In the course of a criminal investigation, sometimes the government requests information
on Google users. Here’s how we protect users’ information from
excessive requests, while also following the law. Let’s say the federal authorities want information
from Google about user HughDunnit22. Google protects your rights by upholding the
Fourth Amendment. The law requires authorities to use a search
warrant when seeking private content — like email. If there’s enough evidence to support an application
for a search warrant, the Investigator heads to court. The Judge inspects the application, and if
satisfied, issues a search warrant. Then it’s served on Google. First stop? The Screener. The Screener sorts
and prioritizes search warrants. If it’s an urgent matter like child safety,
it’s given high priority. Next stop – the Producer. The Producer examines warrants and protects
users by catching errors and determining what information to provide. They fix glitches so we don’t access someone
else’s account. Sometimes they’re illegible, or the user name
is misspelled. Or the request is meant for a different company. Sometimes, the data request is so vague and
broad we have to go back, narrow it down, and play
catch up. So, we’ll get a hold of investigators to narrow the warrant or go back to court to ask the Judge to amend the warrant. If legal and appropriate, Google notifies the user that law enforcement
made a data request. And looks closely at the warrant, to see exactly
what data to produce. Say the FBI wants all information and content
on HughDunnit22’s account. We’ll need to clarify.>>PRODUCER: Hey it’s Google, about that warrant.
>>INVESTIGATOR: Yep.>>PRODUCER: You need everything for all services?
>>INVESTIGATOR: Yep.>>PRODUCER: Gmail, YouTube, Photos —
>>INVESTIGATOR: Everything. That’s a lot of information that may not have
anything to do with the case. So, we’ll look to narrow the warrant.>>PRODUCER: This sounds like a case where
only email from the last month matters. How about we go with that?
>>INVESTIGATOR: Ok. That’ll do. We can then move forward. We then gather the information, carefully
and accurately. Done. Data is then sent to Investigators, along
with a Certificate of Authenticity. Matter closed for good? Not yet. We may need to show up in court and present
the data. A Producer may serve as Custodian of Records. The Custodian of Records travels and appears
in court. They may travel to authenticate the records, verifying that the data is exactly what Google provided.>>PROSECUTOR: [Indistinguishable]
>>CUSTODIAN OF RECORDS: [Indistinguishable]>>JUDGE: The records are hereby admitted
into evidence. Have a nice flight back. Matter closed. Let’s recap. The Judge signs the warrant. The Screener
sorts it. Producer takes over. Oops there’s a problem.
Wrong company. Wrong user. Vague request? Broad request? Go back and
play catch up. Whoa! Narrow the scope, okay, time to gather
data, gathering, double-checking… What’s the cow doing here? Deliver the data. Now hand it over to the
Custodian. Nice mustache. He flies to court, authenticates, matter closed. That’s how we respond to a US search warrant, while working hard to protect our users’ privacy and security.