On August 23, the Justice Department mistakenly did not redact Google’s name in a document filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The result was to make public the fact that Google was the internet company that lost a court battle over federal data-gathering tools known as “national security letters.” The letters allow the FBI to demand account information and other data, and are usually accompanied by a strict gag order which prohibits the company from talking about the demands. Google challenged the gag orders and lost, although it is arguable that the Justice Department’s mistake ultimately made it the bigger loser.

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