Google Handing Over IPs



After a request from Indian Law Enforcement, Google handed over the IP address of an Orkut user. The Indian Law Enforcement asked the ISP Airtel for information about the “owner” of that IP and Lakshmana Kailash K. was arrested. However, it turns out that Airtel did not hand over the correct information to Indian police, Mr. Kailash was released three weeks later. Google hasn’t had much to say:

When contacted for comment, a Google spokesperson told me that, “Google has very high standards for user privacy and a clear privacy policy, and authorities are required to follow legal process to get information. In compliance with Indian legal process, we provided Indian law enforcement authorities with IP address information of an Orkut user.” This was the only comment that Google’s PR people would give me in response to a lengthy set of questions that I sent over. In particular, I asked if they had received a court order for the information, or merely a polite request from the police. Their response leaves things very hazy.

Initially, Yahoo didn’t have much to say either, then they “misspoke“, now they’ve been taking a beating.

4 comments.

  1. […] Nart Villeneuve reports that Google handed over information on one of the users of its Orkut social network to Indian police. After a request from Indian Law Enforcement, Google handed over the IP address of an Orkut user. The Indian Law Enforcement asked the ISP Airtel for information about the “owner” of that IP and Lakshmana Kailash K. was arrested. However, it turns out that Airtel did not hand over the correct information to Indian police, Mr. Kailash was released three weeks later. […]

  2. […] Nart Villeneuve berichtet, dass Google die IP-Adresse eines Orkut-Users an indische Polizeibehörden auslieferte. Lakshmana Kailash K. hatte angeblich “beleidigende” Bilder des indischen Nationalhelden Chhatrapati Shivaji hochgeladen – ein fragwürdiges Delikt. […]

  3. Wow another giant chickens out in lure for big bucks

    Do we have any hope or privacy is a thing of the past not considered sacred to protect with ones dear life

  4. A polite request from Indian Police is all it takes for Google USA to release IP addresses. I do not see Google USA demanding a higher standard, such as production of a Court Order, in a situation I am familiar with.

    In this case, Google USA has relied on Indian Criminal Procedure Code Section 91(1) which they consider as binding on them to produce any information asked for by Indian Police.

    To boot, the Indian Police seem to have an even lower standard. They seem eager to discover IP’s on behalf of various “aggrieved parties” upon request, e.g. in a situation where a company wants to shut down a blog criticizing their product or service through “SLAPP” types of threats.

    (The misuse of Police could be through existing ingrained networks of corruption, or it could be a more sophisticated abuse of process, but the results are the same!)

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