Government and Law Enforcement Twist Google’s Arm For Data, Google Complies

The U.S. government, courts and local and state police authorities requested Google remove 757 items from its servers within the last year.  The Biannual Transparency Report submitted by Google on Thursday is quite the fun read in 21st century censorship.  Everything from videos of police brutality, to information supposedly pertaining to national security were among the requests.  The report also states one request from American authorities was to remove a video it believed to be critical of the government.

Separately, the report declares American law enforcement requested data from Google on 11,057 different users or accounts.  Google said it complied with 4,700 of those requests. Almost all of this data sharing was done without a warrant.

Another post-9/11 privacy invasion?  Not exactly.

The Electronic Communications Privacy Act was written 15 years prior to Saddam Hussein al Qaeda flying airplanes into our buildings.  In addition to preceding modern terrorism, the law also preceded the average daily internet use by the billions of people who use it every day.  In 1986, only a few hundred people used email.  No one had ever heard of a browser.  And Mark Zuckerberg was only 2 years old.  And…and Al Gore was still tinkering with those intertubes. Thus, a very outdated law, written even before the digital age went public, is governing a practical piece of our lives that grows larger every year.  A much needed update is overdue. To do that, though, would require a government that is as deadlocked and do-nothing as any representative body has ever been to actually do their jobs.  Not to mention, there’s only about 4-5 members of the government I would even trust to write such a law in the first place.  We might be screwed either way…