Google will be watched by “guard” after agreement with the US government
Google, the largest company in the Alphabet group, will be watched by an independent compliance officer, after agreeing with the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to improve its program in this technical area on Tuesday (25).
The agreement between the entities ends a dispute that began in 2016, when Google claimed to have lost data on the defunct bitcoin exchange BTC-e, which was investigated for financial crimes both in the US and abroad.
As the DoJ publication explains, at the time, a search warrant from a California court asked the provider Google for external data related to an investigation into money laundering through the cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e. At the time, the note says, in response to the writ, Google admitted the loss of data and agreed to make improvements to its compliance program.
The document even mentions that, under the US Stored Communications Act (SCA), providers such as Google must disclose customer communications when they receive a warrant signed by a judge and supported by probable cause.
However, the DoJ note says, the Second US Court of Appeals has issued a ruling stating that SCA search warrants do not reach data stored outside the US. Google then stopped the execution of the warrant, refraining from passing only BTC-e information stored on American soil.
The DoJ also clarified that Google struggled to create new tools that would prevent data from being repatriated. “Google and the government litigated over the search warrant between 2017 and 2018, when Congress [americano] clarified that SCA actually achieves data that US providers choose to store abroad,” the note explains.
“Pursuant to the first resolution of its kind, Google agreed to reform and update its legal process compliance program to ensure timely and complete responses to legal processes, such as subpoenas and search warrants, as required by the SCA and other applicable legal authorities. ”, reads an excerpt from the publication.
Regarding Google’s compliance monitoring, the DoJ explained that Google has agreed to several improvements to its legal process compliance program, with improvements tailored to ensure it meets its legal obligations to respond to court orders.
“To monitor whether Google complies with its legal obligations, an independent compliance professional will be engaged to act as an external third party related to improvements in this area of the provider,” it added.
In turn, Google told the court that it spent more than $90 million on additional resources, systems and personnel to implement compliance improvements.
Promoters comment on Google deal
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr., of the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, said the Google settlement demonstrates the DoJ’s determination to ensure that technology companies provide prompt and thorough responses to the legal process to ensure public safety and bring offenders to justice.
“The Department is committed to ensuring that electronic communications providers comply with court orders to protect and facilitate criminal investigations,” he said.
“The warrant underlying this settlement was sought in connection with a significant criminal investigation,” said Attorney Stephanie Hinds of the Northern District of California. She added:
“This settlement will help ensure that, going forward, Google maintains the technical capability and resources necessary to comply with legal warrants and orders, such as the one at issue in this case, which are critical to federal criminal investigations.”