WikiLeaks is demanding answers from Google after learning that the company handed user information to the FBI and didn't acknowledge the incident for more than two years.
The whisteblowing site on Monday issued an open letter to Eric Schmidt asking the former Google CEO and current chairman to explain when and where it gave law enforcement details on three journalists who were working for WikiLeaks in 2011.
According to the letter, Sarah Harrison, Kristinn Hrafnsson, and Joseph Farrell were all the subjects of federal investigations and had their email content and metadata provided to law enforcement without any warning from Google.
"We are astonished and disturbed that Google waited over two and a half years to notify its subscribers that a search warrant was issued for their records," WikiLeaks lawyers say in the letter.
Google did not respond to a request for comment on the letter.
According to WikiLeaks, the Chocolate Factory is particularly unwilling to protect its users when the feds ask for information. They argue that Twitter has been far more willing to argue for the right to notify users of data requests, something Google did not do.
"Had Ms. Harrison, Mr. Hrafnsson, or Mr. Farrell been aware of such proceedings they could have intervened and protected their interests including their rights to privacy, association and freedom from illegal searches," the letter read.
"While it is too late for our clients to have the notice they should have had, they are still entitled to a list of Google's disclosures to the government and an explanation why Google waited more than two and a half years to provide any notice."
Google is no stranger to government demands for user data. The company was one of the favorite data sources for the notorious PRISM intelligence platform and at one point the government went as far as to hack the interconnects at its data centres in order to siphon off information. ®