Google is sharing user data tied to search keywords with law enforcement

Google is still drawing criticism for the data it hands over to police. Detroit News reporter Robert Snell has reviewed court documents (via CNET) showing that Google handed over IP addresses for users who searched for a specific address shortly before someone set fire to the car of a witness in the racketeering case against accused sex offender R. Kelly. The search keyword warrant led to the arrest of Michael Williams, an associate of R. Kelly’s, on charges of both arson and witness tampering.

Agents linked IP addresses to Williams’ phone number and followed up with a warrant for details of Williams’ Google account, finding that he also looked up phrases such as “witness intimidation” and “countries that don’t have extradition with the United States.” The investigators also obtained a search warrant to obtain location info from Verizon (Engadget’s parent company) showing that Williams’ phone had traveled from his

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