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Print 14 comment(s) - last by mxzrider2.. on Jan 25 at 3:35 AM

Although Yahoo and Microsoft both turned over search records to the federal government, Google looks to put up a fight

Google has not complied with a White House subpoena that was issued over the summer, which has led to U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to ask a federal judge in San Jose for an order that would force Google to turn over search records.  The Associated Press has reported that the federal government has asked for two specific things:  The first thing requested is that Google turns over a sample of a million random web site addresses found in the Google search engine index.  The second request is for records of Google search queries over any week.  

The U.S. government apparently wants the information because it is challenging the rejection of the 1998 Child Online Protection Act, which is for "the protection of the physical and psychological well-being of minors by shielding them from materials that are harmful to them."  If the COPA became law, adults would have to register with sites that provide adult content, or use an access code.  Civil liberties groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) immediately challenged the law, claiming that it is unconstitutional because it is  restrictive of free speech.

Yahoo and Microsoft have acknowledged and complied with orders from the federal government to turn over search records.  Both companies also said that the requested data was provided without handing over any personal information of subscribers. 

Although many speculate that the federal government is using the data gathered for something other than the alleged intended purposes stated, it is hard for us to tell.  This will most likely be a story that we will continue to hear hear in the future.   


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The government never tells the truth
By bbomb on 1/20/2006 11:38:56 AM , Rating: 5
They claim they just want what people ar searching for just to be used for this case only but we know that they will also use the information to bring charges against people as well. Beside google is used by the world over so how can they prove that the searches were from a US citizen and not some foreign person?

We all know that they want the ip addresses of each of the searches so that they can hunt down who did the search and put them on a to watch list or use to bring charges against them.

Its a simple request now but in the future will become much much more than what the government claims it will be used for. Google and online search engines will become a tool for the FBI and other federal agencies.




By spwrozek on 1/21/2006 2:13:01 AM , Rating: 1
I agree with you. I am curious as to how they can determine what a search is really for. Say I am doing a military paper on terrorism and searching words on the "watch" list. Are they going to break in to my apt and take my computer and arrest me??? If they just see what I search then what can they do with it? I would assume they would watch my ip and see where I am going on the net. Next thing you know is they will try to take away our guns because if I have a gun I can shoot things. I guess I am glad google is as awesome as I always thought they were.


RE: The government never tells the truth
By MrSmurf on 1/21/2006 10:28:11 AM , Rating: 1
They're asking for what is being searched for not who is searching for what. If they were lying, Google would say that much; that they wanted IP addresses and everything. Even if you believe the government was some how threatening them not to speak, which I wouldn't put past you paranoid believers of almost all conspiracy theories, if charges we brought against anyone, they would have to disclose it to the court and then it would be public record.

Unless you believe the government, Google and any court these charges are filed in is lying, you're theory makes no sense.


By MrSmurf on 1/21/2006 10:33:33 AM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah, you would also have to believe Microsoft and Yahoo were lying when they stated no personal information was given.

I understand you like to bash the government whenever you can, much like Microsoft but come up with something a bit more believable.

From what I've been told, Google doesn't want to hand this information over because it will contain trade secrets.


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