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Google will upgrade its legal compliance after illicit cryptocurrency exchange data was lost

After failing to provide information regarding the now-defunct cryptocurrency exchange BTC-e in 2016, Alphabet Inc., the company behind Google, has agreed to improve its legal compliance procedure in a first-of-its-kind settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).

According to the DOJ, Google agreed as part of the settlement to “reform and strengthen its legal process compliance program to ensure timely and thorough answers to legal process, such as subpoenas and search warrants,” as necessary by appropriate judicial authorities.

To make sure Google keeps its promises, a third-party, independent compliance professional will also be employed. Additionally, the business must submit reports to the government every six months so they may monitor its development.

The FBI shut down BTC-e in 2017 for alleged money laundering after it handled an estimated US$9 billion between its establishment in 2011 and that point.

Using a legal precedent that stated that search warrants may only be implemented for data housed on U.S. soil, Google resisted the DOJ’s 2016 request for information on the company, arguing that it was unclear exactly which data was necessary to be provided given Google’s global presence.

While the CLOUD Act, passed by the U.S. Congress in 2018, made it clear that all data in these situations must be provided by law, Google later reported that some of the data had already been deleted.

Although the media behemoth posted earnings of US$69 billion for the quarter on Tuesday, Google’s revenue for Q3 fell short of forecasts as it battled to compete with social media site TikTok. Shares of the business decreased 5% in after-hours trading.


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