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Google Inc. (GOOGL) Accused Of Violating Privacy Protection Mandate By WikiLeaks

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is at loggerheads with the open information group WikiLeaks over what is believed to be a violation of privacy protection rights. The bone contention has to do with Google staying for more than two and half years without stating it had handed over documents related to three of its staffers to the US government.

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A letter written by the groups New-York based lawyer, Michael Ratner, wants Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) to make public all the information it shared with the FBI, related to the staffers. WikiLeaks also wants to know whether the giant social network in any way challenged the warrants and whether there were other demands.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) had over the Christmas period notified WikiLeaks that it had  responded to a Justice of Department request to hand over all email address as well as IP addresses related to three of its staffers. The giant search network has defended itself for failing to go public about the warrants stating a gag order had already been imposed. Investigations editor of WikiLeaks, as well as British citizen, Sarah Harrison, and Joseph Farrell, are as some of the people whose details were revealed according to the warrants.

Harrison accuses Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) of failing to protect the private lives of its staffers while helping the US government gain access to journalist’s personal emails. According to a court order, Google was required to hand over all emails sent received or deleted, related to the people under investigations. All the emails requested were to be accompanied by the source, destinations, date, time size, and length.

The FBI is also reported to have requested for information related to the internet accounts that were used as well as telephone numbers and IP addresses. Credit card and bank accounts were also requested by the agency. It is not yet clear which documents Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) handed over although affected persons were notified that all their responsive documents in pursuant to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act were handed over.

Google could find itself in trouble with privacy advocacy groups, which maintain it is not doing enough to protect the rights of its users in contrast to Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), which has consistently challenged U.S government demands.

Major tech companies have resorted to disclosing the number of requests they receive from U.S authorities for user’s information, seen as one of the measures of maintaining public trust.

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