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How To Subpoena Google’s Legal Department| Contacting Google’s Legal Department


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(RDO) Reputation Defense Online a worldwide Cyber Investigation and Litigation Support Firm for Internet Defamation, frequently receives inquiries from attorneys and law enforcement agencies on how to subpoena Google’s Legal Department or even the best way to contact Google’s Legal Group.  These requests are searching for information on anonymous criminal or civil antagonists that have utilized one of Google’s services such as Search, GMail, Talk, YouTube, Blogger, AdWords, AdSense, Checkout, Orkut, Picasa, Sites, Groups, Docs, Maps, Earth, Video, Android and other Google Services.

Google’s typical response is to ignore or resist subpoena requests that come from any state other than California. The reason they take this approach is to protect their brand and the 1st amendment rights of their users and advertisers.

As a Cyber Investigation and Defamation Litigation Support firm we have had over a 90% success rate in tracking down anonymous bloggers, posting defamatory information for the purpose of maliciously attacking a corporation or individual.

Below identifies their canned response.

Google Inc. generally requires formal legal process issued from a U.S. jurisdiction and served in accordance with U.S. law before it can disclose information related to any Google Inc. users. Google Inc. can disclose certain user information in the absence of U.S. legal process, however, if you can provide valid legal process for such disclosure under the laws of your jurisdiction and if such disclosure can be made in compliance with U.S. law. We may accept an Order signed by a judge or magistrate in your jurisdiction served to Google Inc. – Attn: Legal Department via registered mail (not fax or email).

Upon receipt of appropriate U.S. legal process, Google Inc. will notify the subscriber so that the subscriber has an opportunity to object. If the subscriber does not indicate that he or she will challenge the legal process and the legal process is otherwise unobjectionable to Google Inc., Google Inc. will produce the data requested.

Specifically, Google Inc. may be able to disclose subscriber registration information and/or currently available IP activity to the extent these IP addresses resolve to your jurisdiction. If you are able to secure the appropriate legal process within your jurisdiction for this information, please send such process addressed to Google Inc. – Attn: Legal Department, via registered mail to the address provided above for evaluation.

Google Subpoena’s And Perishable Evidence

According to Google’s privacy policy they record the following information and store it in logs that have a perishable shelf life of 6 months.

  • Cookies – When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies to your computer or other device. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service, including for storing user preferences, improving search results and ad selection, and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Google also uses cookies in its advertising services to help advertisers and publishers serve and manage ads across the web and on Google services.
  • Log information – When you access Google services via a browser, application or other client our servers automatically record certain information. These server logs may include information such as your web request, your interaction with a service, Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser or your account.
  • User communications – When you send email or other communications to Google, we may retain those communications in order to process your inquiries, respond to your requests and improve our services. When you send and receive SMS messages to or from one of our services that provides SMS functionality, we may collect and maintain information associated with those messages, such as the phone number, the wireless carrier associated with the phone number, the content of the message, and the date and time of the transaction. We may use your email address to communicate with you about our services.
  • Affiliated Google Services on other sites – We offer some of our services on or through other web sites. Personal information that you provide to those sites may be sent to Google in order to deliver the service. We process such information under this Privacy Policy.
  • Third Party Applications – Google may make available third party applications, such as gadgets or extensions, through its services. The information collected by Google when you enable a third party application is processed under this Privacy Policy. Information collected by the third party application provider is governed by their privacy policies.
  • Location data – Google offers location-enabled services, such as Google Maps and Latitude. If you use those services, Google may receive information about your actual location (such as GPS signals sent by a mobile device) or information that can be used to approximate a location (such as a cell ID).
  • Unique application number – Certain services, such as Google Toolbar, include a unique application number that is not associated with your account or you. This number and information about your installation (e.g., operating system type, version number) may be sent to Google when you install or uninstall that service or when that service periodically contacts our servers (for example, to request automatic updates to the software).

Google Subpoenas and Server Logs

Server logs

Like most Web sites, Google servers automatically record the page requests made when you visit their sites. These “server logs” typically include the users Internet Protocol address, date and time of the request, cookie identifier, browser type and language.

Here is an example of a typical Google log entry where the search is for “cars”, followed by a breakdown of its parts:

123.45.67.89 - 25/Mar/2003 10:15:32 -
http://www.google.com/search?q=cars -
Firefox 1.0.7; Windows NT 5.1 - 740674ce2123e969
  • 123.45.67.89 is the Internet Protocol address assigned to the user by the user’s ISP; depending on the user’s service, a different address may be assigned to the user by their service provider each time they connect to the Internet;
  • 25/Mar/2003 10:15:32 is the date and time of the query;
  • http://www.google.com/search?q=cars is the requested URL, including the search query;
  • Firefox 1.0.7; Windows NT 5.1 is the browser and operating system being used; and
  • 740674ce2123a969 is the unique cookie ID assigned to this particular computer the first time it visited Google. (Cookies can be deleted by users. If the user has deleted the cookie from the computer since the last time s/he visited Google, then it will be the unique cookie ID assigned to the user the next time s/he visits Google from that particular computer).

Google Subpoenas & Court Order Specificity

The information that Google will share when supplied with a court order  depends on the nature and specificity of the request. Because of the immense amount of data that Google maintains on its users it would be a violation of their privacy policy to present attorneys or law enforcement more information than what they are specifically ordered to turn over in the court order or warrant. Because Internet Law is so new we find most lawyers do not have the subpoena experience with electronic data requests, especially with ISP’s like Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook, YouTube.  Subpoenas to Google must contain a high degree of specificity with highly technical knowledge of both Google and internet data flow. If your subpoena does not include the degree of specificity needed then the probability of you winning your case because of digital evidence becomes more less likely. Reputation Defense Online has successfully helped attorneys and law enforcement and offer  Litigation Support Services.

Domesticate Google Subpoenas In California

Last year under the California Code of Civil Procedure Section 2029.300 in became much easier for attorneys and law enforcement to obtain information and less refusals by Google to obtain information on their users IP Address, log in information etc for the various services of Google.  This procedure can be done by follow the following process.

  1. Pay Court Fee Costs
  2. Hire a Process Server For Santa Clara County, California
  3. Include (2) Self Addressed and Stamped Envelopes
  4. Include an original copy of your local subpoena and 2 copies
  5. Complete and include Form SUBP030 “http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/documents/subp030.pdf
  6. Complete and include SUBP-035*http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/forms/documents/subp035.pdf
  7. Include $30 filing fee
  8. File at 191 N. First Street, San Jose, CA 95113 Attn: Civil

Other Contact Information For Google is:

Google Legal Investigations Support
1600 Amphitheater Parkway
Mountain View, CA  94043
USA
Phone Number:  650-253-3425
Fax Number:       650-649-2939
E-mail:     legal-support@google.com
Custodian of Records Fax: 650-249-3429

For International Law Enforcement Only:
lis-global@google.com