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Monday, January 28, 2013

Google pledges fight over government access to users' email?

In a blog post on Monday, linked to Data Privacy Day, Google's chief legal officer, David Drummond, said the internet giant, in coalition with many other powerful tech companies, will try to convince Congress to update a 1986 privacy protection law.He cited data showing that government requests for Google's user data increased more than 70% since 2009.

In 2012, Google said, it received 16,407 requests for user data affecting 31,072 users or accounts, more than half of them accompanied by a subpoena.

The US Electronic Communications Privacy Act, passed in the early days of the Internet, does not require government investigators to have a search warrant when requesting access to old emails and messages that are stored online, providing less protection for them.

Tech Giants like Microsoft,Google,Yahoo,Twitter and other social networks have placed a policy which requires a submission of a search warrant in order to get details about their users.

Last year, Goodlatte said he was willing to consider the privacy law reform, but that the timeline then was too short for a "thorough examination." Leahy has now included the change of privacy laws as one of his top priorities this year.

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