The Police Are Watching Your Google Searches


Google released a transparency report last week showing that government snooping into your personal data is on the rise.

The numbers released by the Internet giant show that law enforcement officials in the United States made 8,438 data requests over the second half of 2012, a 6 percent increase from the first six months of the year. Such requests have risen by more than 85 percent since 2010.

Of the governmental requests, Google says that it complies with about 89 percent, and 68 percent are made without a search warrant.

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“It happens to Americans all the time,” writes Elliot S. Schlissel of the New York-based Law Office of Elliot S. Schlissel on the firm blog. “Government agencies have search and subpoena powers with regard to information maintained on your computer, on your emails, stored on your cloud or maintained in cyberspace.”

Is there any sure way to keep your personal messages and other electronic data out of the hands of police offices, courtrooms, headlines, and so on? “The best way to maintain the privacy of your most private thoughts is to never put them in writing,” Schlissel advises.


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