The Justice Department ended its lawsuit against Google without imposing a fine or asking for a proper explanation for deleting data that a court ordered the company to keep.
The data in question is related to BTC-e, a cryptocurrency exchange known for being part of a launder of 800,000 bitcoins. Such amounts would be linked to the hack of Mt.Gox, the largest exchange on the market prior to 2014.
However, what happened to these tokens (now worth 89 billion reais) remains the subject of investigation. It is speculated that the Russian government took about $400 million.
The Justice Department issued a court order to Google in 2016 to hand over data related to the case. However, Google did not budge, sparking a lawsuit. Building on Microsoft’s case, Google claims it doesn’t need to provide data from stateside.
Since then, Google has implemented a sophisticated system to distinguish data held inside and outside the United States. After that, Congress passed the Cloud Act, making all data mandatory.
Even with a court order to keep BTC-e data, Google has claimed that “users” mysteriously deleted it, creating another twist in the defunct brokerage’s case.
Google’s Statement on Deleting Files
Google laid out what happens to the data in court, as shown below, but didn’t provide much detail.
“On or about August 3, 2018, Google notified the government that due to problems with the design and implementation of Google’s tools designed to retain data without repatriation, some data had been deleted by users and therefore could no longer be used by Google.
On September 4, 2018, Google officially submitted the whereabouts of the data to the government.Google says it’s taking steps to save data related to search warrants [judicial]Its preservation unexpectedly did not extend to certain documents, including six photos that were removed by a judge on October 19, 2017, based on Judge Seaborg’s preservation order.
Google took steps to protect potentially sensitive data in May 2017. This was not discovered until after the removal took place, and the measures taken in May 2017 did not extend to photos, as no tools had been developed for photos to allow preservation without repatriation until then.
Google also reported that it was unable to determine whether certain categories of data were unavailable during the search warrant period from July 6, 2016, to May 2017, when Google took an extra effort to preserve the data associated with the search warrant. “
Didn’t even pay the fine
Yet Google wasn’t even required to pay a fine for a massive breach linked to a criminal investigation into the theft of billions of dollars. However, he noted that he spent millions to improve his system.
“Google estimates that it has spent more than $90 million in additional resources, systems and people to improve its legal process compliance program, including responding to these lawsuits. Given these significant costs, the parties agree not to warrant further compensation.”
It’s unclear whether the Justice Department is investigating “users” who deleted such data. It is unclear how this will affect the investigation of BTC-e, whose founder was arrested in 2020 and extradited to the United States in August of that year.
As for BTC-e, the exchange shut down in 2017 and even appeared in a report by FinCen (the US agency for fighting financial crime). So this shows the seriousness of Google’s deletion of data. Surprisingly, the giant faced no consequences after simply saying “the user deleted” the data.
Source of information: compiled from LIVECOINS by 0x information.The copyright belongs to the author and may not be reproduced without permission