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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