Annette Shaff/
       Courtesy of Annette Shaff/

In the first part of 2012, Google demonstrated that surveillance of Gmail and other accounts had skyrocketed to new levels. Now, in a transparency report, the company shows that the trend of increased snooping continued unabated in the second half of the year — with much of it authorized without a search warrant.

U.S. authorities lodged 8,438 requests for user data between July and December, in comparison with 7,969 between January and June (an increase of 6 percent). On average, in 2012 Google complied with about 89 percent of the U.S. requests it received.

For the first time, Google has broken down the kinds of legal processes authorities used to request access to the data. The company reported that 68 percent of the requests it received from government entities in the United States were made without a search warrant and instead via subpoenas, which it says “are the easiest to get because they typically don’t involve judges.”

Google Report Reveals Warrantless Surveillance of Users’ Data | DFI News.

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