Thursday, January 19, 2006
US Federal Government wants Google search records
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.Sure, why not. Why would we not trust our federal law enforcement personal with our private search data. Have you been using a different search engine? Keep this is mind:
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 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.
The Mountain View-based search and advertising giant 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.
Nicole Wong, an associate general counsel for Google, said the company will fight the government's effort "vigorously."
"Google is not a party to this lawsuit, and the demand for the information is overreaching," Wong said.
"This is exactly the kind of case that privacy advocates have long feared," said Ray Everett-Church, a South Bay privacy consultant. "The idea that these massive databases are being thrown open to anyone with a court document is the worst-case scenario. If they lose this fight, consumers will think twice about letting Google deep into their lives."
"The government can't even claim that it's for national security."
The government indicated that other, unspecified search engines have agreed to release the information, but not Google.
See also this diary at DailyKos.
Please excuse me, but I am having a paranoid moment here. What would the currently unpopular ruling party do with a huge database of people's porn search history?
Start getting too loud and critial, and suddenly you find yourself defending yourself against charges of sexual impropriety. Stories about the presentation of charges are a dime a dozen, but how often is there a story when the charges are found to be false. It is the local stories that get people concerned, what neighbors think.
Just need to make a few examples; local GOP operatives start rumors about the neighborhood peace activist and his desire to tie up his wife. A lot less of a challenge come election day.
I know this is a paranoid rant, but how far are we from this happening? Aren't (false) sexual rumors already part of the Rove playbook? Even worse when the rumors are based on personal search data.