On Monday of this week the Whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks, accused Google of giving up the emails and electronic data of its top level staff to authorities in the US, without providing a notification. That is until nearly three years later. Apparently Google was acting in response to warrants that were issued by the US Dept. of Justice (DOJ). The DOJ is investigating WikiLeaks for publishing hundreds of thousands of classified diplomatic and military files. On the other hand, WikiLeaks said the allegations point to a broader investigation other than the ones that the US authorities indicated prior to this.
The alleged offences are broad in scope, ranging from theft of US government property and computer fraud to espionage. WikiLeaks said in a statement, “Today, WikiLeaks’ lawyers have written to Google and the US Department of Justice concerning a serious violation of the privacy and journalistic rights of WikiLeaks’ staff.”
WikiLeaks have said that Google could have, and should have, resisted acting in accordance with the warrants. They also said that Google should have immediately informed those whose data was released.
The warrants in question demanded contacts, emails and IP addresses that were relating to the Google accounts of investigations editor Sarah Harrison, section editor Joseph Farrell, and spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson.
According to documents obtained by AFP, the data was given to the US authorities on April 5, 2012, but Google chose not to inform WikiLeaks staff until December 23, 2014.
The organisation also added,”While WikiLeaks journalists, perhaps uniquely, do not use Google services for internal communications or for communicating with sources, the search warrants nonetheless represent a substantial invasion of their personal privacy and freedom.”
The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange is also under the assumption that he is a target for prosecution and has been at the Ecuadoran embassy in London since 2012.
Assange sought asylum at the Embassy to avoid being sent to Sweden, where he faces allegations of rape and sexual molestation. He denies these charges and says his extradition to Sweden would possibly see him transferred on to the United States.
[Image via novinky]