Google, Inc., the internet giant, recently announced that it would require
warrants from law enforcement officers before releasing information relating
to its e-mail service, Gmail, or any data stored through its cloud service.
The announcement came within days of Google’s most recent “transparency
http://googlepublicpolicy.blogspot.com/2013/01/transparency-report-what-it-takes-for.html) which has shown an increase in recent years of information requests by
law enforcement for data on Google and Gmail users. The announcement is
interesting because under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or
ECPA, law enforcement officers can generally obtain any data stored for
more than 6 months without needing a warrant from a judge.
It is unclear whether other internet service providers will follow suit,
but users should be aware that Google has voluntarily required law enforcement
agents to get a warrant, and can waive that requirement whenever it chooses.
Likewise, plenty of user data is still provided without a warrant, under
the ECPA, such as a user’s name, IP address, where they logged on
from, when users have logged on, and what other accounts are associated
with the Gmail account.
As technology evolves, be sure that you are represented by attorneys who
can adapt to the new challenges that arise. The criminal attorneys at
Sullivan & Brill have developed special experience in challenging
the use of electronic evidence, such as emails and cell-phone records.
Our knowledge of current technology, as well as the criminal defense process,
makes us an excellent fit for legal representation in today’s environment