Google Gave FBI Location Data For 5K-Plus Devices for J6 Probe

The FBI’s investigation into the Jan. 6 riot reportedly is the biggest in agency history and its biggest for accessing cell phone data through so-called geofence warrants.

  • A filing in the case of Jan. 6 defendant David Rhine reportedly shows that Google initially identified 5,723 cellular devices as being in or near the Capitol, in Washington, D.C., during the riot.
  • However, just 900 people have so far been charged with offenses in connection with the Jan. 6, 2021 riot.
  • The warrants are issued by a court to allow law enforcement to search a database to find active mobile devices within a particular area.
  • The Big Tech firm is served about 10,000 geofence warrants in the U.S. each year.
  • Google is defending its handling of geofence warrants.
  • “We have a rigorous process …. that is designed to protect the privacy of our users while supporting the important work of law enforcement,” the company told Wired.
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