WikiLeaks Fires At Google Over Sending Employees’ Data To U.S. Government
Google has been caught in the headlights again. WikiLeaks is demanding the tech giant to explain why it did not notify three of their workers that Google was sending their data to the U.S. government since two and a half years.
WikiLeaks got their Christmas present from Google on Christmas Eve when Google told WikiLeaks section editor Sarah Harrison, spokesperson Kristinn Hranfsson and journalist Joseph Farrell that it had been compelled by a Virginia district court in 2012 to hand over their emails, metadata, contact addresses, draft and deleted emails, and the IP addresses from which they had logged in.
WikiLeaks has posted the search and seizure warrants on their site, along with the emails their employees had received from Google which said that the reason for not disclosing earlier was that “the legal process was initially subject to a nondisclosure or ‘gag’ order that prohibited Google from disclosing the existence of the legal process” to them. However, the gag order’s duration is unknown.
The secret exposure company felt exposed by this act of Google, and has published a letter that it sent to Eric Schmidt, chairman of Google, demanding a copy of the gag order, all the materials that it provided to the court, along with an explanation of their actions.
The letter was drafted by President of Center for Constitutional Rights, Michael Ratner, who also questioned Google whether it had objected against the search warrants or gag order before complying, and whether any other individuals linked to their company had also received search warrants for their Google records or not.
Such an icy drift between Google and WikiLeaks, however, is not a new one. Last year, WikiLeaks chief, Julian Assange, published a book based on a lengthy conversation he had with Schmidt in 2011, before Assange claimed asylum in Ecuador’s London embassy in 2012.
The U.K. police want to arrest Assange for extradition to Sweden, which Assange claims is due to Chelsea Manning’s leaking of classified U.S. Army material through WikiLeaks, which might be the same case like this of the Gmail warrants, though it is not yet confirmed.
In his book about the conversation with Schmidt, Assange disclosed that Google’s management was “overly close” with the U.S. authorities and that Schmidt and his adviser, Jared Cohen, have been acting as agents for U.S. foreign policy in their overseas travels. He even coined Cohen as Google’s “director of regime change.”