A mild-mannered man says his life was completely ruined after Google's autocomplete feature convinced the government he was building a bomb.
Though he intended to search the web for "How do I build a radio-controlled airplane," Jeffrey Kantor, then a government contractor, says the search engine auto-completed his request, turning it into ""How do I build a radio controlled bomb?"
Before he realized Google's error, Kantor had already pressed enter, sparking a chain reaction he says resulted in months of harassment by government officials leading up to his eventual termination.
Following the 2009 incident, Kantor says he was under constant surveillance, with his every physical and digital move monitored by the government.
In a lawsuit filed this week in federal court, Kantor claims he was regularly visited by federal investigators who made threatening and anti-Semitic remarks, which only got worse after he complained to the Anti-Defamation League.
Kantor further states that coworkers would also make "veiled death threats" and appeared to have extensive knowledge of Kantor's private life, phone calls, and Internet habits.
"If Kantor ever got angry after his private information was repeated back (by slamming a cabinet or typing loudly on his computer)," reads Kantor's complaint, "the [subcontractor] CRGT and Northrop Grumman employees would tell the same story about how there was a neighbor in their community who seemed like such a nice guy, but then went on a murder suicide."
Kantor says he was ultimately pushed out of his position at Appian Corporation, but continued encountering similar harassment when working for other contractors with federal clients.
Kantor's lawsuit names a who's who of high-profile defendants, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, Secretary of State John Kerry, and Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Rand Beers among others.
As recompense for his hardships, Kantor seeks nearly $60 million in damages.
He also wants the court to order the government to quit stalking him.