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The NYPD has opened up a new front in the online-privacy war, slapping Google with a subpoena for the “entire digital history” of a Staten Island high-school student, The Post has learned.
The 17-year-old boy got a notice from Google last month telling him that the cops wanted all his “contacts, e-mails, history and other digital documentation” — but he was given only a redacted copy of the subpoena that doesn’t explain why police needed the info, court papers say.
The teen, identified only as “K.Q.,” wants a Manhattan Supreme Court judge to quash the demand on grounds that it violates a federal law that requires a search warrant, court order or invocation of federal or state law.
The NYPD cited only a section of the city Administrative Code that lets it obtain records for internal proceedings, “such as departmental trials of officers accused of misconduct,” the teen’s suit says.
The court papers describe the subpoena as an “overbroad” fishing expedition and an “unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”
“It’s very unusual, unusual enough to be concerned about. It doesn’t appear to be legal,” said the teen’s lawyer, Martin Stolar.
“It’s not one that’s issued by a court or a grand jury. It’s something made up out of the Administrative Code.”
The teen targets both the NYPD and Google, which allegedly refused requests to hand over an unredacted copy of the subpoena.
An NYPD source said cops want the teen’s records as part of a child-pornography probe that may be tied to an adult.
The Dec. 14 subpoena is signed by a police official whose signature is illegible and whose name and title are blacked out. It gives Google until Friday to personally hand over or e-mail the records.
“Please do not disclose the existence of this request for 90 days,” the subpoena says.
“Any such disclosure could impede the investigation being conducted and thereby interfere with the enforcement of law,” it adds.
But Google notified the teen on Dec. 18 and warned him that it would comply with the demand if he didn’t take legal action within seven days, court papers say.
It’s not the first time the NYPD has tried to obtain info about Internet users without a court order.
In 2012, Twitter refused an NYPD request for account data tied to threats on Broadway’s Longacre Theatre, which was hosting former boxer Mike Tyson’s one-man show.
Twitter later coughed up the records after a court order.
Christopher Dunn, a top lawyer with the New York Civil Liberties Union, said his group was “very concerned about the NYPD using administrative subpoenas, which are not court orders, to collect large amounts of private information about New Yorkers.
“Rather than simply turning over this information, companies like Google should demand that the [NYPD] go to court and obtain a proper order,” he said.
Google directed The Post to its online statements, including one that says the company “has taken the lead in being as transparent as possible about government requests for user information.”
The NYPD referred questions to the city Law Department, which declined to comment.
Additional reporting by Tina Moore and Bruce Golding
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Source : https://nypost.com/2018/01/08/nypd-subpoenas-google-to-obtain-teens-online-history/