As detailed in a report from Tony Webster earlier this week, a Hennepin County judge has granted the Edina Police Department an extraordinary degree of access to citizens’ Google history, as cops attempt to crack the case of an attempted wire transfer fraud.
In specific, police want to know who has searched for a particular name used as part of that fraud. Typed into Google, a search for the same name — “Douglas” something, according to a warrant — also turns up photos that were used on a fake passport by the criminal, who was seeking a fraudulent wire transfer of $28,500.
Cops figure if they could just find out who in that affluent suburb has Googled that name, they’d narrow their suspect list right down. Of course, people’s Google search history not only isn’t public, it’s not usually available to local cops trying to bust a small-time swindler.