January 19, 2006

Good For Google

Is there any reason to believe the bush administration could be trusted with this data?

The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.

The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for one million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.

The Mountain View-based search engine opposes releasing the information on a variety of grounds, saying it would violate the privacy rights of its users and reveal company trade secrets, according to court documents.

No, I don't think they are trustworthy at all and they shouldn't be in the censorship business anyway.

Some other search companies aren't quite so sensitive:

The government indicated that other, unspecified search engines have agreed to release the information, but not Google.
If we can find out jwho they are we can make sure not to use their services.

In the meantime let's help out the bushies:

...government lawyers said in court papers they are developing a defense of the 1998 law based on the argument that it is far more effective than software filters in protecting children from porn. To back that claim, the government has subpoenaed search engines to develop a factual record of how often Web users encounter online porn and how Web searches turn up material they say is ``harmful to minors.''
Here is a data point for them: in the last two years of daily performing multiple searches on a wide variety of subjects I have never accidently encountered a porn site. I have, though, on several occasions been in schools or libraries that had filtering systems and found them so effective that I couldn't even get to this blog.

Update 1/20
: I've never liked the fact that the search companies retain history and identifying information but they all do it. So, here is a good reason to not use any of them except Google:
Federal investigators already have obtained potentially billions of Internet search requests made by users of major Web sites run by Microsoft, Yahoo! and America Online, which all complied with the government request, issued in August, a Justice Department official said Thursday.

Posted by Steve on January 19, 2006

If they would learn to use Google they could get the data they wanted without bothering anybody.

Posted by Bryan at January 19, 2006 6:28 PM
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