Does Google give what cops ask?

I’m sure you all know about the recent Chinese hack attack on Google. It was subsequently reported/ written that the US Government Inadvertently Helped Chinese Hack Google. Here is some background:

American technology columnist and broadcaster John C Dvorak has this on his blog:

In order to comply with government search warrants on user data, Google created a backdoor access system into Gmail accounts. This feature is what the Chinese hackers exploited to gain access.

Google’s system isn’t unique. Democratic governments around the world — in Sweden, Canada and the UK, for example — are rushing to pass laws giving their police new powers of Internet surveillance, in many cases requiring communications system providers to redesign products and services they sell.

Here in South India, we have a similar instance (Breaking on this blog).

I’m paraphrasing what a senior police official has said:

The Kerala  Cyber Police has tracked a 33-year-old man who was missing for the past 12 years  has after observing his activities on an internet social networking site. Jimmy Koruth was taken into custody in Chennai.. This was last week.

Jimmy had been missing since November 1998 from his native place when he was a final year degree student. Recently  one of jimmy s relatives came across his profile on internet social networking site orkut and informed pandalam police  which handed over the case to the cyber cell. Jimmy had not posted his photograph on the site.

Now comes the controversial part

After contacting Google international in the US the cyber police learnt that Jimmy’s profile was created in 2008 from a cyber cafe in Chennai. Police traced the E-mail used for creating the account and collected the user’s mail access details and usage history and found out that he frequented an internet cafe at Adayar.

We really dont know what other information Google shared with the cops. We also do not know to what extent Google can share information with the cop (or should I say complies with the laws of the land).  All we know that if you do not want to be traced — for whatever reason, good or bad, even if you have all  the rights  to not tell people why you are going away or where you are going to– stay away from Google and the Internet.

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