My Thoughts on Google having to Comply with Warrantless Searches
Example: Google being investigated for how it runs ads possibly leaving no room for competitors As much as I like Google, I see this as fair. They haven't been charged with anything, but given their size and power as well as place in the market the fact they're under investigation is actually a positive thing so long as it's motivated by the want to keep the market open rather than attempting to bully with threats of long battles against an entity that literally prints it's own money.
What's Not So Good is when these watchers are telling corporations 'screw the constitution give us what we want' such as the case when a judge ordered Google to comply with the FBI's requests for going through user's information without a warrant.
Let that sink in for a moment. In our post-9/11 world where the government handed police and other investigation agencies all manner of potentially-civil-rights-stomping-on privileged to catch 'dem dirty brown people terruss's' yet even that isn't enough here. The FBI wants to be able to read your email, go through your Google drive, and whatever else they like without even the minimum oversight required by current law much less the constitution itself.
I learned we broke away from the British for something similar. People going into your homes and raffling through your things without anyone able to stop them. This is the same thing. Granted it's not busting through your front door and shoving you around but it might as well be. Think of all the stuff you have in Google docs; all the papers, bank statements, things you tucked away as an off-site backup, and add to that every conservation in gmail along with the attached files.
The FBI wants to look at all that. Doesn't matter why. Doesn't matter, to me, if it'll even lead to arrests or stop bombings. You never seem to see an agency or government take on 'emergency powers' and then give it up once the emergency is passed. Look at Obama. Democrat president elected after eight years of Bush. He had enough seats in congress that the Patriot Act could've gotten repealed. Nope! Instead we now get Drone Strikes and US Citizens declared enemy combatants.
'But we'll be safer! You'll change your tune if this gets overturned and the FBI could've stopped a busload of kids from being used as a bomb.'
You know how Google, Microsoft, Apple, and all are pushing for The Cloud? Yea no. I'd rather have data on a drive I can personally tuck away and know nobody's looking at. Now? The FBI or whoever else can claim 'terrorism!' and go snooping through anything you've got if this line of 'well they don't need a warrant since they're only going after bad people' line of thinking persists. Congress is bought and paid for. They serve corporate interests in stead of the american public's. All it takes so someone wanting to make a fast buck and oh hey easy bake identity theft. All your personal information, bank statements, and everything else is put on sale by the FBI after you've been discarded from whatever automated search they've got going.
Then you get investigated again because your social security number, or bank account, or whatever is in connection with some sort of illegal badness. Even if they side with you on the matter that's still years of hassle and bills taken out of your life to sort through.
'But if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to worry about.'
You might not think you have anything to hide but nobody cares what you think. You don't get to decide if what you're doing is wrong. Maybe your 'nothing to hide' really is little of nothing but the government thinks it's probable cause to lock you up, or fine you, or whatever. Maybe you caught someone's temper who's got friends that can lever the fact they can do anything they want in the name of national security to put you on a no-fly list. You don't have to worry about people who want to use laws to actually do the right thing. Instead you have to worry about the ones that want to abuse the law for their own gain, and those people exist everywhere in all levels of government.