DoJ forced Google to turn over Jacob Appelbaum's email, then gagged Google

[Read the post]


DoJ? Department of Jerks.


errr ummmm. I wonder what the fine would have been if Google just notified him of what was happening? I’m guessing Google could have covered that loss and the good will generated from tipping him off would have been huge… the kind of press Google and others would happily pay millions to garner.

edit to add: Heck, what would have been the fine had they simply refused the governmental order? I’m fairly sure no one would have gone to jail.


Department of Jerkfaces!!


The most cynical view of the Department of Justice is that it tolerates a certain amount of white collar criminality, as long as the perpetrators are not politically problematic. Martin Shkreli intimated as much, but there’s also the problematic case of Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio


I’m just guessing here, but I think Google would survive without government contracts.

Why exactly is the DoJ after him in the first place?

1 Like

It’s stuff like this that makes me wonder if the forces that eventually push megacorps to split with nations and start flying their own flags have more to do with government corruption, and less to do with the brain-sick greed predicted by every sci-fi author out there.

Look at it from their perspective: the regulation by good government reduces profits by pushing ethical practices onto the corp, but is tolerable; regulation by bad government takes away their autonomy and dictates what is profitable and what isn’t.


Did they? Did they really?

All it takes to end this is Google’s CEO saying it’s not going to happen and bluffing being willing to go to jail over it. For the Do"J" small fry like this would be embarrassing to go to the mat over and for Google you couldn’t buy that kind of publicity.


Because he’s a volunteer for Wikileaks (well, used to be, AFAIK). He even gave a prepared speech for Assange when Assange refused to come to the US to speak for fear of shennigans. This was before “Cablegate” blew up and put Wikileaks in the crosshairs of the world. The US government has been going after records of folks associated with Wikileaks since at least 2011 and we know that there was at least one (publicly undisclosed) grand jury related to Wikileaks.

Caveat: Jake is a friend of mine and I’ve known him since 2008.


OH I for what ever reason my brain read “wikipedia”. Makes more sense now.

Watch the video where he discusses the roots of this in the first couple of minutes. I ran into Jake the morning after the first time he was targeted on his way to Black Hat. They have an excerpt from the speech he gave at HOPE for Assange.

In fact, this video at the starting point in the link above should be on @doctorow’s article as it gives context for a lot of this.


It’s scary how many Americans (most, based on the politicians they support) want to give these people more power to spy on and persecute political activists who haven’t even committed a crime.


What is your take on the implications that Google is now more easily bullied into disclosure, and your friend’s situation?

1 Like

some things never change.

Buffalo Springfield - Stop Children What’s That Sound

How are these gag orders enforcable, practically speaking? I mean:

DoJ: Hand over Applebaum’s email to us, and don’t tell him or anyone else that you did, under penalty of… bad. Bad things. Bad penalties. For you.

Google: Okay, here they are, mum’s the word.

An Anonymous Little Bird on a Grapevine, to Jacob Applebaum: Woid on the street says da G-men shook down a soitan email provider fer da correspondence of a soitan individual of yer own very intimate acquaintance, see? And they ain’t allowed to sing. Muzzled, savvy? But ya didn’t hear it from me, capisce?

Applebaum: A talking bird! [Long pause.] Hm, I wonder who this “intimate acquaintance” could be?

Anonymous Little Bird: I meant you, ya dingus.

Applebaum: Oh! [Moves to Berlin.]

DoJ: Say, we noticed that Applebaum just now went on the lam, almost as if he found out we were looking at him. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?

Google: Apple who now? Are you sure you have the right number?

DoJ: Curses! Foiled again!


Shit like this could never happen in America…of course that place hasn’t been around for year. This replace they stuck in anything goes. Does the patriot act have the deed to our old country stuffed somewhere in the back pages? or did it get sold off to buy art supplies for the chimp and a harvested heart for cheney


Google fights for its own interests. I don’t think they’re more easily bullied into disclosure. They fought this one and lost. I expect they’ll fight it the next time as well.

Because if they catch you doing that scenario, someone goes to prison and people aren’t usually willing to do that for a corporation.