Judge in Minnesota Grants a Warrant for an Entire Town’s Search History

/ 6 years ago

Search History

We’ve all heard of instances where judges issued warrants for the internet search history of certain suspects, but a judge in  Edina, Minnesota has taken things a bit too far. Apparently, someone managed to create a fake passport, which he then faxed to a credit union that allowed him to steal $28,500 from a victim’s bank account. The problem is that the photograph used to create the passport was obtained by conducting a Google Images search of the victim’s name, and since the image is not present in Bing or Yahoo’s image results, the police are hoping that Google will aid them in tracking down the culprit.

The county judge issued a warrant, which would allow the authorities to collect emails, account information, names, and IP addresses of anyone who searched for the victim’s name during a five-week period. There are some obvious problems with this, as the police would obtain data on innocent users who might have been interested in the victim by pure chance. At the end of the day, it’s up to Google to grant them access, but with privacy experts making their concerns very clear, it’s going to be a tough decision. The Edina Police Department could also be shooting themselves in the foot by casting such a wide net, as evidence obtained illegally would be thrown out before a trial.

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