- 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.
The geofence warrants served on Google shortly after the riot remained sealed. However, Rhine’s lawyers recently filed a motion to suppress the geofence evidence, as first reported by journalist Marcy Wheeler on her blog, Emptywheel.
- 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.