We are on the road to becoming communist China here. It seems like the idea of privacy is becoming almost impossible with big brother watching over our shoulder. Forbes found that the government has been issuing warrants to Google to get American’s search history, and it appears they have been doing it for a while now.
“The U.S. government is reportedly secretly issuing warrants for Google to provide user data on anyone typing in certain search terms, raising fears that innocent online users could get caught up in serious crime investigations at a greater frequency than previously thought.
In an attempt to track down criminals, federal investigators have started using new “keyword warrants” and used them to ask Google to provide them information on anyone who searched a victim’s name or their address during a particular year, and accidentally unsealed court document that Forbes found shows.
“Trawling through Google’s search history database enables police to identify people merely based on what they might have been thinking about, for whatever reason, at some point in the past. This is a virtual dragnet through the public’s interests, beliefs, opinions, values and friendships, akin to mind reading powered by the Google time machine,” said Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “This never-before-possible technique threatens First Amendment interests and will inevitably sweep up innocent people, especially if the keyword terms are not unique and the time frame not precise. To make matters worse, police are currently doing this in secret, which insulates the practice from public debate and regulation.”
This is probably the best excuse to get a VPN subscription or to use a different search engine. These searches definitely infringe upon our rights and who knows how often this is happening. I get they want to catch a criminal, but it shouldn’t come at the cost of lawful American’s privacy.