The Government’s Secret “Google Search” Warrant Trap

Source: Reason
by Andrea O’Sullivan

It’s been 20 years since 9/11, which means it’s also been 20 years since America’s public debates about government surveillance under laws like the PATRIOT Act. It’s a bit amusing to look back and see commentators clashing over hot-button topics like whether the government should have access to things like library records. … We have surveillance fatigue. A lot of people just assume that everything they do online is immediately hoovered up and stored in some massive desert National Security Agency data center for eternity. It’s not a bad heuristic, but there are still some procedural hurdles for the feds to get their hands on what they want. One of them was recently publicized in a series of court documents obtained by Forbes. It’s called a ‘keyword warrant,’ and it’s basically an open request for information on anyone who searches for particular terms online.” (10/12/21)