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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] Google stops challenging US warrants for data on overseas servers

    Microsoft keeps up the challenges while Supreme Court remains silent.

    David Kravets

    Google has quietly stopped challenging most search warrants from US judges in which the data requested is stored on overseas servers, according to the Justice Department.

    The revelation, contained in a new court filing to the Supreme Court, comes as the administration of President Donald Trump is pressing the justices to declare that US search warrants served on the US tech sector extend to data stored on foreign servers.

    Google and other services began challenging US warrants for overseas data after a federal appeals court sided with Microsoft last year in a first-of-its-kind challenge. Microsoft convinced the New York-based 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals—which has jurisdiction over Connecticut, New York, and Vermont—that US search-and-seizure law does not require compliance with a warrant to turn over e-mail stored on its servers in Ireland. Federal prosecutors were demanding the data as part of a US drug investigation.

    In the aftermath, courts outside the 2nd Circuit, which are not bound by the ruling, began rejecting the circuit's decision and dismissing fresh challenges by the ISPs. In one instance, Google was even found in contempt of court for refusing to comply with a District of Columbia federal judge's order to hand over data stored overseas.

    The Supreme Court has not decided whether to hear the government's challenge to the Microsoft decision, which has huge privacy ramifications for consumers and for the tech sector. The sector is being asked by the US government to comply with court orders that sometimes conflict with the laws of where the data is stored.

    Data wars

    Google's move is a break from Microsoft, which, according to the Justice Department filing, "continues to rely" on the 2nd Circuit's decision on a nationwide basis and is "refusing to produce communications that previously would have been disclosed as a matter of course."

    In seeking the high court to enter this international legal thicket, the Justice Department told the justices that Yahoo and Google have lost before 11 different judges in five different federal circuits and have not prevailed on the issue outside the 2nd Circuit. The Justice Department noted that the controversy is ripe for the justices to review because there are conflicting opinions across the country, in addition to varying compliance behaviors from service providers.

    In a document sent to the Supreme Court, the Justice Department wrote (PDF):

    Google has reversed its previous stance and informed the government that it will comply with new Section 2703 warrants outside the 2nd Circuit (while suggesting that it will appeal the adverse decisions in one or more existing cases). Consequently, the government's ability to use Section 2703 warrants to obtain communications stored abroad—which may contain evidence critical to criminal or national-security investigations—now varies depending on the jurisdiction and the identity of the provider.

    Microsoft was not immediately prepared to comment. Oath, which owns the Yahoo brand, said in a statement that "We carefully review all requests for user data. We have previously objected, and will continue to object, to process that is over broad or inconsistent with applicable law."

    Google, in a statement, told Ars that it supported recently introduced legislation (PDF) authorizing Internet service providers to surrender overseas data with a warrant.

    The Justice Department initially asked the Supreme Court in June to review the Microsoft decision. The justices have not yet said whether they would hear the case in their upcoming term, which starts October 2.

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    The mysterious death of North Korea’s YouTube channels

    David Gilbert
    Sep 16, 2017

    Experts who study North Korea say that Google dealt them a “crippling blow” recently by shutting down two YouTube channels that broadcast the Hermit Kingdom’s propaganda, but a source inside the tech giant says the company’s “hands were tied” by U.S. sanctions.

    The first channel to disappear on September 8 was Uriminzokkiri, which many analysts believe is a state-run operation out of China. A short message on YouTube says it was “terminated due to a legal complaint.” The second channel, Tonpomail, believed to be controlled by ethnic Koreans based in Japan, was finally taken down on September 12 “for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.”

    Publicly, Google has cited violations of its community guidelines and terms of service. Privately, sources at Google and YouTube who were briefed on the takedowns told VICE News the move was related to sanctions imposed by the U.S. government.

    Analysts who work with the U.S. government say these channels were a vital window into the hidden world of North Korea, especially their missile development program, which in recent months has caused rising tensions between Pyongyang, Seoul, Tokyo, and especially Washington. Researchers say shutting them down could undermine U.S. national security.

    “This action deals a grave setback to the work of open-source researchers focused on North Korea’s leadership, economy, military, and human rights situation,” said Curtis Melvin, who runs the blog North Korea Economy Watch blog and works at the U.S.-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins University.

    For more than a decade, U.S. policy toward North Korea has relied on a mixture of unilateral and UN Security Council sanctions designed to punish and isolate Pyongyang for its repeated missile launches and nuclear tests. The latest wave of sanctions, which were issued in response to North Korea’s September 3 nuclear test, place further restrictions on gas and oil imports, and prevent any country from giving new work permits to North Koreans.

    It remains unclear what sanctions in particular have forced Google to take action, but it appears unrelated to restrictions on doing business with North Korea. Many experts suspected the channels were shut down because the North Korean government may have been directly or indirectly earning money from ad revenue, but neither of the removed channels were running ads.

    Officially at least, Google isn’t clearing things up. “We must comply with the law,” a Google spokesperson said in an emailed statement to VICE News. “We disable accounts that repeatedly violate our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service and when we are required by law to do so.”

    The U.S. Treasury Department, which handles sanctions enforcement, declined to comment on the YouTube case specifically, but pointed out that it generally does not regulate information and informational materials.

    “We’re still guessing until YouTube gives us an explanation that isn’t complete garbage, but it sounds like they’re just being stupid about this, and this has only the vaguest connection to sanctions,” said Joshua Stanton, an attorney in Washington, D.C., who drafted the legislation that later became the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016. “Unless these videos threaten to harm people or make money that supports censorship inside North Korea, I doubt that the government would want YouTube to take them down. YouTube could probably get a license from the Treasury Department if it bothered to ask for one.”

    Stanton also pointed out that YouTube’s decision was even stranger given that Associated Press has an agreement with the Korean Central News Agency, a North Korean propaganda outlet, to disseminate official images — especially given that KCNA was sanctioned by the U.S. Treasury earlier this month.

    Sources inside YouTube and Google who have been briefed on the decision but were not authorized to speak on the record told VICE News that the channels were shut down because an unknown party filed a complaint. Just a single complaint can trigger an investigation internally at YouTube, and in these particular cases, the decision was made to shut down the channels.

    The YouTube source said that when there is reasonable evidence a channel is “directly or indirectly” owned by North Korea, it must be taken down, and that even if it is not monetizing its content, it can still be in violation of U.S. laws.

    The reason for the decision, according to one source at Google, was “purely legal” and based on U.S. sanctions — but they would not specify to which sanctions the decision pertained.

    Another source at Google said the company felt its “hands were tied” and it did not have any other option but to take the content offline. They added that Google is aware of the value of these channels to researchers, but warned that any appeal to have them reinstated would have to be made on a legal basis.

    The shutdown of the channels has led to an outcry among the analyst community who have seen a vital research tool disappear overnight.

    Joshua Pollack, a senior research associate at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, called the move “a crippling blow” for the research he and others conduct, which has in the past helped track the development of the arms industry in North Korea, finding evidence of possible sanctions evasion and identifying the location of where it manufactures its missile launchers.

    The channels show news broadcasts from the Korean Central Television, giving viewers updates on what the regime’s leaders are doing, and in some cases even revealing items that have been imported in violation of sanctions.

    The U.S. government also works with researchers like Pollack to help get a better understanding of what is happening inside North Korea, meaning their work influences national security decisions. “A fair amount of what we do is U.S. government sponsored, so evidentially there are offices in the government who get some value out of this work,” Pollack said.

    In an open letter to Google, Melvin said: “Seven years of data tracking the end of Kim Jong Il and the rise of Kim Jong Un have simply vanished. Please restore these data sources as soon as possible.”

    “The lesson here,” Melvin said, “is that if you find North Korean content on the Internet, copy it and don’t make it public for fear that it falls under U.S. jurisdiction in some way and can be deleted under threatened/actual legal action.”
    Última edição por 5ms; 16-09-2017 às 16:17.

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