DOJ Makes Major Accusations Against Google

DOJ Makes Major Accusations Against Google

( – On March 21, the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed court documents saying Google trained employees to misuse attorney-client privilege to keep records out of discovery in lawsuits and investigations. The DOJ also requested sanctions against the company, and authorities encouraged the judge to require the company to hand over concealed evidence.

The filing alleges Google created a program to teach employees how to improperly draw up documents by including an in-house attorney and advice request to secure the protection of attorney-client privilege. It claims the company advised employees to use this process when sending written information about sensitive business-related topics.

The DOJ alleges the in-house attorneys were often privy to the attempt at hiding information, so they never responded to the written requests, which is evidence of the intent to shield information and not actually ask for legal advice. Officials say Google has been running this scheme for almost ten years to keep data safe from discovery in investigations or legal processes.

The DOJ wants sanctions to force the company to disclose documentation in the ongoing antitrust case. Authorities say attorneys for Google already turned over many of the documents held under privilege, but they’re still seeking some way to ensure the practice stops.

Google spokesperson Julie Tarallo claims the accusations are false, adding that the company has always responded appropriately to inquiries. She explained the company has already turned over more than four million pieces of evidence to the DOJ in the antitrust case.

Should Google face sanctions for its actions, or do you think the DOJ is trying to access legitimately privileged information?

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