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Coalition Urges Google to Disclose Information on “Keyword” and “Geofence Warrants”

On December 8, 2020, the Brennan Center joined fifty-nine other organizations in calling on Google to improve its transparency reporting regarding law enforcement’s use of novel warrants to expand access to Google’s data.

Last Updated: December 10, 2020
Published: December 10, 2020

The letter specific­ally iden­ti­fies two kinds of warrants: so-called “keyword warrants,” which identify every user who has searched for a specific keyword, phrase, or address, and “geofence warrants,” which compel disclos­ure of all devices in a geofenced area. These blanket warrants circum­vent consti­tu­tional checks on police surveil­lance, creat­ing a virtual drag­net of our reli­gious prac­tices, polit­ical affil­i­ations, sexual orient­a­tion, and more. We asked Google to include a semi­an­nual break­down of these requests in their trans­par­ency reports to aid civil soci­ety groups in track­ing their growth over time.