Many of you probably remember last year's Occupy Movement that filled up the streets of major downtown areas last year. Most of you who weren't living under a rock at the time probably also remember the way that people got arrested during the situation and in its aftermath. Some of you will recall that a good chunk of the arrests made were done with the assistance of Facebook, who surrendered digital records (video, photographs, wall posts) of anyone who claimed that they were involved in the Occupy movements.
Well, this along with many other things that have been taking place since then have raised the issue of online privacy, and to what extent police should have access to someone's online privacy. The standard required by US law is that defined by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), but Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo have gone above this for their user base, by stating that they would not surrender the content of a user's profile/online communication without a warrant.
Says Google spokesperson Chris Gaither, "if they come for registration information, that's one thing, but if they ask for content of e-mail, that's another thing." To get a better look at the details, you can check out Google's latest transparency report. Supporter and US Senator Patrick Leahy, is making a revision of the ECPA his top priority.