A federal judge agreed to give the FBI a warrant which forces Google to turn over the information stored on an Android smartphone seized by authorities as part of an investigation. The company is willing to oblige.
Somewhat similar to the case in which a fraudster was ordered by a court to decrypt a laptop that might have contained incriminating data, the FBI now requests Google’s help to obtain email accounts, web history, GPS tracking data, and text messages from the phone of a man suspected of violating his parole conditions.
Ars Technica informs that Dante Dears was imprisoned in 2005 for drug dealing and human trafficking and, after being released a couple of times, he returned to his old habits.
On the last occasion, the FBI found that he continued committing crimes with the use of an Android phone. While they obtained a court order to search his residence and got him to turn over the device, Dante took the Fifth Amendment to ensure that he couldn’t be forced to hand over its contents.
The Bureau obtained a warrant to search the phone on February 13, 2012, but the technicians from the FBI Regional Computer Forensics Lab in Southern California were unable to gain access to the data, because they couldn’t bypass the pattern lock feature.
That’s why investigators turned to Google to do the task for them. In the warrant the FBI served to the company, they request Dear’s name, address, SSN, username, password, time and duration of visited websites, messages, and tons of other details that can be used to convict him.
In a statement given to Ars Technica, Google representatives revealed that they complied with all valid legal processes.
“Whenever we receive a request we make sure it meets both the letter and spirit of the law before complying. If we believe a request is overly broad, we will seek to narrow it,” the statement reads.