The online service is determined to fight back in an escalating war with both the tech giant Google and the American government, claiming that it is going to start legal action the day after demanding answers for the Google’s handover of WikiLeaks’ Gmail contents to the US government.
The problem is that the targets of the investigation weren’t informed until 2.5 years after secret search warrants were issued and served by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. WikiLeaks claimed it would be looking at legal action not only with Google, but also those who actually turned in the “illegal and arbitrary” order. The whistleblowing service also insists that any information used from the taking of documents this way should be considered as biased and illegal and therefore can’t be used in the proceedings.
WikiLeaks insists that was a clear violation of rights. In response, Goggle pointed out that its policy is to tell people about government requests for their data, except for the cases when they are gagged by a court order. Unfortunately, this happens quite frequently. Google also claimed that it has challenged many orders related to WikiLeaks and pushed to unseal all the documents related to the investigation.
The problem is that WikiLeaks received the notification of the court order from Google only before Christmas 2014 and published it online. As for the tech giant, it insisted that the legal process was initially subject to a nondisclosure order, which barred the company from disclosing the very existence of the legal process. In the meantime, WikiLeaks doesn’t even know whether Google even went to court at all, and if it didn’t, that would not be good, because Google is expected to litigate on behalf of its subscribers.
It is known that the Google court order targeted 3 employees of the whistleblowing service: two journalists and a spokesperson. According to the wide-ranging scope of the order, all email content, including all messages (even deleted ones), drafts, login data and contact lists had to be handed over to the US law enforcement.
WikiLeaks also pointed to Twitter as an example of best practices for tech firms responding to government requests. The microblog notified the target of a similar demand from the law enforcement, and the warrant in question could be fought in court.