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Slashdot: The use of Google search data in a murder case was approved by the Colorado Supreme Court


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    The Colorado Supreme Court ruled today that evidence gleaned from a warrant for Google's search data could be used in the prosecution of a teen who was charged with murder for a fire that killed five people in the Denver area. From a report: As police scrambled to solve the source of the 2020 blaze, they asked Alphabet's Google to provide information about people who searched for the address of the house that went up in flames, using a controversial technique known as a keyword search warrant. After some initial objections, Google provided data that enabled detectives to zero in on five accounts, leading to the arrest of three suspects in the case.

    Lawyers for one of the suspects, Gavin Seymour, who was found to have Googled the home's address 14 times in the days before the fire, argued that the keyword warrant constituted an illegal search and that any evidence from it should be suppressed. His motion is the first known challenge to the constitutionality of keyword search warrants. The case is ongoing. In its 74-page decision, the court found that law enforcement had acted in good faith when it obtained the warrant for the teen's search history. Still, it stressed that the findings were specific to the facts of the case, and it refrained from weighing in about the use of Google's search data more broadly.


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