CA8: Google’s search of email account for CP was private search, and it could continue to do so after first reports

Google’s finding child pornography in its mail system was a private search, and it turned it over to NCMEC. “It is inconsequential that Google continued to scan his email accounts or uncover identifying information after sending its initial report. These continued searches were, again, unrequested by the government and comport with Google’s private interests. Further, there is no evidence the government had any notice Google would conduct these searches prior to receiving the search results. That Google continued to monitor Ringland’s emails and comply with reporting requirements does not anymore indicate its intent to help the government than its first report did. Nor is there any evidence that the government directed Google to continue its review of Ringland’s accounts. The unity of interest between Google and the government does not imply some acquiescence or agreement between them to conduct searches in an informal, clandestine manner.” United States v. Ringland, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 22097 (8th Cir. July 16, 2020).

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