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Google criticised for concealing Wikileaks data requests


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#1 sChiZoO14

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Posted 28 January 2015 - 02:01 PM


Google has been criticised for concealing government requests related to three Wikileaks employees.

The search giant handed over emails and other data about the trio to the FBI in the spring of 2012, but only recently disclosed this to the activist group.

In a statement issued through its legal team, Wikileaks said that it was "astonished and disturbed" to only learn of the data exchange now.

It went on to criticise Google and the US government for preventing the three employees involved - Sarah Harrison, Kristinn Hrafnsson and Joseph Farrell - from mounting a legal challenge.

Google claims that it was unable to disclose the data request at the time due to a gag order, but it is unclear when this lifted.


Wikileaks is pressing the company for specific details about the information it handed over and why it was requested.

Google has also come under fire from sections of the media for not coming clean earlier, with former Guardian executive Emily Bell accusing the technology firm of "naked dishonesty".

She said: "Google has been encouraging us to think of it as a platform that supports free speech, its several hundred thousand dollar contribution to Charlie Hebdo a case in point.

"This is a chilling reminder of either how little Google understands what supporting free speech means or its naked dishonesty.

"It is inconceivable that a serious news organisation would do such a thing to a source and not be put out of business. It calls into question Google's trustworthiness as a platform."

It is unclear whether Google attempted to challenge the government data request, as it claims is its policy.


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