This is sure to stir up the debate over the government’s attempts to invade personal privacy. Late last week, a New-York based federal judge approved a warrant allowing prosecutors access to a user’s entire Gmail email account as part of a criminal probe.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein approved a warrant to be served on Google for emails from an individual being investigated for money laundering.

Why will privacy advocates probably go nuts? The warrant pertains to the entire user’s account, not just the emails relevant to the prosecution.

Gorenstein acknowledged his decision runs against several other rulings in similar cases. But, he counters that the law gives investigators a lot of leeway to review documents and decide which are covered by warrants.

Gorenstein pointed to the practice of seizing entire computers and hard-drives, and said the same applies to email accounts.

We will see if Google appeals the warrant ruling. Earlier this year, Microsoft saw a similar ruling against it, but has appealed. Several large tech companies including Verizon, AT&T and Apple filed briefs in support of Microsoft. An appeal hearing is expected to be held on July 31 in the Microsoft case.


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