By now you should know your government monitors everyone that piques their interest but you should be horrified to learn that in addition to the cameras, smartphones, and devices, your Google searches might also land you in trouble. Absolutely nothing is sacred anymore.
According to reports the Biden administration has ordered Google to hand over information on any user who searches specific catchphrases and people. The assistance of the ‘keyword warrant’ was leaked and then reported by Forbes:
“The U.S. government is reportedly secretly issuing warrants for Google to provide user data on anyone typing in certain search terms, raising fears that innocent online users could get caught up in serious crime investigations at a greater frequency than previously thought.
In an attempt to track down criminals, federal investigators have started using new “keyword warrants” and used them to ask Google to provide them information on anyone who searched a victim’s name or their address during a particular year, an accidentally unsealed court document that Forbes found shows.
“Trawling through Google’s search history database enables police to identify people merely based on what they might have been thinking about, for whatever reason, at some point in the past. This is a virtual dragnet through the public’s interests, beliefs, opinions, values, and friendships, akin to mind reading powered by the Google time machine,” said Jennifer Granick, surveillance and cybersecurity counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). “This never-before-possible technique threatens First Amendment interests and will inevitably sweep up innocent people, especially if the keyword terms are not unique and the time frame not precise. To make matters worse, police are currently doing this in secret, which insulates the practice from public debate and regulation.”
If you’re worried you could be one of the countless people on Biden’s radar just know you’re not alone. In fact, I don’t doubt that everyone I work with, myself included, has made the list a few times just based on our line of work. Without access to a complete list of these red-hot catchphrases and keywords, there is really no way of knowing if your data isn’t being collected because you don’t share similar political ideologies as the current administration.
I would recommend getting yourself a good VPN with mask and encryption services. I am not partnered with any VPN service—This is just my personal advice.