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Google Avoids Surrendering Search Info 226

Posted by Zonk
from the dodged-that-bullet dept.
Mercury News has details of a San Francisco judge's decision that Google should give the DoJ some details on its search engine, but is not required to turn over records to the government. From the article: "McElvain emphasized the study would be more meaningful if it included search requests processed by Google, which by some estimates fields nearly half of all online queries in the United States. Ware concurred with the Justice Department on that point, writing in his order that 'the government's study may be significantly hampered if it did not have access to some information from the most often used search engine.' But Ware said the government didn't clearly explain why it needed a list of search requests to conduct its study, prompting him to conclude the Web site addresses would be adequate." Reaction to the news is available on the Google Blog.
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Google Avoids Surrendering Search Info

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  • by fatduck (961824) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:27AM (#14947592)
    So the government isn't allowed to troll the personal information of every American without the slightest probability of cause? What happened to the "If you're not a terrorist, you have nothing to hide" doctrine?
    • by DavidHOzAu (925585) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:34AM (#14947610)
      That also means that the judge is either human or must've had a bit of common sense. In other news, this unfortunate oversight on the part of the judicial system will no doubt soon be corrected.
      • by slavemowgli (585321) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @10:35AM (#14947929) Homepage
        Common sense? That's actually exactly what I find to be severely lacking on the judge's part in this case. If he *really* had some common sense, he would've said, in essence, "there's no legal basis for requiring Google to hand out *any* data if there's not a criminal investigation going on, so go away, n00bs".

        If the government demanded that you pay an extra 1000 USD in taxes even though there's no legal reason for them to ask for that, and if a judge then decided that 1000 is too much but that 500 is OK, would you also say that's reasonable? Of course not. There's no middle ground here - you either stick to the law or you don't. Sadly, in this case, neither the government nor the judge did; the former's not surprising, of course, but the latter is.
        • by ionpro (34327) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @12:17PM (#14948255) Homepage
          Google didn't contest the information they were required to hand over. It was a random sampling of 50,000 webpages from their database of billions, not tied to any particular search term. That's the reason the judge had no problem in letting the government have it.
        • If he *really* had some common sense, he would've said, in essence, "there's no legal basis for requiring Google to hand out *any* data if there's not a criminal investigation going on, so go away, n00bs".

          You forgot the obvious "but IANAL". There is lots of legal basis for requiring Google to hand out data when there's no criminal investigation going on. In fact, there's an entire section of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that deals with obtaining information during a civil suit from someone who

    • People have no problem forking over all of their personal information to the private sector. Credit card companies know what you buy and where. Amazon has statistical models that identify (often correctly), books you might like when you buy another book. Even power companies have models that can generally predict your power usage patterns by demographic and weather forecasts. But, oh, no, if the "government" gets all this stuff, its the end of the world. Ironically, denying the government access to information already freely shared in the corporate world only stacks the deck towards giving corporations the upper hand over government.
      • by bsane (148894) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:29AM (#14947747)
        Ironically, denying the government access to information already freely shared in the corporate world only stacks the deck towards giving corporations the upper hand over government.

        Maybe you weren't aware, but corps only have the power that the government lets them have. The government is vastly more powerful than any coporate entity and has essentially unlimited resources. If you make a list of organzations to be wary of the government is _always_ at the top of the list. The only thing that holds them back is accountability to the people (I won't debate how well that works ;-) )
        • That's not really true. The corporations pretty much control the govt. If a corporation wants something (say some oil wells in Iraq) it simply has the govt do it for them.

          Since corporations can buy and sell senators at will they have all the power the govt has and more.
        • Maybe you weren't aware, but corps only have the power that the government lets them have. The government is vastly more powerful than any coporate entity and has essentially unlimited resources. If you make a list of organzations to be wary of the government is _always_ at the top of the list.

          You're kidding, right? A corporation generally has the same rights as a person (hence the term "corporation" - "embodiment"). And people (and corporations) have all the rights and powers except those explicitly d

      • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:29AM (#14947748)

        The private sector, at worst, sends you some junk mail and tries to sell you something. If they've processed their data correctly, then you probably are interested. The worst that can happen is that they don't process their data correctly and you get offers on stuff you're not interested in.

        The government, on the other hand, can do a lot worse than send you some poorly-targeted advertisements. Being targeted as a potential terrorist can do tremendous damage to your life. You could lose your job, be incarcerated (without trial, incedentally), and possibly get your face blasted across the news.

      • That's true, but Amazon isn't going to send me to gitmo if they don't like the books I'm reading.

        -CGP [colingregorypalmer.net]
        • Maybe not Amazon, but who knows? It's not unheard of [wikipedia.org] that companies would engage in such things.

          Auschwitz III and satellite camps

          The surrounding satellite work camps were closely connected to German industry and were associated with arms factories, foundries and mines. The largest work camp was Auschwitz III Monowitz, named after the Polish village of Monowice. Starting operations in May 1942, it was associated with the synthetic rubber and liquid fuel plant Buna-Werke owned by IG Farben. In regular interv

      • by jtwJGuevara (749094) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @10:32AM (#14947918)
        The private sector does not have the ability to interrogate/arrest me for owning a copy of _________ (insert any controversial book here), or the ability to interrogate/arrest me by querying a search engine for something like "join jihad" (if I were insterested in how militant muslims would go about doing so).

        Your version of mal-intent by coroporations is one thing - they want to brainwash me into buying their products so their wallets become fatter. That doesn't even hold a candle to the mal-intent a government could achieve by possessing the same info.
      • Where to begin with how totally wrong you are?

        How about this. What power do corporations have over your privacy that is much higher than the government's? I didn't know that a corporation (aside from landlords) could legally enter your home against your wishes, could monitor your communications, could imprison you and even execute you. Thanks for informing us that apparently the corporations have one-upped the government on these powers.

        If you're as paranoid about statistical models of your buying habits as
      • by Fnkmaster (89084) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @10:39AM (#14947939)
        As much as I dislike the amount of information that many companies collect on me, at least I can sleep comfortably at night knowing that companies are quite predictable in how they act and what they do - they generally act to maximize profits and accrued value to shareholders. So companies will probably abuse my information in predictable ways, trying to spam me and sell me crap. Additionally, companies are still restricted to some degree by laws set by the government, and by excessively bad PR, which prevent them from some of the most egregious abuses of my privacy imagineable.

        The government, on the other hand, is not terrible resource-constrained, lacks the profit motive and instead generally is run by bureaucrats and their institutional imperative to maximize their own power and importance in the world, and politicians seeking to score populist brownie points. This means it can be reactionary, illogical and unprofitable, while seeking to maximize control and power for itself, and suppress those it sees as a threat.

        As somebody pointed out, the only thing that constrains this beast is accountability through the electoral process for politicians, and the fear of losing their jobs for bureaucrats.

        In short, I think I am right to be far more distrustful of the government having oodles of personal data to mine as it pleases than any corporation.
        • Yes but at the moment, because this country has elected leaders on the basis that they "know business," they don't really lack the profit motive.
          (W aside, he's a (bad) figurehead, (think zaphod (in the sense of distracting attention(the bigger an ass he makes of himself, the more we should look at everyone else in the government))) [yes, I like lisp]

          This is at both the state and national level.

          It never fails to amaze me, that people who know that the most successful business people are not judged
      • <sarcasm>Yeah, when my ISP has my e-mails cached that's fine, but when the government wants them it's ""wrong! What a double standard.</sarcasm>
      • People have no problem forking over all of their personal information to the private sector. [...] But, oh, no, if the "government" gets all this stuff, its the end of the world.

        When Google gets the power to arbitrairily lock people up, or 'disappear' them, or execute them. We'll talk.
      • And that has been Google's point all along. There are research companies out there that specialize in trolling the search engines for results. There's something fishy going on here, or the DOJ doesn't understand how Google really works.

        The first case is that the DOJ is just too used to supeonaing records that they don't understand they don't have to supeona google, just plug in a PC and go to town. It could be typical Govt. power-mongering. Unless...

        Unless they are after something specifically to use

      • Credit card companies know what you buy and where.

        No they don't. Look at your statements: the individual *items* purchased are not listed. Only the merchant name (and perhaps address) is, along with the transaction price, of course.

        CC companies do not, in fact, know what specific items you are purchasing (at least not yet). Guesses can be made based on the merchant (e.g. "Big Al's Sex Toy Shop - Atlanta, GA" might tell the CC company a bit about your sex habits), but they won't know that you purchased

    • See, this is why Dear Leader decided to skip the courts altogether with his wiretaps, for our own good.
  • by Brian Stretch (5304) * on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:30AM (#14947602) Homepage
    request that it turn over anonymous search data for some lame research project.

    But they roll over when the ChiCom dictatorship orders them to censor democracy.

    Color me not impressed.
    • Well, the DoJ isn't likely to send in armed police rather than take the matter to court...
    • Well, yes. Google denied giving over information that would be considered a breach of privacy for citizens all around the world to a government that is considered bad all over the world. And I'm not talking about China here. And it is censoring searches in China but at the same time not limiting the people's ability to 'out-smart' google and eventually find what they want about 'tiennamenn square'. So, the coloring part is right to the point. ;)
    • First of all, lame research project is a rather mild way to describe allowing the government to legally data mine America's online usage. If you think anonymous data is "useless" or "lame" you may want to take a look at google's business model and an even harder look at their current market capitalization. Not to mention that once a judge allows the government access to an unlimited amount of anonymous data it becomes a precedent for future hearings on subpeonas for say two or three people's full search/U
    • Google doesn't make the information disappear entirely. It doesn't "lie" in this sense. The crucial and great aspect of google censoring links is presenting an annoying tag saying in effect 'this search has broken links due to censored content'. This type of notification upsets people since they're effectively treated like children by people in power but otherwise the same as them. Why should anybody see this information when others can't, even simply to censor it to begin with?

      Censoring but tagging ups
  • by Drache Kubisuro (469932) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:34AM (#14947609) Homepage Journal
    Now we just have to fight "if you're not doing anything bad, you've nothing to hide" -- in a country such as ours, that is heresy against our constitution and the people who live under it. Our general need of having privacy and not being exposed to the world is a natural one and must be protected at all costs. Those who seek to undermine this principal are very treacherous indeed.
    • by Elemenope (905108) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:09AM (#14947704)

      The easy and obvious counterargument to the 'you have nothing to hide' line is to point out that it should not be required of a citizen to explain their daily actions on the basis that they look suspicious, as we each do a dozen things every day that could seem out of context to be nefarious or at least odd. The trick is to convince those who actually write this legislative crap.

      Somebody ought to surveille every member of Congress for a week or so, and then e-mail them pointed questions about the footage (even if there is nothing untoward, innocuous actions can look suspicious, and of course that's the whole point), and then cc the footage and the questions to a local news outlet...that'd dampen the legislative hankering for citizen surveillance tout suite.

      • That's doubtfull. They'll probably be targetting you as an enemy combatant as you've been gathering intel on the country's leaders, their whereabouts and habits - this information, if in the hands of nefarious people, can be used to usurp the entire democratic process, and as such they need to throw your ass in jail before you can do anything with the information.
      • Boiling your point down to a slogan, it could be "You have nothing to hide? I have nothing to prove".

        There's also the Cardinal Richelieu quote that makes sorta the same point you do: "If you give me six lines written by the hand of the most honest of men, I will find something in them which will hang him. "
    • Now we just have to fight "if you're not doing anything bad, you've nothing to hide" -- in a country such as ours, that is heresy against our constitution and the people who live under it.

      How can this be against the constitution if no ones rights are being violated? The government is not seizing data, they are subpoenaing it - a legal process clearly within the framework of our legal system . The real question is whether or not the government has a genuine need for the data in support of its case.

      Our g

  • by Jump (135604) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:41AM (#14947626)
    But Ware said the government didn't clearly explain why it needed a list of search requests

    Tell me what you search for and I tell you who you are. Kind of obvious what they need this for. I wonder why they do not even come up with a fake reason to hide their true intentions. Are people already considered THAT dumb?
  • by aussie_a (778472) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:51AM (#14947656) Journal
    I'm a little confused why Google should legally be required to give the government anything. The government wants to do a study. Great. They can ask (or perhaps even offer to pay) for information they need, but why should they be able to get whatever they want, for nothing? Has Google commited a crime? Are they searching for evidence for a specific crime? Will the data they get from Google be used in any ongoing investigations? If no to all of the above, why should they get some information? They want to do a study, so what? Why should that mean Google has to give them anything it doesn't want to?
    • by Datamonstar (845886) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:54AM (#14947812)
      Tell me about it. I want to do a study on how currency is made, so the US treasury should allow me private access to official printing plates, inks and paper used in the process of printing money. My tax dollars helped to purchase the printing facilities and equipment and I'm certain to own some of the money printed in such facilities in the near future, so why shouldn't they aid my research by allowing me access to the materials I need?
    • The government is defending the Child Online Protection Act against constitutional challenges. If you're in a court case you can compel people to come and testify, or simply force them to produce documents with relevant evidence, which is what the government claimed to be doing. If you overreach the judge can slap you down, which is what happened here.
  • by abhisri (960175) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:54AM (#14947663)
    "In future if you need a list of website, it will be easier to code a webspider than going around suing search engines".

    heh!

    • Re:DoJ Note to self. (Score:5, Informative)

      by xiando (770382) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @11:43AM (#14948146) Homepage Journal
      "In future if you need a list of website, it will be easier to code a webspider than going around suing search engines".

      It would be great if that was anywhere even remotely close to true. As pointed out in another post and in an article I wrote in January, Yahoo, Microsoft and America Online all turned over the records asked for without question. Google was the only one who actually put up a fight... Think about it. Only one of all the corporations asked for records refused. The rest "bent over" immediately.
    • Hell, if they need a list of websites, why don't they just do a google search?
  • Could you imagine the implications if they had to turn this data over? Every minor study in the country would be trolling Google for user information. It would all be to "protect the children", of course. Nice to see a judge with a brain stem for the first time in awhile. Of course, no doubt soccer moms and politicians angling for reelection'll be complaining about this for awhile. "Google hates kids and supports child pornography!"

    I can't wait. Talk about your no-win scenarios.
    • Could you imagine the implications if they had to turn this data over? Every minor study in the country would be trolling Google for user information.


      And developers would probably write their own P2P web search engines. Napster did the keyword search for mp3 files. It would be trivial to modify this for web page searches - each filename would be replaced by a keyword string, while spider searches would be implemented through distributed processing.

      If the Feds really want to find a list of IP addresses look
  • by troll -1 (956834) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @08:58AM (#14947676)
    How can George Bush get a subpoena in the first place. It's seems odd that a president can compel the private sector to divulge information in the pursuit of political policy.

    Plus this is from the Executive branch which doesn't even make the law.

    Let Congress pursue this if it wants. It has the responsibilty of making the laws, not the president.

    The Constitution gives the president authority over the military and cabinet; the power to grant pardons and make appointments. And thats about it. Not sure where the Executive is coming from with this crap.
    • the case of sibel edmunds [justacitizen.org]. That is a case of Bush putting a presidential gag order on somebody in which case it was shown that she did NOT meet the criteria of a security risk.
    • How can George Bush get a subpoena in the first place.
      The same way you or I do, by having one served on us.
      President Bush doesn't obtain subpoenas. The "Justice" department issues subpoenas, not the President.

      It's seems odd that a president can compel the private sector to divulge information in the pursuit of political policy.

      It should appear odd. But remember it is not the President who does this but the "Justice Department". Then it won't seem so odd.

      Plus this is from the Executive branch which doesn't
  • by t_allardyce (48447) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:06AM (#14947694) Journal
    Why does Google hate children? Its not just that, The DoJ is trying to protect everyone from pornography why would anyone want to stop them? People this is one of the most morally destabilizing sins since attacking Americans and we should be adopting the approaches used in the Middle East particularly: Monitoring of all internet access by faith-based guides, gouging of eyes, and strict dress codes that stop the urge in the first place. Google I hope you're happy for all the lives you've destroyed through facilitating this evil.
    • by varmittang (849469) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:31AM (#14947750)
      Because you don't have the right to tell others what they can an can not do. As long as they are not hurting someone else, everyone should be able to go about their business. Its peoples right to privacy in how they find porn, via using google or MS search is what is at steak here, not the children. The conservitive right, I think, is what is pushing this DoJ to do this in hoping to get what you want, porn off the internet. But let me tell you this, if it wasn't for porn, there would be a lot of technology that might not have taken off. DVD, internet streaming of video, probably all would have died and be forgotten. Now if this is a funny rant, you got me, but I really think you mean what you say.
    • by tinkertim (918832) * on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:50AM (#14947796) Homepage
      >> The DoJ is trying to protect everyone from pornography

      That's not why we (the people) created the DOJ.

      >> People this is one of the most morally destabilizing sins since attacking Americans

      Child pornography has been around loooooooooong before that happened.

      >> we should be adopting the approaches used in the Middle East particularly: Monitoring of all internet access by faith-based guides

      Church and State separation prohibits that. In that other (ironically) faith based doctrine we call the Constitution. However that one is where we, the people put our faith in our government.

      >> gouging of eyes, and strict dress codes

      Jeb, is that you?

      >> Google I hope you're happy for all the lives you've destroyed through facilitating this evil.

      You have a (semi) valid point. Google does not facilitate it, humans do. Humans work at Google, and more of them (ought) to be seeing exactly what is in their index and what they make easy to find. So should every other SE on the Internet.

      Our legal system permits the DOJ to subpoena *any* individual's records if they can show probable cause for use in any trial aiming to convict a sex offender, and Google has complied with such in the past. What the DOJ is doing is called "fishing" , and its illegal, unconstitutional and unethical.

      >> Why does Google hate children?

      Awww Jeb! It IS you!
  • by MMC Monster (602931) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:16AM (#14947718)
    Instead of emailing the URLs requested by the DOJ, they would hand-write them on paper and send them by mail. Preferably hand-written by 50,000 different people, of course.

    There is no reason to make this easy for the government.
  • Note to DoJ (Score:4, Informative)

    by ChristopherX (956137) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:45AM (#14947785)
    If you want to determine if filters are protecting children from porn... 1. Go to google.com, search for "porn", etc. 2. Click on the first 1000 results to determine if each is evil. 3. Turn on your filtering software. 4. Go back to step 1, repeat for each filter you are interested in. Alternatively, waste tax payer money and look like an ass by paying lawyers to try to bully information out of private companies.
  • by Don_dumb (927108) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:55AM (#14947817)
    What I want to know is - Is there anyway that the government can use this and will get information (ie search requests) that is formed by people in countries other than the US.
    i.e. not just getting info on its own citizens but on those from abroad simply because they may have used Google.com as opposed to Google.fr

    It would clearly mess up the stats for the research wouldn't it.
    • Google can easily enough filter where users are connecting from by their IPs, unless they're using proxies. I would assume this information is stored by them.

      Also, I'd assume that their servers balance loads locally, so if you're in, say, France and use google.com, you're using a server within western europe, if not within France itself.
  • by dada21 (163177) * <adam.dada@gmail.com> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @09:58AM (#14947826) Homepage Journal
    Google's last line in their blog is really frustrating to me:

    When a party resists an overbroad subpoena, our legal process can be an effective check on such demands and be a protector of our users.

    The checks and balances system has failed us completely. To resist an overbroad subpoena, one must have both incredible financial strength as well as incredible legal strength. Companies much smaller than Google don't have either -- and the courts seem to accept any growth in government strength as a new standard whenever a smaller company just gives in to government requests.

    This country was founded on an idea that the Federal government was to be set up to promote the general welfare of the people -- not by making a police state nor a welfare state. The Federal government was here to protect the rights of the people by making sure that the individual states didn't trample on these rights. Beyond that, the Federal government was given a few BASIC powers over the people and the state -- very very basic powers.

    National security was a power for the government in its ability to defend the borders and call up the militia to keep out intruders. National security was NOT about policing the citizens of the country, this was left to the individual states to decide what is criminal and what is acceptable.

    I am very mad that the average citizen doesn't see what has happened. Instead of having a federal government with very limited powers -- which can't be controlled by any amount of money -- we have a federal government with unlimited powers controllable by the highest bidder. If the highest bidder has any reason to restrain government, they can do so with the right legal aid. Yet the common man (the minority of 1) -- the most important facet of a free system -- has no power to do anything but fall victim to the wants of the masses. If the masses are ignorant, the minority of 1 will find themselves without any rights because no one came to their aid.

    This has nothing to do with money, mind you. This only has to do with a federal government that is no longer a servant but a master, and the belief of the citizens that they're still able to stop Leviathan through voting.
    • I like your diatribe, however, ironically, you are part of the problem, like in a larger sense, all of us are.

      You have a gmail address. You use the services of these big companies. The consolidation of corporate America into a small OPEC-like coalition of PACs is what allowed the eradication of the Fairness Doctrine [bsalert.com] to go down in the 80s without even a whimper, the emasculation of journalists and political candidates, bringing about the scenario where the people don't feel they have much power to effect c
      • I appreciate your reply to my original diatribe, but I don't feel the same way. I'm a pure capitalist, and I believe in the idea of pure capitalism: voluntary cooperation between two individuals with both mutually profiting. My idea of a corporation in a anarcho-capitalist "utopia" would basically just be individuals grouping together under a mutual contract.

        Corporations may be considered partially responsible for the excessive growth of government, but I believe the people to blame in the end are the vot
        • Capitalism disobeys common sense. Currency is created and destroyed, in essense, the government is stealing from me by allowing there to be any form of inflation at all. They're doing this so they can give to the poor, those new people y'all keep popping out after fucking eachother like God's whoresome flock, all the while enforcing your ideology of tradition, authority, and bullshit that gets into messes like Iraq.

          Fuck Capitalism, its your fault it got this fucked up. If you can't fix it, its broken.
          • Capitalism disobeys common sense. Currency is created and destroyed, in essense, the government is stealing from me by allowing there to be any form of inflation at all. They're doing this so they can give to the poor, those new people y'all keep popping out after fucking eachother like God's whoresome flock, all the while enforcing your ideology of tradition, authority, and bullshit that gets into messes like Iraq.

            Here's a a visit from your not-so-friendly semantics nazi. My dictionary has the following

        • Capitalism is the disease, not the cure.

          I know it's heresy to say that these days but that ought to tell you something. Unfortunately capitalism has become a cult these days. The fact of the matter is that capitalism is nothing but sin with lipstick on. It encourages the worst traits of mankind. What's worse it's a voratious destroyer of natural resources and is eating away on the only planet we have to live on.

          This doesn't mean capitalism doesn't work for some people. It does. Those who are especially gree
    • >The Federal government was here to protect the rights of the people by making sure that the individual states didn't trample on these rights.

      The idea of the federal government protecting people from the states is a post-Civil War innovation. Reading the Federalist Papers is an eye opener. The Founders actually envisioned the exact opposite, that the central government couldn't trample the people's rights because the power of sovereign state governments would prevent them.
  • http://www.google.com/privacy.html [google.com]

    "We may also share information with third parties in limited circumstances, including when complying with legal process, preventing fraud or imminent harm, and ensuring the security of our network and services."
  • by tinkertim (918832) * on Saturday March 18, 2006 @10:46AM (#14947975) Homepage
    When Desert Storm hit, Americans rallied and made Saddam toilet paper.

    When 9/11 hit, we made Usama Bin Laden toilet paper.

    Someone ought to make this document [google.com] into toilet paper, since its now officially useless otherwise :)

    It's the American thing to do :) Coming soon to thinkgeek?

    • When Desert Storm hit, Americans rallied and made Saddam toilet paper.

      When 9/11 hit, we made Usama Bin Laden toilet paper.

      Well then, why not a combo Constitution/Bill of Rights TP roll?

      Marketing would be a breeze.

      "Now everyone at home can find out just why the Bush Administration is so keen on using these historic documents the way they have been. You too can feel the softness of that centuries old parchment as it easily wipes away all that inconvenient crud. Watch as the paper flushes down the s-be

    • America needs a face on it's enemies. We are not fighting iraq, we are fighting Saddam (and now zarqawi). Once zarqawi dies or gets captured the govt will prop up another face to put on our enemy.

      Saddam, osama, noriaga, zarqawi, arafat, milosewic etc. I suggest Bush for a face, his face should be on the toilet paper. One would have to be a brave man do that though. You can be sure Rush or one of his cohorts would decree a fatwah on you and you would be dead in no time.
  • by ROBOKATZ (211768) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @11:13AM (#14948046)
    The government should just send someone to sit in the lobby of Google where they show everyone's search requests on a giant ticker.
  • by xiando (770382) on Saturday March 18, 2006 @11:36AM (#14948119) Homepage Journal
    I wrote a story about this late January. Let me quote myself to remind ya'all of some important insights into this story:

    "While Google is reacting to the government request by refusing and resisting, other "leading search engines" seem less eager to protect their users right to privacy.

    It should be pointed out that:

    * Yahoo,
    * Microsoft and
    * America Online

    have all turned records over to The Bush administration."

    Be very aware of this. Google is the only search engine who put up a fight on this issue! The other "leading" search engines willingly, without question, handed over all information asked for. Google in their glory avoided giving out information, the rest didn't even put up a fight. Your Google searches may be protected - for now - but the rest of your searches are now "safe" in the hands of the US Justice Department.
  • I like herring.... even Doj Red Herring.
  • I think I can see a bit of both sides here: 1) The US constitution does not authorize fishing trips; 2) evidence is needed about filter effectivness to make a decision on-the-merits.

    The usual solution to this is redacted data: the party gets just what it needs, but no more. In this case, the judge could order Google to randomize source IP addresses (or at least the low order 8 bits) and instruct the US govt that it may not use the data for any individual prosecutions (fruit of the poisoned vine). Und

  • by rew (6140) <r.e.wolff@BitWizard.nl> on Saturday March 18, 2006 @12:52PM (#14948381) Homepage
    Instead of about google, the story should now turn to the other search engines: They apparently turned over "personal data" to government people who didn't have just cause!!

    I'd be seriously upset if my search engine would give my personal data to just anybody who doesn't have the right to such data.
  • The government now has the right to invade your privacy at the ISP level to help them draft laws, conduct surveys, and probably any other sort of surveillance. Why not let Wal-Mart wiretap you around Christmas to find out what you're planning on buying your friends/family? That's where this is headed.

    Today we're illegally asking businesses for information that is freely available. Want to know what queries come up in a google search? Google it! But that's not what they want. They want any and every bi
  • I don't get it, The DOJ can't receive CurrentTV http://www.current.tv/ [current.tv]

    Top Google Searches every hour or so.

  • And another part of freedom is chipped away because of ... ooh look terrorists!
    (Have you ever seen a terrorist that your gov't wasn't supporting?)
  • Hey if the DoJ wanted to obtain information about google, why didn't they just google for it? This really should have been the response to the initial request.

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