Google giving far-right users’ data to law enforcement, documents reveal

Exclusive: in some cases Google did not necessarily ban users who were often threatening violence or expressing extremist views

A little-known investigative unit inside search giant Google regularly forwarded detailed personal information on the company’s users to members of a counter-terrorist fusion center in California’s Bay Area, according to leaked documents reviewed by the Guardian.

But checking the documents against Google’s platforms reveals that in some cases Google did not necessarily ban the users they reported to the authorities, and some still have accounts on YouTube, Gmail and other services.

The users were often threatening violence or otherwise expressing extremist views, often associated with the far right.

The documents come from the so-called “Blueleaks” trove, which hackers acquired from the servers of a hosting company in Texas which had been used by several law enforcement agencies. It contains hundreds of thousands of documents from more than 200 agencies, dated between 1996 and June 2020.

 

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