Month: January 2013

+1 for Google offering some resistance to Big Brother

Google stands up for Gmail users, requires cops to get a warrant

American government agencies (including federal, state, and local authorities) made over 8,400 requests for nearly 15,000 accounts—far exceeding India, the next largest country in terms of information requests. In 88 percent of those queries, Google complied with at least some, if not all, of the requests.

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Authorities have also been known to request information using ECPA subpoenas, which are much easier to obtain. It’s unclear how many of the subpoenas or warrants Google complied with—the company has only said it complied in part or in full to 88 percent of total requests from American authorities.

“In order to compel us to produce content in Gmail we require an ECPA search warrant,” said Chris Gaither, Google spokesperson. “If they come for registration information, that’s one thing, but if they ask for content of e-mail, that’s another thing.”

Read the rest here. It doesn’t seem like a lot but I guess it is something. See the prior post for more on this issue.

Social Media is the Governments path of least resistance

US law enforcement puts pressure on Twitter with more intensity, frequency

The company said that in the final six months of last year, 815 “user information requests” came in from governments and law enforcement agencies around the world. Of those, 81 percent were from Twitter’s home country and 60 percent came from American law enforcement agencies. Twitter complied in whole or in part with 69 percent of all requests worldwide.

Like Google, Twitter is now breaking out what type of legal tool was used to force the company’s hand. The company wrote on its website that of American requests, 60 percent were subpoenas, which have a fairly low legal standard under the Stored Communications Act.

“They do not generally require a judge’s sign-off and usually seek basic subscriber information, such as the e-mail address associated with an account and IP logs,” the company wrote.

Read the rest here.

Michigan Firearm Legislation Update

The Michigan Legislature began the 2013-2014 session at noon on Wednesday, January 9. To date, three firearms related bills have been introduced. MCRGO has asked for immediate consideration of all three bills. The three will be taken up by the Senate Judiciary Committee this Wednesday, January 23. MCRGO will testify in support of all three bills. They are:

Senate Bill 49 (Casperson): Prohibits the disclosure of Michigan firearms registration information and exempts such information from the Freedom of Information Act.

Senate Bill 60 (Green): Corrects a flaw in HB 5225 of 2012 which eliminated the need to obtain a pistol purchase permit for a purchase from a Class 1 FFL but neglected to include Class 7 FFLs as well.

Senate Bill 63 (Pavlov): Creates the “Firearms Freedom Act” which asserts that a personal firearm, a firearm accessory, or ammunition that is manufactured commercially or privately in Michigan and that remains within the borders of Michigan is not subject to federal law or federal regulation, including registration under the authority of Congress to regulate interstate commerce.