US police are asking Google to identify users who watched certain videos on YouTube

US police are asking Google to identify users who watched certain videos on YouTube

US federal authorities have requested from Google the names, addresses and phone numbers of users who watched certain videos on YouTube between January 1 and January 8, 2023. The request is made as part of an investigation into user elonmuskwhm, who is suspected of violating money laundering laws.

According to Forbes, law enforcement officers suspect that elonmuskwhm is trading in cryptocurrency in violation of money laundering laws, as well as running an unlicensed money transfer business.

As part of the investigation, undercover agents sent the suspects links to training videos on YouTube in early January and are now trying to identify those watched. The videos, however, were not closed and received about 30,000 views, which means that the government requested personal information from Google about a fairly large number of users.

According to documents seen by Forbes, the court upheld the ruling but asked Google to keep it secret. It is not yet known whether Google has transferred the necessary data or not.

A company representative told Forbes that Google follows “strict procedures” to protect the privacy of its users. However, privacy advocates are concerned that government agencies are overstepping their bounds and using their powers to obtain personal information about people who accidentally watched certain videos without doing anything illegal.

“What we look at on the Internet can reveal very sensitive information about us: political views, religious beliefs, and much more,” said John Davison, senior adviser at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, in a comment to Forbes. “It is reasonable to expect that law enforcement agencies will not have access to this information without a good reason.”

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