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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Google began capitalizing on law enforcement's request for user data this month, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Big Tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Microsoft explicitly announce they might seek reimbursement for giving personal data to federal agencies and law enforcement, which they're legally entitled to do.

By the numbers: Google received more than 75,000 global requests for data in the first half of 2019, according to the Times. That's more than Microsoft, but way less than Facebook.

  • Microsoft received only 24,175 data requests from January to June last year. Microsoft says it rejected roughly 26% of those requests.
  • Facebook had more than 128,000 government requests for data in that same time frame, and complied about 73% of the time.
  • Google's "fees range from $45 for a subpoena and $60 for a wiretap to $245 for a search warrant," the Times reports.

Why it matters, per the NYT: "Some Silicon Valley companies have for years forgone such charges, which can be difficult to enforce at a large scale and could give the impression that a company aims to profit from legal searches. But privacy experts support such fees as a deterrent to overbroad surveillance."

What they're saying: Google's fees are partially meant to help offset costs of complying with subpoenas and warrants, a Google spokesperson told the Times.

Background: Microsoft's lawsuit challenging the Electronic Communications Privacy act — which Apple, Twitter and Amazon filed in support of — was dismissed by the Justice Department in 2017.

  • Microsoft said that the law, which allows governments access to customers' data, violates its customers' Fourth Amendment rights.
  • The DOJ countered that Microsoft can't argue on behalf of its customers' Fourth Amendment rights — only the customers can.

Go deeper: SCOTUS torn (again) between law enforcement, digital privacy

Go deeper

UNC race conscious admissions process upheld by judge

Students walk through the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Aug. 18, 2020 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Photo: Melissa Sue Gerrits/Getty Images

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill can continue its race conscious admissions process, a federal judge ruled on Monday.

Why it matters: The case could end up in the Supreme Court after the conservative nonprofit Students for Fair Admissions (SFFA) vowed to appeal the judge's ruling that UNC didn't discriminate against against white and Asian American applicants in its policy that it said was designed to increase diversity.

SEC debunks conspiracy theories about meme stock mania

Photo: Alessia Pierdomenico/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The SEC issued its long-awaited report on the meme stock mania, which downplayed the narrative that a "short squeeze" was the primary driver behind GameStop's historic stock moves — and shot down conspiracy theories about the event.

Why it matters: The postmortem was highly anticipated, largely because of what it could hint about what the regulator thinks should be done in wake of the saga. But the report stopped short of specific policy recommendations.

2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Breaking Biden's diplomatic logjam

Expand chart
Data: Center for Presidential Transition via Congress.gov; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The logjam for reviewing and confirming President Biden's ambassadorial picks is finally starting to break.

Why it matters: Biden is far behind his predecessors in the rate at which his ambassadorial picks have been confirmed. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a series of high-profile hearings and votes this week to finally begin chipping away at the backlog.