Despite most everyone now knowing they’re being watched in some way or another on the Internet, the government and Big Tech still try to hide it.
The Internet itself is filled with memes about everyday citizens being spied on by the Feds and Big Tech, but they still try to deny they’re doing it.
But now this jaw-dropping “accident” has Google users aghast at what information Big Tech and the Feds are sharing about them.
Looks like the Feds were snooping on your keyword searches.
A document that was supposedly unsealed by accident has the Internet up in arms.
Then news further confirms in black and white that the U.S. is transforming into an authoritarian state where power comes through monitoring online activities.
The court document shows that the federal government secretly ordered Google to provide data on people searching specific search words or phrases.
The report that was released by Forbes refers to the orders by the Feds as “keyword warrants.”
According to the report, the Justice Department accidentally unsealed these documents back in September – they were promptly resealed – but not before they were reviewed by someone at Forbes.
In a number of instances, investigators asked Google to identify anyone searching for specific keywords.
The very first case of “keyword warrants” happened in 2019 when the Feds were hunting for men believed to be sex-trafficking a minor.
The investigators asked Google if anyone had searched on the minor’s name and the tech giant responded with account names and IP addresses of those who had searched on the name.
However, the orders seem to get even broader as time goes on.
Forbes reported that the Feds began asking Google for information on people who searched for things like “low explosives” or “pipe bombs.”
The information Google gave to the investigators remains under seal.
This “keyword warrant” approach is an entirely new strategy being used by the government and is bound to backfire or worse get an innocent person in some very big trouble.
The new strategy gives investigators the ability to target someone based merely on what they might have been thinking about and researched, for whatever reason, at a random point in their lives.
According to Jennifer Granick of the American Civil Liberties Union, “This never-before-possible technique threatens First Amendment interests and will inevitably sweep up innocent people, especially if the keyword terms are not unique the time frame not precise.”
What makes the entire thing even more alarming is that it’s being done in secret, meaning there are no checks and balances in place to ensure innocent people aren’t harmed.
This is just further confirmation that the U.S. is transforming into an authoritarian state of monitoring online activities.
Stay tuned to Unmuzzled News for any updates to this ongoing story.