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Google gets a search warrant to identify anyone looking for the victim's name
Sooner or later Google is going to be used by the local force representatives as one of the tools for their investigations, which would certainly be helpful in fighting against criminals.
Recently police in Minnesota received a court order to require disclosing of the identity of people who were looking for informationabout local victims of financial fraud on the Internet. It is clear that this is only the beginning of applying such an approach to the investigation and it's going to enable police all over the country to make requests like this.
All kinds of search warrants and other similar laws are regulated by the Constitution of the United States. As a rule,in order to justify the warrant, police officers must demonstrate the"probable cause". At the same time, such warrants may also be applied to third parties who potentially possess information helpful for the investigation, but who are not subjects of a criminal investigation themselves.
The warrant allows to search for the identity of persons who were noticed to look for any information related to the crime victims, including their names, places of work, home and email addresses, data on payments, computer addresses and so on. Here arises the question about the privacy of the users in terms of such a broad investigation.
For example, if someone was watching or reading news and decided to find out more information about that or another case just because of curiosity, this person will be potentially involved into the investigation process, even though there's no reason to suggest that this person has something to do with the crime. In other words, police is going to use Google as a ground for further investigation instead of identifying possible suspects before requiring personal data on them.
In this situation Google is attempting to narrow such a broad scope of investigation in order to make sure all the users feel safe and can freely search for any information they want without being afraid of becoming suspects in a criminal case.