As the world sees more and more mass surveillance by such governments as the USA and other intelligence organisation all over the world, most governments are pushing hard to have tech giants such as Yahoo, Apple, Google and others install their servers within their countries to make sure they keep an eye on their citizen’s data.
Just last year, Microsoft was involved in a case in which the US government wanted to force the tech company to surrender the data for non-US citizens that is stored on their servers located in different countries around the world. Microsoft won the case.
On Friday, according to reports carried by Reuters, a US magistrate made a ruling that forces Google to give the FBI access to emails stored on servers outside of the USA.
Thomas Rueter, a Philadelphia-based Magistrate, stated that to allow the FBI to transfer data on foreign servers to be read in the USA as part of fraud investigation does not constitute any meaningful interference with the account holder’s possession rights.
Here are the words of Judge Rueter
“It is part of Google’s operation to transfer data from one server to another without the consent for knowledge of the account older. There is interference with the customer’s access or possession of the data. Even in the event that some inference occurs, it is usually minimal and temporal.
Last year in August, Google was made to allow the FBI to execute their search warrants concerning some criminal investigation. However, Google only gave the investigators data that was stored on servers in the USA. The government then sought to have the court’s order the tech giant to release the data.
When the company tried to use last year’s ruling that favored Microsoft as a reference, the Courts said Google handled the data of users in foreign countries in a manner that made it possible for the government of the US to ask permission from foreign states to access the data legally.
Nevertheless, Google made it clear that should a search warrant be granted, it gives the authorities access to emails. Subpoenas on the other hand allow access to non-content data like account numbers linked to gmail accounts and IP addresses.
Information released after the ruling indicated that Google gets more than 25000 requests for access of user data by different US government authorities. It seems Google will fight the ruling.