Source : http://wikileaks.org
Back in 2004, Yahoo provided Chinese government with information which led to the jailing of journalist Shi Tao for "divulging state secrets". Shi Tao had used his Yahoo email account to send a message to a U.S.-based pro-democracy website.
Chinese authorities used email account holder information supplied by Yahoo! to convict Shi Tao and sentence him to 10 years in prison.
Today, that's Google turn to help chasing journalists, and it is not occuring in China but in California, where the Superior Court, County of Santa Clara has issued a subpoena demanding Google to reveal the IP addresses of journalists writing for the TCI Journal, a corruption busting journal from the Turks & Caicos Islands.
According to the notifying letter from Google to the Journal, Google intends to hand over the requested records in just over two weeks, without any defense, and states that the Journal may file a counter-motion with the Santa-Clara court itself.
Subpoenas for records are rubber-stamped by US courts, meaning that anyone in a position to start law suits in California can obtain private information about Gmail users who are not in a position to respond in kind, including cash-strapped corruption busting journalists from the Caribbean.
Google has elected to keep extensive, non-anoymized records on its users, but not defend these records from disclosure. This combination, together with inequitable access to justice in Californian courts, is toxic.
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