Google Cuts Deal With DOJ Over Alleged Crypto Data Loss
Google allegedly failed to provide requested data stored outside of the U.S., halting execution of the search warrant. The government litigated with Google for two years about the issue, culminating in Congress clarifying that the Stored Communications Act does in fact relate to data stored overseas.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA — The U.S. Department of Justice has entered into a stipulation and agreement with Google over the loss of data related to a search warrant issued for the search-engine giant in 2016, the agency announced on Tuesday. “The warrant underlying this agreement was sought in connection with a significant criminal investigation,” said U.S. Attorney Stephanie Hinds of the Northern District of California.The DOJ obtained the search warrant related to the investigation of the criminal cryptocurrency exchange known as BTC-e. BTC-e was charged in 2017 for an alleged $4 billion dollars worth of money laundering and other crimes . Its operator, Alexander Vinnik, was extradited from Greece to the U.S. in August to face a 21-count indictment. The warrant was served under the Stored Communications Act, which requires providers like Google to turn over “complete and prompt” responses to legal inquiries . The warrant was determined to have probable cause and had been signed by a judge. Google allegedly failed to provide requested data stored outside of the U.S., halting execution of the search warrant. The DOJ alleges that Google also took steps to prevent the data from being repatriated. The government litigated with Google for two years about the issue, culminating in Congress clarifying that the Stored Communications Act does in fact relate to data stored overseas.However, in the intervening time, the DOJ alleges that the data targeted by the search warrant had been lost by Google . Now Google has agreed to “numerous” improvements to its legal processes, according to the DOJ. Google will beef up its infrastructure to respond to and retrieve data requested and a Legal Process Compliance Program will be created, as set forth in the stipulated agreement . An independent professional will also evaluate Google ‘s compliance. Google told the court that it has spent over $90 million on additional resources, systems and staffing to improve its response and compliance. Copyright © 2022 Bay City News , Inc. All rights reserved. Republication, rebroadcast or redistribution without the express written consent of Bay City News , Inc. is prohibited. Bay City News is a 24/7 news service covering the greater Bay Area .