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Google's Response to the DoJ Motion 315

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the fancy-ways-to-say-no dept.
neoviky writes "Google Inc. on Friday formally rejected the U.S. Justice Department's subpoena of data from the Web search leader, arguing the demand violated the privacy of users' Web searches and its own trade secrets. Responding to a motion by U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Google also said in a filing in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California the government demand to disclose Web search data was impractical."
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Google's Response to the DoJ Motion

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  • Equal treatment? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ttimes (534696)
    So the government goes after Google- what about others like Microsoft? Or is this The Evil One's plan- the government is their largest contract. Hmmm
    • IIRC, MS and Yahoo already caved in to the Kremlin^H^H^H^H^HWhite House.
      • Re:Equal treatment? (Score:4, Informative)

        by fafaforza (248976) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:02AM (#14749311)
        Yahoo fought hard the request from RIAA a while ago for identifying information of owners of IPs that they logged on Kazaa. In the end they lost and a court ordered them to provide such information. In this case, the information provided contained no identifying data. Only statystics on searches.

        Now, if you put in identifying information on the web search, then that is your own folly. My startup page is on my own domain, which is comprised of my last name. You can be sure that I never pull up any pages from that startup page becase I don't want my domain -- and my last name as a result -- to pop up on various sites' Referrer field.
        • by typical (886006) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @12:53PM (#14749808) Journal
          But there is a difference.

          With the RIAA, a crime had been committed, and Yahoo was asking to not turn over information identifying the offenders (more or less, yes, this is simplified).

          In this case, the government has *no* committed crime, and is not trying to track down any criminals. They are simply trying (or at least, this is their justification) to obtain Google's search data to support GOP initiatives to spread pornography filters based on the fact that N% of searches return pornography hits.

          My take is that Google is completely in the right. The federal government has absolutely no right to that data, nor do I want them to be able to subpoena it.

          As for not being identifiable, give me a break. You surf sites with ads served by people like Doubleclick and Google Ads. Google can match all past searches from your IP or from a machine with any cookies that they've set on your machine. This is not speculation -- they have specifically stated that they have this ability. It's a pretty good bet that a number of sites on the Web have your real name. Maybe it's not a drop-in "Google has a complete database", but it only takes Google + *one* other website you visit that has your personal name, and there's a damned comprehensive list of your thoughts, research, summary of what you're reading about and so forth available to the federal government.

          I don't think that this is a very good thing.
          • I agree with you, but I'd just like to note that in the RIAA example, no crime has been committed either. What happens when somebody downloads music they haven't paid for is called "copyright infringement," and is a civil matter, not criminal. Come on, this is Slashdot. I thought we'd been over this a million times already. :-)
        • If you're not already aware of it, the Opera browser allows you to turn off referrer logging globally. I only turn it on very rarely when a site requires it.

      • Comparing it to the Kremlin was good, but comparing it to the Reichstag would be better.
    • "The" government went after Microsoft, declaring it a monopoly in 1999 after the lawsuit under Clinton. Then Bush took over the "remedy" phase, and - they're still a monopoly.

      When considering [google.com] "selective prosecution" in the American system of "equal protection under the law", keep in mind Abramoff's rule that some casinos are more equal than others [google.com].
  • by neonprimetime (528653) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:45AM (#14749231) Homepage
    If Google hasn't done anything wrong ... then they shouldn't have to comply. Good job google.
    The only way they should get the data is if Google volunteers to give it.

    What's the government thinking anyways? If they just tapped on Microsoft's shoulder I'm sure Bill would hand over all of MSNs search data.
    • Corporations are creations of law. If the government wins in the courts, Google WILL give up this data. Google is not fighting a good fight based purely on morality. If that were the case then they would currently be wiping all their stored data and risking jail time.
      • Corporations are creations of law. If the government wins in the courts, Google WILL give up this data. Google is not fighting a good fight based purely on morality. If that were the case then they would currently be wiping all their stored data and risking jail time.

        Isn't it great the few times corporate power disagrees with political power?!

        It's the only time we can have a decent discussion on the merits of alternate points of view instead of having the opinion of the majority (meaning us, the actual peop
    • by savorymedia (938523) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:06AM (#14749329) Homepage
      What's the government thinking anyways? If they just tapped on Microsoft's shoulder I'm sure Bill would hand over all of MSNs search data.

      Ummm...Bill DID just roll over and send the gov't MSN's search data...as did Yahoo and AOL.
      http://www.techweb.com/wire/ebiz/177101984 [techweb.com]
    • I totally agree with google's answer to the government's request. Ever since the Patriot Act, the government has aquired this belief that the people of America are ready to give up our basic rights. There is even a police chief in Houston that suggested building permits require cameras in apartment buildings, malls, and even *in privately owned homes whose owner calls the police very often. Another story I've recently heard of is that of a person sitting in a library being harassed by a librarian and two
    • If Google hasn't done anything wrong ... then they shouldn't have to comply.

      This is ridiculous. There may be many reasons not to comply, but innocence is not one of them. Subpoenas are routinely issued to innocent parties, for very good reasons, and the parties comply.

      You don't have to be a lawyer to know this!
  • Here's some more. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Voltageaav (798022) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:46AM (#14749237) Homepage
    An article about it. http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/3 578821 [internetnews.com]
  • by luvirini (753157) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:49AM (#14749247)
    The world is going in a direction where a lot of lawsuits and such are really "fishing expeditions" to you create overly broad subpoenas and then hope to find something in the material to back you view.
    • ...this is a government fishing expedition, and it's not even fishing for crime, it's fishing for data from which they suppose they might be able to theorize harm, and legislate a new crime.

      In reality, they just want to believe that harm is somehow being done. They aren't after evidence or scientific proof. They're after data that can be munged to confirm their biases and those of their constituents.

      For the record: in my own opinion images of sex, even wild and kinky sex, do not harm kids - and probably don
    • If they do win and google is forced to give over searches, I think the best action would be a campaign to put so much noise in those searches it would be pointless for them to even try. i.e. searching for things like killing the president and how jews invented tornados.
  • In Summary (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pcgamez (40751) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:50AM (#14749252)
    Google states that the data being requested has no relevance to what the government (specifically, the government-hired researches) wants to prove.

    Interestingly, they (the government) could just come around and request more specific data which would be relevant.
    • Re:In Summary (Score:2, Insightful)

      by PhrostyMcByte (589271)
      Maybe there's some hidden legal merit I havn't seen through the /. filter, but the Government's audacity in this situation astonishes me. It seems like they had no legal ground to request this information from search engines, and their following through with a lawsuit when Google saw through their BS is amazing.

      I imagine people asking their local photo shop to invade their customer's privacy and give them a few thousand random photos (all for ), then suing when the shop tells them to fuck off.
    • The government is doing research relevant to a federal law. There is nothing silly about that. Google's statement that the data has not relevance is rather absurd. The government can obviously use the data to establish information about search patterns, etc that lead to online illegal porn (or kiddie porn, or whatever they are after). Furthermore, they have requested this information in a manner that protects the privacy of the individuals making the queries. Google claims that the government cannot tell wh
  • PR Stunt ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:57AM (#14749285)

    I am amazed that people do not see Google's action for what it is -- a huge and hugely inexpensive public relations stunt. From a legal standpoint, Google does not have much ground to stand on. Yahoo and Microsoft realized this and that is why they complied. However, from a public relations point of view, it costs Google a small handful of hours of legal time and in return, Google gets featured on Slashdot and the countries newspapers, television and radio outlets, in addition to all over the internet numerous times. In the vast majority of cases, Google will be featured as the do-gooder ("do no evil") standing up to the U.S. Government on the public's behalf meanwhile making its competitors (Yahoo and Microsoft) look bad in the public eye.


    In the end, expect Google to comply with the DOJ's request but only after getting all the (almost) free publicity it can from this. I hope that there are some writers of marketing and public relations books paying attention to this stunt because this has got to be one of the best (and least expensive) public relations coups in recent history.

    • Re:PR Stunt ... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by neonprimetime (528653)
      If the information the government wanted was a matter of national security ...
      Then yeah, google should hand it over immediately, no questions asked ...
      But for pr0n and other irrelevant junk? The government should be
      focusing on more important stuff anyways ... MS and Yahoo! are just playing butt kissers in handing it over right away.
      • Re:PR Stunt ... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by rainman_bc (735332) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:44AM (#14749458)

        If the information the government wanted was a matter of national security ...
        Then yeah, google should hand it over immediately, no questions asked ...


        Yeah, according to the DHS, everything is a matter of national security. They use it as an excuse for just about everything they want to do, without being subject to scrutiny.
        • Yeah, according to the DHS, everything is a matter of national security. They use it as an excuse for just about everything they want to do, without being subject to scrutiny.

          Utter nonsense!

          One needs look no farther than the case in hand to recognize that this is exceedingly over-general tripe. One even has to look pretty hard to find a single current case where the asertion is true (for example, the NSA's spy on overseas calls case was in fact disclosed to and subject to the scrutiny of a number of members
      • If the information the government wanted was a matter of national security ...
        Then yeah, google should hand it over immediately, no questions asked ...
        In a country that (supposedly) cares about Freedom, questions should ALWAYS be asked!
      • If the information the government wanted was a matter of national security ...
        Then yeah, google should hand it over immediately, no questions asked ...


        The Iraq war was wanted as a matter of national security, and look where that is...
    • I have to agree with this 100%.

      Compare this from the legal documents;
      Google users trust that when they enter a search query into a Google search box, not only will they receive back the most relevant results,

      and how they are censoring/omitting results on the request of the government of China.

      Somewhere Google knows how this looks at first glance to the average Internet user. "Oh look, they are protecting me from Big Brother! I should trust them!". Alot of companies do this sort of "image-management" and
      • And telling users when results have been omitted/censored. Which no other search engine in China does.

        And letting their slower-but-uncensored version remain accessible to the Chinese people if they'd rather use that instead.

        If people could get past their knee-jerk reverse-Lars-Ulrich "Money BAD!" reaction and consider what Google's actions mean for the Chinese people--folks who might never have realized that their searches were being censored will now have evidence of it staring them right in the face--they
        • >And telling users when results have been omitted/censored.

          Yes that makes all the differnce in the world.

          "These search results may be censored due to local laws, but we can't tell you why because that would be against local laws. It may be people getting run over by tanks or beastiality or pictures of Chairman Mao shaking hands with Elvis. Sorry for the ignorance we are propogating. Oh, and your search queries may be accessable to your local goverment for who knows what purpose. Except in America, wh
    • Re:PR Stunt? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by mgabrys_sf (951552) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:47AM (#14749477) Journal
      Some public relations stunt. It caused their net-worth to drop billions this quarter. If I were an investor, I'd say try something else.
      • Re:PR Stunt? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward
        What evidence do you have that this "PR Stunt" was the primary cause of the stock to drop? If you actually knew, you could make a killing on the stock market, as nobody has figured out how to predict the exact causes of why stocks go up and down 100% of the time.
      • Re:PR Stunt? (Score:4, Informative)

        by Crackerman111 (201718) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @03:24PM (#14750770)
        No. Their stock dropped because earnings were below forecasts [mercurynews.com], not because of this incident with the DoJ.
    • Re:PR Stunt ... (Score:2, Insightful)

      by defile (1059)

      I am amazed that people do not see Google's action for what it is -- a huge and hugely inexpensive public relations stunt. From a legal standpoint, Google does not have much ground to stand on. Yahoo and Microsoft realized this and that is why they complied. However, from a public relations point of view, it costs Google a small handful of hours of legal time and in return, Google gets featured on Slashdot and the countries newspapers, television and radio outlets, in addition to all over the internet nume

    • I am amazed that people do not see Google's action for what it is -- a huge and hugely inexpensive public relations stunt.

      You're a troll or an idiot. The government is subpoenaing Google's data for reasons unrelated to national security, crime, or anything else. Some faction in the GOP wants to promote pornography filters, and wants statistical data to support this view. They have *no* legal basis for demanding this data of Google -- nor, frankly, do I want them to get said data *or* start the precedent
  • The irony is... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by nwbvt (768631) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:59AM (#14749290)
    Google has no qualms about showing search related data to the general public.

    Back when I was in school several Google recruiters came and during the presentation were more than willing to demonstrate technology that allows you to see what others had been searching.

    • I think the more important point they made in their argument is that entities which are in NO way involved in legal cases should not be compelled to give up confidential information unless that information is extremely relevant to the case. Read the linked opposition - the point of users' confidentiality is only barely touched upon, whereas several pages are spent on the irrelevancy issue.

      I completely agree with Google on this. If the government can request mountains of data from private companies in a ca
      • This story didn't make in /.s "Your Rights Online" section because they were protecting the rights of big companies to not do extra work for the feds.

        That may well be the official reason they are not complying, but I doubt it is the real reason. They are now a public company who need good public relations, and they know this move will make them look like privacy advocates to people who either think no search information is ever stored anywhere or those who think (like the other guy who responded to me) t

    • ... Google ... were more than willing to demonstrate technology that allows you to see what others had been searching.

      Google Suggest [google.com] does this. It's a good feature.

      There is a huge difference between showing anonymous search statistics in order to aid the end-user and handing over personally identifiable private information to corrupt individuals. Although you could argue that the politicians think they are only doing what is in the public's best interest. I'm glad Google disagrees.
      • So you don't think there is anything wrong with providing anonymous user statistics? Then you are saying you agree with the DOJ? Since of course that is exactly what they are requesting. In fact they specicially requested the removal of any identifiable information.
  • by Da w00t (1789) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @10:59AM (#14749293) Homepage
    [this is bad] (yes, I am a member)

    Link to the blogger post [blogspot.com], that's the article, and THEN the pdf [blogspot.com]! Thank you!

    (karmawhoring)

    Here's a portion of the introduction:

    • I. INTRODUCTION
      Google users trust that when they enter a search query into a Google search box, not only will they receive back the most relevant results, but that Google will keep private whatever information users communicate absent a compelling reason. The Government's demand for disclosure of untold millions of search queries submitted by Google users and for production of a million Web page addresses or "URLs" randomly selected from Google's proprietary index would undermine that trust, unnecessarily burden Google, and do nothing to further the Government's case in the underlying action.

      Fortunately, the Court has multiple, independent bases to reject the Government's Motion. First, the Government's presentation falls woefully short of demonstrating that the requested information will lead to admissible evidence. This burden is unquestionably the Government's. Rather than meet it, the Government concedes that Google's search queries and URLs are not evidence to be used at trial at all. Instead, the Government says, the data will be "useful" to its purported expert in developing some theory to support the Government's notion that a law banning materials that are harmful to minors on the Internet will be more effective than a technology filter in eliminating it.
  • Good for them (Score:4, Interesting)

    by NigelJohnstone (242811) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:01AM (#14749301)
    If Gonzales can simply refuse to answer questions on the legality of domestic searches when he goes before Congress, then Google can refuse spurious warrants from Gonzales. The DOJ doesn't have a right to simply request any information for any reason, and its good that Google are fighting what seems to be a political thing rather than a law enforcement request.

  • DMCA? (Score:3, Funny)

    by VisceralLogic (911294) <`moc.cigollarecsiv' `ta' `luap'> on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:05AM (#14749326) Homepage
    arguing the demand violated the privacy of users' Web searches and its own trade secrets.

    They just need to make it clear that it would be a violation of the DMCA for the DoJ to look at this stuff!

  • Laughable (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fafaforza (248976) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:12AM (#14749346)
    Or am I just cynikal?

    From what I understand, the government asked for web search strings alone. No identifying information at all.

    Google claims to be fighting the good fight of protecting their users' data, but how different is the data that the government wants, from the data the Google itself uses to comprise the various lists of most popular searches, the 'popular topics' are in news.google.com, etc? I'm not sure that I'd like my search to be part of such a public display. Is Google's users' data being user improperly in that case, too?

    The way I see it is that Google is simply grandstanding. There have been some voices recently that Google has been getting too powerfull and encompassing. They have your email, they know what you search for, and they search your entire hard drive and call back home with their toolbar.

    From what I understand, the government asked them for similar search data, with no identifying information, for their own statystical analysis. Is this Google's chance to get back to the good graces of the Internet's geeks, stick to their missions to "do no evil" and retain their image of the anti-corporation, the underdog, and the rebel, while trying to get back to their $150 billion market cap?
    • Re:Laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dfsiii (895495)
      Yet, it all comes down to you choosing to use their products and "forfeit" your privacy. Don't use their stuff, don't worry about too much information getting out.
      • Yet, it all comes down to you choosing to use their products and "forfeit" your privacy. Don't use their stuff, don't worry about too much information getting out.

        your should be the quoted word.

        At what point did we decide it was a reasonable opinion to be selfish and okay with the idea that everything around us was crumbling?
    • From what I understand, the government asked for web search strings alone. No identifying information at all.

      Just that the information in question isn't particularly sensitive, doesn't mean government gets to force corporations to hand over whatever they ask for.

      They don't intend to use this information as evidence in court, so they don't get to subpoena it.

      From what I understand, the government asked them for similar search data, with no identifying information, for their own statystical analysis.

      F

    • Re:Laughable (Score:4, Insightful)

      by amishdisco (705368) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @12:11PM (#14749617) Homepage

      How much disconnect is there between the DoJ finding search strings interpreted by them as criminal activity, and their demanding the IP addresses that made them? And why do so many people still trust the intentions of our government?

      • And why do so many people still trust the intentions of our government?
        Willful (and extremely unpatriotic) ignorance.
        • Willful (and extremely unpatriotic) ignorance.

          Don't forget the indoctrination of us as children.

          - The obligation that people feel to one another goes back to the very beginning of human history, as a natural, spontaneous act in human relations. Obligation to government, however, is not natural. It must be taught to every generation.

          Who can teach this lesson of obligation with more authority than the great Plato? Plato has long been one of the gods of modern culture, his reputation that of an awesome mind an
      • A huge gap. Specifically, the courts would recognize what you do not: that demanding personally identifiable data invokes much stronger protections than demanding statistically significant but anonymous data.
    • Re:Laughable (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Z0mb1eman (629653)
      But why SHOULD they turn this data over? It's not connected to a criminal, or even civil, case. It's not even connected to "homeland security". The government is just asking for this data because they feel like it.

      What amazes me the most about this whole affair - and that I haven't really seen addressed - is that this is the kind of data usually provided by studies... that the government would have to fund. I really don't see what basis they have for asking this as free information.

      Put it another way -
    • Re:Laughable (Score:3, Informative)

      by slavemowgli (585321)
      I'm sorry if this comes across as flamebait, but... honestly, are you a complete IDIOT? With a few exceptions (see below), the government has no, repeat, NO right to know about anything that goes on in the daily lifes of people, including businesses. There's an exception for criminal investigations, of course, wheen it might be necessary to obtain evidence for a trial, but that's about it.

      What's happening here is that Google was asked to turn over a huge pile of information just because the government felt
  • Thoughts (Score:5, Informative)

    by fimbulvetr (598306) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:14AM (#14749354)
    The funniest part of TFS follows:

    "The Government, of course, has told the Court none of this. Instead, it relies on a
    talismanic incantation that the standard of relevance is met 'so long as [the request] is reasonably
    calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.'"

    Talismanic incantion! LOL!

    Google's lawyers appear to be a good job refuting the Government's "expert":

    "The court should view the Cutts Declaration as standing in strong contrast to the
    Government's declarant, Professor Phillip Stark, a statistician who apparently has been hired to
    produce a study to support the Government's contentions. The Stark Declaration is vague,
    cursory, and uninformed about the operation of Google's search engine. In any event, Professor
    Stark's opinion ought to be viewed with some scrutiny. Although positioned as the Government's
    expert, he has not yet been qualified as a reliable expert by the Pennsylvania court trying the
    underlying case pursuant to Federal Rule of Evidence 702 or Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharms.,
    Inc., 509 U.S. 579 (1993). The Pennsylvania court has thus not yet determined whether Professor
    Stark's testimony is reliable and of any assistance to the trier of fact."

    And I'd have to side with Google on this. I'd venture to guess that most of google's data is completely irrelevant when taken out of context, which Stark is trying to do. If Google does have to turn the data over, I wouldn't be suprised if Stark tried to strongarm his way into learning Google's methods, algorithms, etc.

    Another good argument is the following:

    "In addition, the Government will not be able to ascertain the content of a Web page from
    its descriptive URL name. A Web site's name that suggests potential harmful material may be
    benign. Conversely, a URL that seems innocent may actually return pornographic material. The
    classic example is www.whitehouse.com, which was a pornography site. Here, the adage "you
    can't judge a book by its cover" applies. A URL such as
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/prontline/shows/porn /etc/links.html [pbs.org] contains the word "porn" but
    actually provides links to anti-pornography organizations."

  • The US Government is being too direct. They have (relatively) good relations with China. If they got the Chinese to demand the information for them, they'd have it by now.

    I'll go take a walk now in the hopes of reducing my Google cynicism...
  • Very clever PR on Google's side... they obviously don't really care about law (especially copyright law), but if they can keep their base happy, it'll fool enough investors so they don't get hit with anymore hundred-million dollar loss days.
    • Au contraire: of course they care about the law; that's why they're taking the side of the law instead of the side of the government in this issue. Please try to understand that the two are not synonymous.
  • Don't give up ... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by chato (74296)
    ... or they will ask next for the logs of the Google Web Accelerator [google.com].
  • by Serpent Mage (95312) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @11:46AM (#14749476)
    Google specifically states that they will use their information for their own internal purposes to improve searches and such. They specifically state that they will not hand out that information to 3rd party. The government is 3rd party.

    Everyones complaining about googles hypocracy needs to get off their silly "they are a company now and like all companies have to be selfish and everything they do is public facing deception only".

    I'm by no means claiming they are protectors of the smaller people but they have done NOTHING wrong or hypocritical at all. In fact they are holding up their end of the promise they made to the smaller people.
  • by constantnormal (512494) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @12:00PM (#14749553)
    Or are they saving that for the eventual appeal to the Supreme Court?

    "Article 4. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

    Is this because Google, being a corporation, is not regarded as a Person? Certainly the "papers and effects" portion would apply to those citizens whose data Google houses.

    Or is it being stipulated that the data in Google's keeping has no portion of ownership by the people? Or that "my" Gmail is not really mine, or that "my" search histories have no relation to me, that they would not constitute "my papers"?
    Perhaps this is an area into which Google does not wish to venture.

    IANAL, but this seems pretty cut & dried to me.

    Will someone (who IS a lawyer, please) point out the error in my thinking?
  • Page 11 (OTFPDF) - "In addition to bot queries, an individual may run hundreds of queries .... Some users have deliberately sent pornography queries to Google in response to the Government's subpoena. One striking example is that of an individual who wrote a feature for the Firefox (Mozilla) web browser that will send random pornoggraphy query to Google"

    Can I get a url to this new "feature" please?
  • by Bodysurf (645983) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @12:25PM (#14749681)

    is why the DoJ thinks they have a legal right to access Google's information/logs?

    Do they have any credible evidence that Google broke the law? Or that a particular user broke the law? If so, they they should subpoena an individual users records.

    It seems to me that the DoJ merely wants Google information because they want to go on a "fishing expedition". Google should have no obligation to assist the DoJ in a "fishing expedition".

    The DOJ on "information and belief" have some theories apparently. Just because Google has information that may or may not disprove their theory, no one should compel Google to turn over that information. It's up the the DoJ to get their own information if they believe such. If they don't have their own independent source from which to obtain it, then too bad.

  • by grahamdrew (589499) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @12:41PM (#14749744) Homepage

    The response letter said the DOJ wanted a list of every URL that could be returned by a search query in the Google database. I can't even imagine how much data that is. I'd comply with that bit, print it all out, and send the DOJ the bill...

    Is it just me or does it sound like the DOJ had no idea what they were actually asking for?

  • The PDF refers to several declarations (by Cutts, Ramani, etc.). Any links to those?
  • What I am seeing is this is... Don't be evil unless you need to in order to do business, but definitely Don't be evil if it will get you publicity. I will not give them "not evil" cred for a stance of "don't be evil when it benefits us", which makes me now think that whole mantra was wishful thinking which was turned into a marketing campaign. I hope the founders can sleep at night, of course since they probably have mattresses made out of billions of dollars stuffed into bags they probably do

    You talk ab

  • About face? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bitspotter (455598) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @03:56PM (#14750950) Journal
    So, Google launches Google.cn to comply with Chinese censorship laws, but doesn't comply with with a US DoJ subpeona?

    This is getting confusing.
    • Re:About face? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by typical (886006)
      The difference is that google.cn has a filter. You may not like it, but it's not privacy-invasive.

      The US subpeona is to turn over data that users consider private.

      I'd consider it a pretty large difference.
  • by mythz (857024) on Saturday February 18, 2006 @08:12PM (#14752273)
    Man this crowd is nasty!

    Google *adds* a local search service (google.cn) to the people of China that complies with local laws and censors it results, this service is somewhat more transparent than other search engines offerings in China as it actually shows *what was censored*. Not a whisper is heard about Yahoo and MSN's local services. Now all of a sudden Google is the new poster boy of *Evil, will sell mum for a buck*, what gives??

    Do people actually know that this is an *added service* and that the exact same google.com that was available to the Chinese people before, that was behind 'The Great Firewall', slow and unresponsive and not accessible 10% of the time - is still available?

    Does anyone know what the people of China (who are the ones affected) actually think of the new service? who finally have access to a fast, resourceful search service that we take for granted?

    God dammit people we are complaining about a *FREE* service, that people can choose to use on their own accord. If it actually gets used it's because that it provides better experience than the google.com offering.

    Since then anything good they do that benefits us all - fighting for our privacy, hell they even told AT&T and Verizon to stick their cyber extortion plan (which if enforced would benefit them in the long run), is overshadowed by one of their *FREE* services.

    I don't know about the rest of you but I haven't paid *a cent* to Google yet use their services daily. (google.com, maps.google/Google Earth, Google Talk, Gmail, Google Groups, Google Desktop). For me they are still the same *Do no evil* company that existed when they only had one *FREE* service.

    Some people need a hobby.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

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