01:34 GMT +324 September 2018
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    OK Google, Submit Emails From Your Foreign Servers to the FBI, Rules US Judge

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    US Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter in Philadelphia ordered the US IT giant to hand over emails kept on its foreign servers if issued a search warrant by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — In August 2016, Google was ordered to comply with two search warrants from the FBI related to two criminal investigations, but submitted only the data stored on its US servers. The government then filed a motion to compel the IT company to hand over the rest of the information.

    "The court will grant the Government's motions to compel Google to comply with search warrants," Rueter said on Friday, in a ruling obtained by the Washington Post.

    Google alluded to the ruling in favor of Microsoft by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in a similar case.

    In Google's case the judge found that Google processed its foreign-stored data in a way that made it difficult to say where it exactlyt is at any given moment, which made it impossible for the United States to ask a foreign state for legal assistance. However, Google deliberately made the data searchable and accessible from the United States, therefore, it would be retrieved in California and handed over to the government in the United States.

    According to Google, a search warrant, if granted, can give the government access to email content, while subpoenas and court orders only allow access to non-content information, such as an account creation number, phone number, or sign-in IP address.

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    Tags:
    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Google, Thomas Rueter, United States
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