A federal judge in New York has granted prosecutors access to a Gmail user’s emails as part of a criminal probe, a decision that could fan the debate over how aggressively the government may pursue data if doing so may invade people’s privacy.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel Gorenstein said Friday he had authorized a warrant to be served on Google Inc for the emails of an unnamed individual who is the target of a money laundering investigation.
Gorenstein said his decision ran counter to several other judges’ rulings in similar cases that sweeping warrants give the government improper access to too many emails, not just relevant ones.
But he said the law lets investigators review broad swaths of documents to decide which are covered by warrants.
Google did not respond to a request for comment.
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