Google denies claims of cosying up to governments over WikiLeaks saga

29 Jan 2015

Google is fighting back against accusations of cosying up to governments by denying it did nothing to prevent the US government from gaining access to the data of three of its employees.

On Monday, an open letter posted online by Michael Ratner, director for the Centre for Constitutional Rights and WikiLeaks member said that he and the organisation he is a part of were ‘astonished and disturbed’ by the revelations that it took Google two-and-a-half-years to discreetly admit it had accepted a gag order on releasing details of its compliance with the NSA.

The details revealed that Google was forced to hand over all the details of its employees who were Wikileaks members, including their emails and IP addresses.

Now however, Google, through their attorney Albert Gidari, have denied that they willingly complied with the US government and had in fact challenged them on keeping the investigation quiet, according to The Washington Post.

‘Hell no, we’ll fight you forever’

The crux of the matter that meant Google did not release the details was because of another tech giant, Twitter, who had no hesitation in informing its users back in 2010 that they were being snooped on by the US, leaving attorneys red-faced and promising not to let this situation happen again.

In the Google case, Gidari said, the prosecutors came down hard on the company to enforce the gagging order.

Speaking to The Washington Post he said, “There was a lot of pushback from the government because they also were getting pressure from the people who got served from Twitter. The US attorney’s office is like, ‘Hell no, we’ll fight you forever.’ ”

It was then over the next four years that the company “litigated up and down through the courts trying to get the orders modified so that notice could be given.”

Wikileaks homepage image via Shutterstock


Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic