Is Google sharing your information with US govt?

Is Google sharing your information with US govt?

Summary: Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed yesterday that the US government has made "requests" for the search giant to share information about its users -- and that Google would comply if the requests were legal.

SHARE:
9

Google CEO Eric Schmidt revealed yesterday that the US government has made "requests" for the search giant to share information about its users -- and that Google would comply if the requests were legal.

During his flying visit to Sydney, ZDNet.com.au asked Schmidt whether, if Google was sharing information with the US government, the company would admit to it.

"That's a good question," he said. "The US government has attempted to get us to give them information and we have a very strong legal system in the United States -- as you do -- and that legal system is really important, in terms of limiting random explorations by governments.

"The technical answer is that we do not collaborate with governments unless they are following their normal course of business -- they have to actually follow all of their procedures. In that case if that were occurring they would have had to follow all of their procedures."

ZDNet.com.au asked if the Patriot Act bypasses "normal" procedures. "Let's not have a debate about the Patriot Act -- there is Patriot 1, Patriot 2 ... There is a lot of litigation in the courts about all of that," Schmidt said.

"We are subject to US law.

"The good news is that we are very aggressive about making sure that any requests we get are absolutely legal," he added.

Topics: Google, Legal, Privacy, Security

Munir Kotadia

About Munir Kotadia

Munir first became involved with online publishing in 1998 when he joined ZDNet UK and later moved into print publishing as Chief Reporter for IT Week, part of ZDNet UK, a weekly trade newspaper targeted at Enterprise IT managers. He later moved back into online publishing as Senior News Reporter for ZDNet UK.

Munir was recognised as Australia's Best Technology Columnist at the 5th Annual Sun Microsystems IT Journalism Awards 2007. In the previous year he was named Best News Journalist at the Consensus IT Writers Awards.

He no longer uses his Commodore 64.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

9 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Patriot Act

    i thought the patriot act makes these requests legal?
    anonymous
  • Obviously

    Why do think he didn't want to talk about it?
    anonymous
  • Under the Patriot act(s)

    he's probably not ALLOWED to talk about it...
    anonymous
  • so...

    does that mean google IS sharing user details with the american gov?
    anonymous
  • New Federation is nigh

    I now use 'merican spelling. The kids use 'merican terms. I've seen Hershey bars and Wheatos on the supermarket shelves, and on and on it goes.

    We may just as well use 'merican law in place of our own.
    anonymous
  • Just an easier way of getting things than sniffing the pipes

    Lets face it
    if anybody really wanted the information, they could get it.
    A request is just a way of not having divert manpower, cpu power to the task.
    After all, its just bits and bytes.
    anonymous
  • Be a good Patriot

    Yeah it's my personal opinion that yes they do hand over info because America's crooked Patriot Act(s) allow the government to get whatever they want and you can't say boo about it. So Google is acting on legal requests.
    anonymous
  • Dude cant say what is what

    If you think they dont then why talk around subject of what is legal. Clue its way beyond patriot act. And how.
    anonymous
  • Rateb Jneid is a Minister of Religion in Western Australia
    Rego No: W15204
    Ameena-5f24e