Print 31 comment(s) - last by Pythias.. on Jun 10 at 2:06 AM

Privacy does not reign supreme

The US Department of Justice still wants Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and other Internet companies to keep records of where visitors go while using search engines.  Web searches and e-mail exchanges would be kept on record, but without the content specifically being monitored.  The DoJ proposal will need congressional approval before coming into power.  Illegal activities like child pornography and terrorism would be investigated by law enforcement agencies, according to the government.  Even though the companies want to help law enforcement, they are highly concerned about protecting the privacy of their customers.

The DoJ versus Google story has been growing for the past several months.  In late February, the government declined Google's request for privacy of its users.  Google in March was ordered to open some of its Internet files for the Justice Department.  The agreement will force Google to turn over 10,000 web sites and 1,000 search requests that will be analyzed by the government.  Microsoft and MSN both turned over search records without much resistance to the demands of the US DoJ.

Yahoo and Google already have a track record for abiding by the laws of the local government.

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By Hare on 6/5/2006 6:05:24 PM , Rating: 2
"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither"
- Benjamin Franklin

RE: Quote
By TomZ on 6/5/2006 6:15:05 PM , Rating: 2
My understanding is that this is a mis-quote.

RE: Quote
By Hare on 6/5/2006 6:20:43 PM , Rating: 2
Live and learn. Thanks for the correction!

RE: Quote
By proamerica on 6/5/2006 10:13:09 PM , Rating: 2
He did say this though:

"Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."

RE: Quote
By Chernobyl68 on 6/5/2006 7:29:18 PM , Rating: 2
I like the Civ 4 version better...
"Those who would give up a little Liberty, for a little Security, will deserve neither, and lose both."

RE: Quote
By timmiser on 6/5/2006 6:17:32 PM , Rating: 3
Actually, Ben Franklin never said or wrote that line.

RE: Quote
By poohbear on 6/6/2006 9:50:28 AM , Rating: 2
i dont see it mentioned in the "misattributions" section. where exactly does it say he never said that cause i read it in a source much more reliable than wikipedia.

RE: Quote
By timmiser on 6/6/2006 6:12:37 PM , Rating: 2
The 2nd and 3rd paragraphs down from the page I linked too: (probably more info than you wanted to know!)

Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.
This statement was used as a motto on the title page of An Historical Review of the Constitution and Government of Pennsylvania. (1759) which was attributed to Franklin in the edition of 1812, but in a letter of September 27, 1760 to David Hume, he states that he published this book and denies that he wrote it, other than a few remarks that were credited to the Pennsylvania Assembly, in which he served. The phrase itself was first used in a letter from that Assembly dated November 11, 1755 to the Governor of Pennsylvania. An article on the origins of this statement here includes a scan that indicates the original typography of the 1759 document. Researchers now believe that a fellow diplomat by the name of Richard Jackson to be the primary author of the book. With the information thus far available the issue of authorship of the statement is not yet definitely resolved, but the evidence indicates it was very likely Franklin, who in the Poor Richard's Almanack of 1738 is known to have written a similar proverb: "Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power."
Many variants derived from this phrase have arisen and have usually been incorrectly attributed to Franklin:
"They that can give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
"Those Who Sacrifice Liberty For Security Deserve Neither"
"He who would trade liberty for some temporary security, deserves neither liberty nor security"
"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither"
"If we restrict liberty to attain security we will lose them both."
"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."
"He who gives up freedom for safety deserves neither"

Enough is Enough
By creathir on 6/5/2006 5:14:17 PM , Rating: 2
I am all for protecting the kiddos...
But it is NOT the DOJs business what I look at and when. This would NEVER stand up in court. We protections in the Consitution to prevent this sort of thing...
- Creathir

RE: Enough is Enough
By segagenesis on 6/5/2006 5:21:36 PM , Rating: 2
The protections were not defined for the 21st century unfortunately. I get the feeling because of this it actually would hold water in court.

Illegal activities like child pornography and terrorism would be investigated by law enforcement agencies, according to the government.

The magic words of child pornography and terrorism mean that anyone who votes against this would risk not getting re-elected. Tag this to any bill and it will automatically pass.

Don't get me wrong this should not be the priority of the government when I imagine that Google would be the last place a real terrorist would go for information... or communication...

RE: Enough is Enough
By TomZ on 6/5/2006 5:38:40 PM , Rating: 5
This would NEVER stand up in court. We protections in the Consitution to prevent this sort of thing...

I agree, but unfortunately, we have a lot of "irrationals" working "for" us in Washington. These folks have clearly demonstrated a reckless disregard for our Constitution and the court system. Heck, just today, I'm seeing our president and our Congress talking about a "Marriage Protection Amendment." You see, as they say since many "activist judges" have in this case so far understood Equal Protection from our Constitution, our "leaders" in Washington cannot accept this principle, and have instead decided they need to circumvent the courts by creating a Constitutional Amendment that legalizes hatred, bigotry, and discrimination.

In another case coming up, I see our "leaders" are planning on trying to pass another Constitutional Amendment making flag burning illegal. Again, they cannot accept that the courts have defended the Constitution again and again by saying that flag burning is Constitutionally-protected free speech. So again, they want to add into the Constitution this limitation on free speech.

Therefore, I think it is upon us, as citizens, to get involved, and let your Senators and Congressmen/women know that you care about these issues. I think this is not a time for complacency.

RE: Enough is Enough
By jskirwin on 6/6/2006 10:54:22 AM , Rating: 2
Both amendments are lollipops for the constiuencies of both Reps and Dems. Pols think that they can show how devoted they are to the people they represent by their stances on these issues, knowing that both have a snowball's chance of actually making it into law. These are safe issues and complete sops to the electorate.

Want to see your pol squirm? Ask him about his/her stance on immigration. Pols have shown themselves to be completely out of touch on this issue, and are amazed that they cannot control you over it.

Don't be fooled by these "amendment" red herrings. Contact them about the issues that really matter instead.

RE: Enough is Enough
By Einy0 on 6/6/2006 4:24:05 PM , Rating: 2
I agree 100% but tell that to this current administration. Bush and his cronies have wiped thier arses with our bill of rights since they took office. This is no different. Things can't continue along this path for long...

What are they doing with this data?
By NateSLC on 6/5/2006 5:58:00 PM , Rating: 2
What happens when I call my dad when he's driving his big rig near the Mexican border? What happens when I try to become a better informed citizen by searching news on Iraq, Afghanistan or even Al-Quaida? After nightly data processing am I hopping up some danger list?

What about domestic terrorism? Is it the same if I do online research for my depression and anxiety disorders? What if terrorism affects my disorder and part of my therapy is to become better informed about that?

How many searches does it take to get to the jailhouse center of a Tootsie Pop?

Let's NOT find out.

By NateSLC on 6/5/2006 6:10:46 PM , Rating: 2
That sounded much better in my head as "How many clicks does it take". :)

By derdon on 6/6/2006 2:39:24 AM , Rating: 2
The question is: Does your government want better informed citizen? Or does it rather want that you get the information they give you? Much like in China.
Sure, it's not anywhere that severe, probably never will, but I am offended that there isn't a strong signal for the other direction!

I spy with my little logfile...
By Griswold on 6/5/2006 6:10:39 PM , Rating: 2
... child molesters and terrorist and pirates everywhere! Can you hear the click of the handcuffs, Johnny?

RE: I spy with my little logfile...
By videoclone on 6/5/2006 6:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
This is an issue for people in America as for the rest of the world ...meh

Do the right thing and vote for a new government .. ohhh umm yeah, your elections and rigged,.. oh well your screwed ^_^

By videoclone on 6/5/2006 6:51:48 PM , Rating: 2
Crime is bad mmmkay! :3

By Scabies on 6/5/2006 5:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
Search: Terrorism scenerios AND terrorist attack survival

- the next day -
I got copxxored! wtf!?

RE: <search>
By IMPoor on 6/5/2006 5:55:34 PM , Rating: 2
Dang Goberment. It is so lame that this is a top priority. Like this will stop terrorism and child porn. Oh yeah DoJ this is the solution you morons. First off let dateline take care of the sex offenders. Then find a way to battle terrorism other than a search engine. I am not a super genious but I think that if google is my best effort to stop terrorism then our country is in alot of trouble.

Google Search: stop terrorism
Results: get google search results

Wow it was so simple!

You guys are paranoid.
By jskirwin on 6/6/2006 10:46:47 AM , Rating: 2
Considering how happily Google rolled on its back for the Communist Chinese government CENSORING of web searches, I think you guys need a reality check.

You are much more likely to be sued and/or jailed for piracy under the DMCA then you are over this.

You want threats? How about the lawsuits RIAA has handed out to people for illegal downloads? And before you are saying "Well, they broke the law" you might want to consider that people are innocent until proven guilty - and it costs thousands of dollars to hire a defense attorney. And merely the threat of litigation should rankle your idealism more than this.

Once the gov't starts threatening people for reading Hamas communiques, then I'll worry. Until then it's all paranoia.

RE: You guys are paranoid.
By Wwhat on 6/6/2006 7:33:18 PM , Rating: 2
ha, the P word, I'm afraid it's too late for that friend, too much evidence and blatant openness about what the whitehouse does and wants to grab for the P word to hide behind at this point.

spies for the government
By Gooberslot on 6/6/2006 2:20:19 AM , Rating: 3
Since when is a private company's job to be spies for the government? Unless Google, Yahoo, etc commit a crime themselves they shouldn't be forced to hand over anything.

One word:
By peternelson on 6/6/2006 12:29:55 AM , Rating: 2

By theprodigalrebel on 6/6/2006 8:27:14 AM , Rating: 2
In Paranoid America, the Government surfs you!

By rushfan2006 on 6/6/2006 11:43:56 AM , Rating: 2
I think this is ridiculous that our (US) government is doing this kind of stuff, but its not because of the reasons most think -- which is they are just offended with the whole "intrusion to privacy" thing. First off your first mistake is believing that true privacy even exists, the first time folks realize that they'll be much better off and they may keep their blood pressure lower.

No I thing is a shame that the government is pouring their efforts into stuff like this when we have much more serious issues to deal with -- none of which I'll go into detail because it could get ugly -- but to name a few....immigration issues, our dependency on foreign oil, taxes (everyone's favorite), national security (and I mean physical security not looking up on the Internet), how we are overly PC in this country and generally all issues related to how we are turning into wussies...."oh no I might offend some ethicnic group, oh noes!!!!".

You forgot
By Trisped on 6/6/2006 2:31:03 PM , Rating: 2
You forgot to mention if the new information request would contain identifiable info, or if it will be turned in as generic reports. IE:
search words:
Porn 5,000 searches
Family History 4,500 searches
Parties 4,000 searches
360 3,879 searches
Kid Porn 2,150 searches

And then they request specific data as needed.

Who answers for this?
By mindless1 on 6/7/2006 1:13:38 AM , Rating: 2
I want those in the DOJ who ordered and followed this to be tried and put in prison. They are enemies of the state and over time these kinds of actions are more harmful to our nation than a few websites.

If they are so incompetent that they can't find kiddie pr0n 'sites to shut them down, FIRE THEM. If they don't believe in privacy, let them leave the US. Let's all chip in and buy them a tugboat so they can leave.

Fahrenheit 451
By vingamm on 6/7/2006 8:28:28 AM , Rating: 2
Microsoft and MSN both turned over search records without much resistance to the demands of the US DoJ
needs to be corrected. I am surprised no one caught that LOL. Everyone laughed when I said that this was going to happen. So now maybe you will pay attention.

What they are doing is called setting precedents. As it stands right now the DoJ can not simply confiscate records from a privately owned company. two they realize now much crime is conducted over the internet. three there are no real regulations governing how information is passed over the internet. put those things together and you get the last bastion of freedom and corruption in the United States.

So in order to regulate this "New Wild West" they need to have some previous legal argument. All of you freedom of speech advocates need to pay attention to this and subsequent rulings. I guarantee it will have an effect on your privacy on the web, what you say on the web and how you use it. Just a friendly warning is all.

Free speech...
By Pythias on 6/10/2006 2:06:00 AM , Rating: 2
I see our "leaders" are planning on trying to pass another Constitutional Amendment making flag burning illegal. Again, they cannot accept that the courts have defended the Constitution again and again by saying that flag burning is Constitutionally-protected free speech.

...Unless its some OTHER country's flag you're burning-then its "hate speech".

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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