of cases. From January to June 2012, it provided information in 90 percent of cases. Those figures were down from 2011 when it provided user information in 93 percent of cases.

The government can access data, including the content of emails sent or received through Gmail, because Google keeps records of all communications sent over its various services and stores the information on cloud servers, lowering the legal threshold government agencies need to access some of the data, including the name, Internet address, and telephone number of Gmail, YouTube, and other Google users.

The federal law that allows this is known as the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) which says that opened email stored remotely – not on a computer’s hard drive – can be accessed without a warrant.

If the government wants to read the content of an email accessed through Gmail, hear a voicemail message sent over Google’s telephone service Google Voice, or read other private content, it must still obtain a search warrant under federal law.

However, information not sent in the body of an email or recorded in a voice message can be obtained by a simple subpoena – which does not require a government agency to show probable cause. Such information includes the name of an e-mail account holder, the IP address used when signing into and out of Gmail including dates and times, and other information you gave to Google when you created Gmail or other Google account.

Other types of information require a court order from a judge, such as the IP address of a particular email, email addresses of those you correspond with, and the web sites a person has visited.

A search warrant is required to read the content of an email stored on Google’s servers, as well access as internet search histories, YouTube videos, photos, and other documents.

Because all types of requests usually come through some kind of criminal investigation, Google does not notify users when the government demands to read their emails or access their account information. However, Google says that in cases where it is legally allowed to inform users, it tries to do so.

“We notify users about legal demands when appropriate, unless prohibited by law or court order,” Google says on its transparency website.

“We can't notify you if, for example, your account has been closed, or if we're legally prohibited from doing so. We sometimes fight to give users notice of a data request by seeking to lift gag orders or unseal search warrants.”

Google says it requires government agencies make a formal, written claim under ECPA before it will release any user data.

“The government needs legal process—such as a subpoena, court order or search warrant—to force Google to disclose user information. Exceptions can be made in certain emergency cases, though even then the government can't force Google to disclose.”

Carol D (346)
Friday February 22, 2013, 10:56 pm
Nothing crooked here is there!?

Jae A (316)
Friday February 22, 2013, 11:31 pm
Nothing other than the fact that Dubya stacked the Fed. courts with GOP Judges and the current GOP is stalling appointing any that Obama tries to appoint. Of course the DUbya war on terror started the whole invasion of privacy laws and on and on. That being said...Google hands anything over to anyone for a very small price so they'd certainly do so for free if the gov.t ask for any info...same with Facebook.

Jae A (316)
Friday February 22, 2013, 11:40 pm
All that rambling Carol for what...? Did you even read the title to this thread ? "Request'' for Google don't need a 'warrent ' for a "Request" for starters !!! Why read on if the title has any truth in it ?

Carrie B (306)
Friday February 22, 2013, 11:44 pm
Still laughing. Thanks Jae. Carol just doesn't understand!

Jae A (316)
Friday February 22, 2013, 11:44 pm
That being said :-).....FISA should have been the first big 'Red' flag that Obama was a Red Dawg Republican...aka...a centrist with a heavy learn to the Right. Now take it from there if you's a wide open gate for ya Carol...just think of it as a freeby from me to you :-) .

Jae A (316)
Friday February 22, 2013, 11:53 pm
I opened that gate due to the fact that for once I didn't see any out right or even thinly vailed racist meaning behind a thred posted by Carol for a change :-).

Google has been a bedfellow of the government for a very long tme now and anyone who uses them should know by now that nothing is private when using anything to do with the Google system. People have been warned of this for years long before Obama came to power even.

Facts are that we must keep fighting the Rightwing on their push to have nothing private via the internet and to control what content people view and or go to etc. Their push for total corporate control of the internet has no end it seems.

Carol D (346)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 12:00 am
And here we have 2 of the most brilliant people!! ROTFL

Carol D (346)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 12:04 am prove your intelligence by consistently going BACK to George Bush..gosh I would think that would be so boring for you..don't you have any other come backs than George Bush!? The only reason you or Carries come on my topics is to trash intellectual debates or disagreeing with respect...just trashing!! That says more about the both of you than either one of you have the smarts to figure out! Sorry..I guess that might be a little over your heads to figure out! I just have to laugh at the ignorance of it!

Jae A (316)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 12:17 am
Carol...if anyone is proving their ignorance it would be those who refuse to actknowledge that the Dubya administtration has everything to do with our government/economy currently. Everything from two wars that still going,tillions spend on private no bid contracts for their war machine, corporate bail outs,bankerster buds raping the people and our economy,spying, illegal invasion of privacy,illegal war, and on and on.

You can't debate bashing topics that you generally post that comment of yours is also one spawn from ignorance in my opinion.

I had to shake my head in amazement that you didn't take the one time I gave you a free pass to be neg. about Obama without racism being your focus.....instead you went off on you ignoring of the facts about Bush/Cheney years in office as if they have nothing to do with our current politics/government...and oil prices due to their Muslim Saudi buds which were their major influence for going into the illegal war in Iraq ...and so on and so forth. Yep, I 'm still shaking my head in amazement for your passing up such a great opportunity to say something neg. about Obama out of something other than for reasons of my opinion. Guess I was wrong about this thread and why you posted it huh..........oh well.....sigh.

Jae A (316)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 12:30 am
In reality Carol we can go back farther than Dubya/Cheney that is stilling having a neg. effect on our economy..Reagan and his failed 'trickle down' B. S. You can't ignore the past if you want to discuss the current world of politics/government Carol..that's just a fact,period.

Carol D (346)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 12:44 am
Jae..You can go back as far as you want and I can guarantee you the result today WILL NOT CHANGE!! Going back in time will NOT change Obama from destroying this nation TODAY!! The way you rationalize things there just will never be an outcome that will be beneficial to anyone or anything..sorry..that's just the way it is!

Carol D (346)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 12:45 am
You don't think this request for e-mail data has anything to do with Obama!? Think again!!

jo M. (3)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 12:46 am
Jae, the article does not mention Obama, Carol does not mention Obama, and the only rambling here seems to be on your part. You seem to want Carol to say something negative about Obama simply so you can fall back on the ridiculous assertion of racism you make every time Obama is mentioned by someone who opposes his politics. You cover that up by "allowing" Carol to say something negative as though she needs your permission to do so without you making assinine assertions of racism. And when she fails to take the bait, you make those assinine assertions anyway.

Carol D (346)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 12:49 am
Thanks so much Jo!! A voice of REASON..Thank God!!! :-)

Jae A (316)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 1:09 am
Voice of that is funny. First off I didn't say that Carol mentioned Obama...the topic was Google giving the 'government' information ..via..'request'. That topic has more than one element. Where the fist invasion of privacy to do with the internet and others came from..was pre Obama. I didn't give permission to Carol, I simply offered up a free pass to go neg. about Obama with something other than his race in mind. The assertion was hers to make and or yours as Carol was the first to mention the name Bush first off. From there she herself ignored to the topic, which I tried to stay on ..but as usual if the topic doesn't go the way she figured it should/would then she goes off track herself and into personal attacks, which she again, was the first to do on this thread. Voice of reason...I think not. Voice of a shill is more like it in my opinion.

Ans once again Carol..I ask, just who's and or which God is it that you are thanking ? There are many out there to choose from...there's Allah,Johova,Joseph Smith and on and on.... or is that also another fact that you choose to ignore ?

Jae A (316)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 1:15 am
It's understandable that Carol would ignore the topic once it was pointed out that all this invasion of privacy came into being ..yes..under the Dubya/Cheney administartion..FISA in particular, which has everything to do with the topic. Which I have now taken the 'discussion' back to....or Carol and the voice of just another insanitea bager,in my opinion can keep it on a personal basis....commenter about commenter. Your choice permission needed to go either way as I see it.

Carol D (346)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 1:35 am
I didn't give permission to Carol, I simply offered up a free pass to go neg. about Obama with something other than his race in mind.

Again Jae..right here is where YOU mention the RACE issue...which is what Jo was mentioning that you ALWAYS come back with something that involves do it all the time!! You want to know where the racism comes from in this comes from those who have the race issue on their minds ALL THE TIME!

And tell me WHY would I want to go negative!? You are one of them that is ALWAYS going can not reply on a topic of mine without negativity. Check back on all of your replies to each topic I add.. write them all down and then read them back to yourself so you can actually see or feel how damn negative you are! There is NOTHING ever that you say that is a positive..there is always negativity of some kind in your replies..depressing ones to boot!

I mentioned Bush off!?!? Urrgghhhhhhhhhhhh...that is a LIE! You are so freaking childish Jae it is unreal!! LOOK underneath my FIRST reply UNDER the article and SEE who it was that mentioned DUBYA!!! It wasn't me! And have NEVER stayed on topic!! You either compare something or someone to something or someone or go off on your own complete different are really something else!!

And Jae..What the hell difference does it make what God I believe could care less because you do not believe in any God but some day you just might! You just want to ask stupid questions is all just to be annoying well consider yourself annoying! You remind me of a mosquito that buzzes around your face at night while you are trying to know that kind!? You just want to slap them!

And FISA has NOTHING to do with what's going on today..get REAL...grow up and GET A LIFE!!


jo M. (3)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 1:45 am
You mentioned Bush before Carol did, Jae, when you brought up the line about judges. And invasion of privacy, internet or otherwise, has been around far longer than the Bush presidency. Again, you were the first with the personal attack, unless you don't consider accusing someone else of racism as being a personal attack, in which case why ever even mention it if it really is no big deal? And, by the way, no one worships Joseph Smith as God.

Jae A (316)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 1:48 am
WTF ? "And FISA has NOTHING to do with what's going on today" about out of touch and uninformed about proof of ignorance ! Ya could have just gone with the topic but instead you went ahead with an asinine statement such as about shaking my head in amazement ! Toooooooo fricken funny even though that's pretty pethetic when you had a choice to stay on the topic, of which is connected to FISA. Try reading more than things from rightwing site or what you hear on Fox news...and other tabloid racist bashing media for a change. Read up on the topics you to their past connections to things current is my suggestion.

Jae A (316)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 1:52 am
Now just fer de heck of it..lets trying going with the topic title again to which I replied/commented........

" "Request'' for Google don't need a 'warrent ' for a "Request" for starters !!! "

Carol D (346)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 2:13 am
Jae..Put a sock in it!!! You are not worth arguing with!

Carrie B (306)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 4:29 am
I am so laughing at Carol's comments! Jae, you are the best!

Carol D (346)
Saturday February 23, 2013, 10:22 am
Jae..I do have to thank you for noting my topic! I DO appreciate in spite of the fact we do not agree!
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in US Politics & Gov't

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.