Police Get Search Warrant for Everyone Who Googled Minnesota Resident's Name

Megalith

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Search warrants are typically used to build evidence against a suspect who has already been identified and not the other way around, but that hasn’t stopped a judge from signing off on a request by Edina police for what could be the personal information of thousands. Investigators are working a case where someone managed to steal money from a credit union using a forged passport containing a photo of the account holder. It was determined that this image came from a Google search, so the police are asking for the records of anyone who searched for the victims’ names.

…the warrant pertains to anyone who searched variations of the resident’s name on Google from Dec. 1 through Jan. 7. In addition to basic contact information for people targeted by the warrant, Google is being asked to provide Edina police with their Social Security numbers, account and payment information, and IP (internet protocol) and MAC (media access control) addresses. A spokesperson for Google, which received the warrant, said Friday: “We will continue to object to this overreaching request for user data, and if needed, will fight it in court. We always push back when we receive excessively broad requests for data about our users.”
 

Ducman69

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What's next? "Suspect is a Hispanic male... lets get search warrants for the private information of all Hispanic males in the United States." Hmmm, how about, no.

Of course Google acts like it cares about your privacy, but really it cares about its bottom line. Creepy Uncle Google is notorious for spying on everyone and selling private information to the highest bidder on the down low (its pretty much their business model). If word got out that they were giving away your private data to the US government too, there might be enough of an outcry that it could affect stock prices.
 
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Google is being asked to provide Edina police with their Social Security numbers, account and payment information, and IP (internet protocol) and MAC (media access control) addresses.”

I'm curious. Does Google have access to such information? Social security numbers and MAC addresses? Don't they just get an IP address and that's it?
 

LeftSide

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They might know your shoe size, but they don't know your MAC address unless you have google fiber.
 

Exavior

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They might know your shoe size, but they don't know your MAC address unless you have google fiber.

I actually wouldn't be surprised if they didn't know your mac address also. By storing mac address and IP you are going to be able to pin point people better.
 

NeghVar

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This is so ridiculously overreaching that if I was The head of Google, I would literally reply with "Go Fuck Yourselves!" Plus, I'd start a campaign to have that judge removed from the bench.
 

Exavior

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The MAC address isn't accessible from the browser, and it changes at every hop.

For some reason I was thinking I seen code once that was able to run at the client side for pulling their mac address. Guess not. Still wouldn't put it past them in any of their desktop apps or hardwired devices to pull all your mac addresses. Anything that phones home already sends a list of every known access point, its security keys and GPS location so that they could map out every known AP in the world. Why stop there?
 
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YeuEmMaiMai

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You don't like that Google fights for your rights? That's odd.


you mean those same rights they will gladly trample on when it serves their purposes...

on a more serious note though, this is over reaching a bit and I do not think many people will be impacted unless that guy had a really common name like "Dick Jones"
 

B00nie

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I'm curious. Does Google have access to such information? Social security numbers and MAC addresses? Don't they just get an IP address and that's it?

Many people are logged in to their gmail etc. accounts while surfing. That identifies them pretty accurately. If you have bought services from Google they have your name, address, credit card information and loads of stuff even without mining the big data.
 

dgz

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The MAC address isn't accessible from the browser, and it changes at every hop.

Which browser? God knows what Chrome reports back to the mothershit. And I've seen many people log in their fucking browsers because "convenience"
 

Uvaman2

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I don't know, I don't see this as unreasonable on behalf of the police.
If a judge evaluated it and gave the warrant, I think its reasonable, its a very specific warrant too for what I assume is a narrow term (non-famous person I assume), that is part of why I think its reasonable.
Who would really be looking for Joe blow's name anyway.
If this was a warrant for people who searched brad pitt.. my opinion would be different.
 

SvenBent

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Unfortunately Googles whole business model is based on the fact that when you use their product you become their product.
Which is why i don't give google cookies access. and also immigrated out of gmail to scrypt mail instead.
Ir eally which site would use homemade captcha technology instead off using google's
 

Darunion

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Which is why i don't give google cookies access. and also immigrated out of gmail to scrypt mail instead.
Ir eally which site would use homemade captcha technology instead off using google's

Yea, but all it takes is your email to pass through anyone that uses gmail for them to collect what you wrote anyways. It sucks because no matter what one does, google somehow will always know. Also their browser doesn't just need cookies to collect information, if you use chrome, you are their product lol.
 

SvenBent

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Yea, but all it takes is your email to pass through anyone that uses gmail for them to collect what you wrote anyways. It sucks because no matter what one does, google somehow will always know. Also their browser doesn't just need cookies to collect information, if you use chrome, you are their product lol.

Yes that is sadly the issues with privacy. is that you are always held back by your peers. that still use gmail or don try to use Just a basical level of ecnryption.
 

Lith1um

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"a case where someone managed to steal money from a credit union using a forged passport containing a photo of the account holder."

America is becoming more and more of a police state everyday. We've moved past, "Think of the children", to "Think of the credit union's money".
 

Exavior

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I don't know, I don't see this as unreasonable on behalf of the police.
If a judge evaluated it and gave the warrant, I think its reasonable, its a very specific warrant too for what I assume is a narrow term (non-famous person I assume), that is part of why I think its reasonable.
Who would really be looking for Joe blow's name anyway.
If this was a warrant for people who searched brad pitt.. my opinion would be different.

the problem sadly is that it opens up Pandora box and once open we can't close it. Today it is we need to know every person that looked up this person, then tomorrow it is you did it last time for that one case so this time we want a little broader range, then it keeps going from there. It is the same issue I have with my sales and marketing department at work. At times they want me to bend a little to offer or do something outside of the norm. While I know that one case won't be too terrible I know one I make one exception i will never be able to tell them no to any others in the future. The same applies here, once Google willingly says yes to a single demand without a court forcing them to do it, they will never again be able to tell anyone no when they ask for any information because they will have set the stage for everyone else. The same with that iPhone incident after the killing in California last year. The police wanted apple just this once to break security to let them into a phone. Yes they had a good reason but as soon as Apple did that for one person they would have to so it for everyone.
 

Extra-Titanian

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For some reason I was thinking I seen code once that was able to run at the client side for pulling their mac address. Guess not. Still wouldn't put it past them in any of their desktop apps or hardwired devices to pull all your mac addresses. Anything that phones home already sends a list of every known access point, its security keys and GPS location so that they could map out every known AP in the world. Why stop there?
I think he meant that it wasn't generally accessible by a given website that you're browsing. There's probably some sort of javascript that could be run that'd find MAC addresses and push them to the server, but the server itself can't ask the browser for the MAC. If they could, advertisers would probably shit themselves at the possibilities.
 

DocSavage

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"a case where someone managed to steal money from a credit union using a forged passport containing a photo of the account holder."

America is becoming more and more of a police state everyday. We've moved past, "Think of the children", to "Think of the credit union's money".
I am actually quite happy the police are trying to catch one of these crooks. Too many cases where they don't give a shit.
 

DarkStar02

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After the next mass shooting -> "Give us a warrant for anyone who has been looking at guns online"
 

Darunion

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What if it was for a specific make and model based upon examination of the rounds?

Sadly, that information can't be extracted.

So they will probably just want anyone that searched for black assault rifles.

The tinhat part of me thinks certain terms are already sent over. I am sure when I start searching for 'homemade ar-15 80% lower ghost guns' someone else reads that too lol.
 
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I'm curious. Does Google have access to such information? Social security numbers and MAC addresses? Don't they just get an IP address and that's it?
why wouldn't they have your MAC address? im pretty sure that's include in the TCP header. So if you're sending an HTTP request, to one of google's sites, they should be able to see it pretty easily.
 

Extra-Titanian

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why wouldn't they have your MAC address? im pretty sure that's include in the TCP header. So if you're sending an HTTP request, to one of google's sites, they should be able to see it pretty easily.
I'm 99.5% sure that having the MAC in the header ends at the router and never leaves the local network.
 

Nytegard

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In another thread, a few weeks back, I asked a question about how a Samsung TV recording what you say would be admissible as evidence, and the reply was that you're voluntarily allowing yourself to be recorded when you purchase the TV. I can't see how this would be any different. I think it's an egregious abuse of privacy, but we do hand Google and other companies all our private information with open arms. I personally feel it's wrong though, as we're given fewer choices to allow ourselves to keep privacy, as that's now part of the cost of the product we purchase.
 

dgz

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In another thread, a few weeks back, I asked a question about how a Samsung TV recording what you say would be admissible as evidence, and the reply was that you're voluntarily allowing yourself to be recorded when you purchase the TV. I can't see how this would be any different. I think it's an egregious abuse of privacy, but we do hand Google and other companies all our private information with open arms. I personally feel it's wrong though, as we're given fewer choices to allow ourselves to keep privacy, as that's now part of the cost of the product we purchase.

Not sure you're from the US but is it legal to sign away your rights? So what if you agreed to some bullshit EULA you didn't even read/understand. WTF is this bullshit
 
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