January 19, 2006 10:02 AM PST

Feds take porn fight to Google

(continued from previous page)

Google, for its part, "is not a party to this lawsuit and (the government's) demand for information overreaches," associate general counsel Nicole Wong said in a statement. "We had lengthy discussions with them to try to resolve this, but were not able to, and we intend to resist their motion vigorously."

court document

In a letter dated Oct. 10, 2005, Google lawyer Ashok Ramani objected to the Justice Department's request on the grounds that it could disclose trade secrets and was "overbroad, unduly burdensome, vague and intended to harass."

The Bush administration's request is tied to its defense of the Child Online Protection Act, which restricts the posting of sexually explicit material deemed "harmful to minors" on commercial Web sites, unless it's unavailable to minors.

A divided U.S. Supreme Court in 2004 stopped short of striking down the law and instead said that a full trial--to take place in Philadelphia--was needed to determine whether the law is constitutional.

A trial before U.S. District Judge Lowell Reed is scheduled to begin Oct. 2. ACLU attorney Fine said although the dispute with the search companies does not directly involve his organization, until prosecutors "explain what they plan to do with this and provide a detailed explanation, they cannot meet their burden to justify forcing Google to turn over this information."

Privacy concerns
As part of their defense of COPA, prosecutors are expected to argue that technological filtering methods are less effective than criminal prohibitions.

Privacy watchdogs have worried about the massive store of data that Google has assembled about the online behavior of Internet users. Google keeps log files that record search terms used, Web sites visited and the Internet Protocol address and browser type of the computer for every single search conducted through its Web site. It also sets cookies that can be used to correlate repeat visits to the company's growing network of Web sites.

Sherwin Siy, staff counsel at the privacy rights advocacy organization Electronic Privacy Information Center, praised Google for fighting the administration's request. However, he said there would not even be an issue if the search engine hadn't collected the information and made it aggregatable in the first place.

"This continual aggregation of people's search streams and all this information and the other data from their other services like Gmail places privacy at risk. This is something you would think Google should have anticipated," he said. "It is not a recent phenomenon that overbroad government investigations will put people's privacy at risk by digging through business records."

EPIC's Siy said AOL and MSN should have fought the government's demands more vigorously. "In not doing anything to protect the privacy of their customers they are not doing the right thing," he said. "They are taking the easy way out."

A spokesman for Ask Jeeves said Thursday that it "has not received requests for search data from the Department of Justice in this matter."

Kurt Opsahl, a staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said he was glad Google "stood up in this case to protect the privacy of this information and I'm disappointed that other search engines would be willing to turn it over without a fight."

"Google has a massive database that reaches into the most intimate details of your life," he said. "What you are searching for, what you are reading, what you are worried about, what you enjoy. People should be able to use modern tools like search engines without the fear of Big Brother looking over their shoulder."

CNET News.com reporters Anne Broache and Greg Sandoval contributed to this report.

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204 comments

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Another Case of trying to legislate morality
I guess GWB and crew want to take peoples minds off of all the bribery going on in their group and use porn as a distraction. This is a behavioral extension of people wanting total control and is right up there with the Patriotic act for limiting liberty. I thought Republicans were for limiting Government into peoples lives? What is next, making people take lie detector test to see if they are morally acceptable? What a wolf in sheeps clothing! All I see this doing is eventually creating some type of civil war between the holier than thou's and people that want their privacy and liberty further dividing our country.
Posted by tryoneon (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
GOOD!
Child pornography is morally wrong, and it SHOULD be legislated. Your freedoms do not include abusing children.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Regarding "spying"
Why are you so concerned about somebody spying on you? I could care less if they scrutinize everything I look up. In fact I love it! HERE I AM, HERE I AM!!!!
Posted by Decembergirl (1 comment )
Link Flag
We legislate morallity every day in this country
Not that this has anything to do with the actual issue but ...

Conservative or liberal, left or right, a morality will be legislated.

It's not just the conservative Christians that have morality ... you have a morality too Sir !!! and YOU want it to be legislated.

Now which morality is going to do us the most good ? That's what we should be asking, not shouting cliche's at each other.

BTW, I don't like this obvious intrusion by the government any more than Google. But the whole kiddie porn/adult porn thing must be dealt with - many people are getting hurt here.
Posted by kbagwell (2 comments )
Link Flag
I Think There is a need ...
For a good ISP and search engine that offers to eliminate all evidence of any site you have visited and any postings coming from your computer. Now that is Liberty.
Posted by tryoneon (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Its a trap
...and the minute that ISP becomes aware of illegal activities conducted on its network, it'll be guilty of destruction of evidence. The data requested does not identify individuals. There is no harm in it being analyzed. After all... Google reads your personal email in order to give you advertisements... and they know who you are!
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
RE:
Rather than destroying it, just don't log it in the first place.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Link Flag
Putting all political motives aside....
The issue at stake is pornographic material easily available on the internet. Any determined teenager can get past measures put in place to block minors. Who would want to continue allowing porn to be easily available on the web?

Porn industries involve high level economics. This includes advertising. Is there any doubt that Google, as a search engine, is also a benefactor from porn advertising revenues? At the same time, if they blocked porn, they would lose a lot of porn-seeking customers.

No doubt the porn industry has expensive lawyers as well.

But that's not what Google has been asked to do. They've been asked to handover a week's records for federal prosecutors so that they can assess this situation. Google would lose money if they supported the anti-porn fight, because it would lead to loss in advertising, customer, directed search revenues.

This is not about privacy. This is not about politics. This is about who gets advantage of economics, for the love of profit/money.

As far as I can see, the only people that will raise this issue are:
1. People with conspiracy theories, raising the issue of privacy against the feds just so that they can scar the current political party in their own favor, make some noise, get attention.
2. People who think porn is fine.
3. People who profit from porn (includes search engine companies, as well as a whole chunk of internet businesses).

Think about it.
Posted by lesliejs (23 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Good thoughts...
...but I think you left out just 1 very important fact. Distributing adult content to minors is a crime. An interest in upholding U.S. law and protecting children while allowing parent's the freedom to raise children the way they deem appropriate is a legitimate reason to push this agenda. ...politics aside, enforcement of the law should not require monetary or political stimulation.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Re. Think about it
I have thought about it and I have to disagree in part. As stated any determined teenager can access porn. Whether from the internet or the corner grocery store. My problem is the increased lack of privacy. The government is not responsible for our children's morality....We as parents are. with freedom comes great responsiblity. I am not thrilled with porn, rampant violence, or the miriad of other unwholseome things that occur. I am thrilled with the freedom to see what is out there...good and bad so there can be honest and informed discussion. I do not like the idea that someone ie. a governmental agency can snoop into my life see what I as an adult choose to view or not view. The argument is always made that it is "For the children" Great atrocities have been committed in "The name of religion" in the middle ages. I do not wish to see repeated the same infringements revisited under another catch phrase.
Posted by paulwolfmate (1 comment )
Link Flag
Me.
Are you aware that adult material is the most popular use of the internet, and responsible for its current development?
Me. That's who wants it easily available.
If you don't like it, find that little key marked delete and press it. Meantime, go watch your kids.
Posted by 206538395198018178908092208948 (141 comments )
Link Flag
No conspiracies
"1. People with conspiracy theories, raising the issue of privacy against the feds just so that they can scar the current political party in their own favor, make some noise, get attention."

You somewhat miss the point of civil liberty proponents.

It's not about that single case. It's about all those little powers gov't already have gained in wake of 9/11. And the problem that gov't wants more and more power. If you look at the newly acquired powers: every in separate is Okay and intended to protect you. But if you put them on single page what gov't now can do - with all powers in single hands - abuses will be (and actually are) happening. With the people bearing no responsibility whatsoever.

You try to prevent one kind of abuses, allowing another kind of abuses. Go figure.

Now you have the joker Bush - try to imaging someone like Hitler winning next elections. The situation you have now in U.S. is that any idiot can win next presidental elections. Frustrating.
Posted by Philips (400 comments )
Link Flag
A dangerous precedent
You Say Only: "1. People with conspiracy theories, raising the issue of privacy against the feds just so that they can scar the current political party in their own favor, make some noise, get attention." will disagree with this request. . .

Oh, well, I don't want to be lumped into that group. . . but since I believe in the Constitution and founding thoughts of our forefathers, I sincerely disagree with your arrogant aspersion.

This country was created to escape from the mentality of Tyrants that believed the INDIVIDUAL owns nothing by default, has no rights to keep anything from the King, all profit, property, thoughts and prosperity belong to the King and by his Whim, you lived, died, were spied upon, culled or made a criminal. . .

Our forefathers gave us the essential freedom of speech, life, protection of privacy (against search) and personal property (against seizure) as the primary defense we have from such Tyranny taking root again.

I don't know, this sort of strikes a nerve when you openly compromise our freedoms and the pillars of our democracy for a the singular cause decency.

It takes no great philosopher or historian to see where this sort of compromise begins to lead us.


Google isn't being accused of anything, but their proprietary data is being demanded to support a case they have nothing to do with.

By their denial of such dangerous information being released to this government, they're criminals at the least and traitors in the extreme view. . .

The ability to make such a precedent into our laws can not be allowed. This is the opening of a true miscarriage of justice and a pretense to do a great disservice to the public. A public of individuals that should be outraged far more whenever our democracy is threatened by this sort of power grab.
Posted by wysiwyg22 (41 comments )
Link Flag
I see, If you disagree you are guilty
This is the modern, Politically correct term. If you disagree with the government them you must be guilty. I guess if we dislike the police following us around we must be breaking the law. If we resent illegal government wiretaps on our phones we must be terrorists.
Just because I don't get happy about loosing what few freedoms I have left doesn't make me a criminal!
Sorry. I am not a good little sheep. Russia (read USSR) failed to learn the critical fact, keep the sheep happy and they will follow you anywhere. Our government has learned to keep the sheep happy! "Good little sheep! Let me take all the freedoms away that millions died to give you... Let me make a good little socialist out of you!"
Bah! Russians had more freedoms forty years ago than we have today in the USA!
Posted by chhooks (21 comments )
Link Flag
I would challenge you
Please prove, in a scientific manner, devoid of religious biases, that viewing porn is inherently bad.

Is it bad for adults?
Is it bad for children.

And if it is bad for children, why isn't it their parent's responsibility to monitor them. Why is it the government's?
Posted by PzkwVIb (462 comments )
Link Flag
A miss understanding of the technology involved...
There is a certain number of people in this country who agree with the current administrations attempts to destroy all the civil liberties they feel are objectionable to them. This group is entitled to support the activities that Dubya is pushing on us. They are not, however, entitled to force that specious position on anyone else.

However, the argument that what Dubya is trying to do is within the law is specious. This is a fishing expedition, pure and simple and a clear violation of the 4th, 5th nd 13th amendments. Since the New York Times broke the story about the NSA spying on American citizens without proper warrants and Dubya's reaction to that, it has become clear that Dubya had adapted the attitude that, if he agrees with the ends, any means is justified. And that he won't let something like the law interfere with his agenda. [There is no disagreement, even amongest the members of Dubya's administration, that the spying the NSA is carrying out is illegal. They are just arguing they are above the law and don't have to follow it.)

The most suprising thing about this whole debacle is that they used due process to ask for the info from Google. I would have expected they would have just paid some hacker from the NSA to break into Google's computers and take the data. Then, if they had been found out, they would have claimed it was necessary "in the interest of national security." After all, whenever Dubya is asked about anything, he simply says it is justified by the "war on terror."

It is sad that any American feels that objecting to this obvious threat to civil liberties has anything to do with wanting to smear Dubya. Dubya does that well enough himself with this lame excuses for violating the law and exercising power he clearly doesn't have. In case you haven't noticed, his approval ratings have dipped below 35%, so there is no way he claim his policies are accepted by a majority of Americans. Even if they were, they are still against the law. Last time I checked, we don't prosecute criminals based on the popularity or unpopularity of their crimes. This is just him pushing his private agenda. As American citizens, we have the right to call to account any politician who ceases to act in our best interest or starts to act in a way that is designed only to pander to his own personal special interests. That's how democracy works.

You seem to think there is something wrong with anyone who believes that porn is okay or who profit form it. This is America. The first amendment guarantee us freedom of speech and the surpreme court has long upheld that right. According to the supreme court, speech that is not obscene or child porn is protected speech - just as the diatribes you and your ilk spout about how people who don't support your position aren't good Americans. As protected speech, the government cannot regulate it.

The point to the COPA is to criminalize as much speech as Dubya and his right wing cronies don't like. In other words, they want to criminalize speech that has been consistently held to be protected by the first amendment - by the supreme court.

Furthermore, a quick glance at history shows us that once a government obtains information for one purpose, they always use it for other purposes. And, once they have bullied the search engine providers to give them this data, bouyed by their successes, they will feel a precedent has been set allowing them to bully the seach engine providers for more and more information. Bullying is a violation of due process. If they have a legitimate need, (and going after Google for this information is a fishing expedition, not a legitimate need), let them follow due process just like everyone else. In fact, I demand that they follow due process for they, like everyone else in this country, are equal under the law. Their positions in government garners them no exception from that.

One day, right wingers like you, will run afoul of a sitting president and that president will use the power that you have voluntarily given him to invade your privacy. Then the information you have so willing provided to the government will be used to oppress YOU! This is not something that might happen, it is something that has happened in every government in modern times when the sought to spy on their citizenry.

The problem with people like you and your attitudes is you believe the government is here to help you, the individual. That has never been true and it will never be true. Whatever "help" they give you, will cost you, dearly. I just hope you wake up and realize this, before you are sitting in a cell in Guantanamo Bay because you demanded your right to be left alone and keep the government out of your affairs.
Posted by MTGrizzly (353 comments )
Link Flag
A miss understanding of the effect of what is being asked for...
There is a certain number of people in this country who agree with the current administrations attempts to destroy all the civil liberties they feel are objectionable to them. This group is entitled to support the activities that Dubya is pushing on us. They are not, however, entitled to force that specious position on anyone else.

However, the argument that what Dubya is trying to do is within the law is specious. This is a fishing expedition, pure and simple and a clear violation of the 4th, 5th nd 13th amendments. Since the New York Times broke the story about the NSA spying on American citizens without proper warrants and Dubya's reaction to that, it has become clear that Dubya had adapted the attitude that, if he agrees with the ends, any means is justified. And that he won't let something like the law interfere with his agenda. [There is no disagreement, even amongest the members of Dubya's administration, that the spying the NSA is carrying out is illegal. They are just arguing they are above the law and don't have to follow it.)

The most suprising thing about this whole debacle is that they used due process to ask for the info from Google. I would have expected they would have just paid some hacker from the NSA to break into Google's computers and take the data. Then, if they had been found out, they would have claimed it was necessary "in the interest of national security." After all, whenever Dubya is asked about anything, he simply says it is justified by the "war on terror."

It is sad that any American feels that objecting to this obvious threat to civil liberties has anything to do with wanting to smear Dubya. Dubya does that well enough himself with this lame excuses for violating the law and exercising power he clearly doesn't have. In case you haven't noticed, his approval ratings have dipped below 35%, so there is no way he claim his policies are accepted by a majority of Americans. Even if they were, they are still against the law. Last time I checked, we don't prosecute criminals based on the popularity or unpopularity of their crimes. This is just him pushing his private agenda. As American citizens, we have the right to call to account any politician who ceases to act in our best interest or starts to act in a way that is designed only to pander to his own personal special interests. That's how democracy works.

You seem to think there is something wrong with anyone who believes that porn is okay or who profit form it. This is America. The first amendment guarantee us freedom of speech and the surpreme court has long upheld that right. According to the supreme court, speech that is not obscene or child porn is protected speech - just as the diatribes you and your ilk spout about how people who don't support your position aren't good Americans. As protected speech, the government cannot regulate it.

The point to the COPA is to criminalize as much speech as Dubya and his right wing cronies don't like. In other words, they want to criminalize speech that has been consistently held to be protected by the first amendment - by the supreme court.

Furthermore, a quick glance at history shows us that once a government obtains information for one purpose, they always use it for other purposes. And, once they have bullied the search engine providers to give them this data, bouyed by their successes, they will feel a precedent has been set allowing them to bully the seach engine providers for more and more information. Bullying is a violation of due process. If they have a legitimate need, (and going after Google for this information is a fishing expedition, not a legitimate need), let them follow due process just like everyone else. In fact, I demand that they follow due process for they, like everyone else in this country, are equal under the law. Their positions in government garners them no exception from that.

One day, right wingers like you, will run afoul of a sitting president and that president will use the power that you have voluntarily given him to invade your privacy. Then the information you have so willing provided to the government will be used to oppress YOU! This is not something that might happen, it is something that has happened in every government in modern times when the sought to spy on their citizenry.

The problem with people like you and your attitudes is you believe the government is here to help you, the individual. That has never been true and it will never be true. Whatever "help" they give you, will cost you, dearly. I just hope you wake up and realize this, before you are sitting in a cell in Guantanamo Bay because you demanded your right to be left alone and keep the government out of your affairs.
Posted by MTGrizzly (353 comments )
Link Flag
One sample point says you're wrong
And that sample point would be me.

I own no stock in Google or any other company that would benefit or be damaged from this suit. There are absolutely no monetary consequences to me one way or the other. And, yet, I'm against search and seizure of evidence JUST TO SEE IF A LAW HAS BEEN BROKEN!

They aren't sure whether or not there's been a crime, so they want to issue a broad search and seizure of evidence in order to find out. And just because this personal information is stored by a coorporation and not kept in a safe in your home you think your privacy isn't being violated?

THIS IS ALL ABOUT PRIVACY TO ME. It has absolutely NOTHING to do with money. It's about FREEDOM. It's about search and seizure without probably cause. It's about the government taking away more rights.

Let's face it, the digital age is changing everything. What's "ours" is no longer necessarily residing inside our homes. The government seems to think that means it's no longer protected by privacy laws. If a journalist publishes his work on the web as opposed to on paper, the government seems to think that freedom of the press no longer applies. Eventually EVERY DETAIL of your life is going to be stored by one company or another. Eventually most journalism is going to be paperless. Do you want the government to be able to look at this data whenever they want just to be sure no laws have been broken? Do you want freedom of the press to go out the window just because they didn't sacrifice a tree to put it on paper? That's not privacy. That's not freedom. It's a Big Brother State and if that doesn't scare you... you're incredibly naive IMO.
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
Link Flag
Big Brother Is Watching or 1984 is Here Now
Govenrment has stripped the constitution down to something that the founding fathers that wrote it would not nor could not sign today. This "witch hunt" by using COPA is not above the clandestine actions for which Ex-President Nixon was forced to resign, just before he was impeached. This too is of such a nature that millions of Americans are having their privacy invaded on weak pretenses. The Federal Gov't needs to realize that this country was founded on specific freedoms & PRIVACY is one of them.
I hope that the proposed trial is able to recognise & over turn this absurd law.
Posted by Original_Zen (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Oh Grow Up
You'll let Google read your email to send you advertisements but the government can't request a random non-identifying sample of data to evaluate the effectiveness of its laws? Grow up, man. The government is not out to get you. ...unless... maybe you are in violation of child pornography laws.... BTW, Nixon broke the law and ordered others to do the same. A court subpeona for non-identifying data is not the same thing. By any stretch of the imagination...even yours.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Stupidity
The most ludicrous part of the law is that it pertains to the U.S. What happens to the usefulness (if there ever was any) of this law when 99.9% of the porn sites move out of the U.S.?

When was the last time any of us thought the Internet was U.S. only?

Oh yes, that would be when the current administration recently decided they would maintain control of it. (Which is pure fantasy anyway.)
Posted by shadowself (202 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Out of touch
You can't stop people around the world from doing a lot of evil things... but the question is... What are you doing to stop abuses within your own country? If everybody acted responsibly, the world would be a nice place. To suggest that because others act irresponsibility we should ignore our own laws is just foolish. America should do its part, even if others won't. The law is clear - you do not have the right to distribute adult content to minors.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
Non-US enforcement
The solution should be obvious.

If something contrary to US law is happening somewhere that isn't in the US, make that place part of the US.
Posted by michaelbirks (2 comments )
Link Flag
conspiracy theories
"1. People with conspiracy theories, raising the issue of privacy against the feds just so that they can scar the current political party in their own favor, make some noise, get attention.
2. People who think porn is fine.
3. People who profit from porn (includes search engine companies, as well as a whole chunk of internet businesses)"

1. The Govt has NO right nor need for the information.
2. Pornography is the dead bodies of civilians laying in the streets of Iraq needlessly!
3. Haliburton, the oil companies, and the military industrial complex, and this adminstrations 'backers' are ALL profiting from the pornography stated above...
Posted by Vetter83 (50 comments )
Reply Link Flag
yeah.... RIIIIGHT
1. The Govt has NO right nor need for the information.
2. Pornography is the dead bodies of civilians laying in the streets of Iraq needlessly!
3. Haliburton, the oil companies, and the military industrial complex, and this adminstrations 'backers' are ALL profiting from the pornography stated above...

1. YES, the absolutely do. So says the court that issued the subponea.
2. Wrong. Buy a dictionary.
3. This case has nothing to do with your anger towards american corporations.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
filtering methods are less effective than criminal prohibitions...not
I think they'll have hard time arguing that considering that should the law be enforced it only applies to U.S websites where the internet is Global. So protect minors it won't.

Wasn't part of the problem with COPA their definition of harmful to minors? I believe it had something to do with using community standards and how it would force publishers to set standards based on the standards of the most restrictive community thus allowing a minority to dictate what decent for everyone else.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Reply Link Flag
that's the problem with all these laws
to paraphrase another "the U.S. legislates while the Internet
laughs".

Regardless of whether we think these laws are good or bad, they
will intimately fail because they will have no effect on non-U.S.
companies/individuals/servers.

So I hope the reasons for passing laws like this are political,
because I'd hate to think our elected officials are so stupid they
think they will actually work.

The only hope for protecting children from the Internet's dark
side is a combination of better filtering and proper adult
supervision.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Link Flag
er ... IP addresses?
i'm pretty sure that you can use IP addresses to find a specific computer in a specific location. and what can't be gleaned from an ARIN database search (i.e. your workplace, university or service provider) can probably be served up by your ISP with no problem.

it seems that by casting such a wide, aimless net, the feds are trying to stamp out internet porn. (come to think of it, stamping out porn is a part of the rnc 2004 platform.)
Posted by tiffanybbrown (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
False Information
<<stamping out porn is a part of the rnc 2004 platform>>

Where is the evidence supporting this claim? The government appears to be supporting and evaluating existing laws. If you want to bad-mouth a political party, you should provide evidence for your claims. RNC makes no mention of "stamping out porn" in their disclosed agenda.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
First Google, then your ISP
You are sooooooooo right. The ISP is the next logical step. And then, your cable modem, router, etc, etc. And, I for one don't trust a corrupt government. Power corrupts, absolute power, corrupts absolutely!

And who's to say they [the Feds} won't do more data mining, once they get their hands on the dirty little data. This is frightening folks.

They will proclaim one purpose now, but later?

redjr...
Posted by redjr (3 comments )
Link Flag
A Parental Government?
It is interesting to see the perpetual encroachment of the Federal Government into the day-to-day lives of Americans.

Slowly we sit here while parents leave parenting to the government and the government seems to think it knows best what is good for me.

Here's to Google for resisting!!! Shame on the others for not having done so.
Posted by Tom517 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
the lazy way
You know there is a problem immediately. The Bush administration is attacking this problem they way it seems to do everything else: the lazy way. The instant something is done the lazy way, it is clear something is wrong.

The FBI has done plenty of good research and work (Innocent Images?) over the last few years on the subject. I am sure there are other organization doing similar work. The point is the Bush administration is to lazy to organize everyone and collect the hard work other people have already done. The lazy way is to ignore current work and start from the begining with data that may add very little to what is already known. The Bush administration prefers to waste money and create yet another situation where civil rights are threatened. It is a strange form of efficiency.

Google is doing the right thing.
Posted by rivera973 (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
George Orwell would be proud
Americans elected this current government with full knowledge that it had a "total information awareness" goal amongst other things.

Now that these programmes are becoming real, it is too late to complain. The government was given a mandate by the people to do what it is doing.

Google should simply move north to Canada.
Posted by jfmezei (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
LOL
<<Google should simply move north to Canada.>>

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA... Riiiight....
Google is not being accused of crime or being forced to alter its business practices or pay any fines. They have no logical reason to leave.
Posted by David Arbogast (1709 comments )
Link Flag
You act as if this is a recent thing
This whole situation is not the product of any legislation or action put forth in this century. The US has been actively datamining since they've had the capacity to do so. As such, this should surprise no one.

As they say: "knowledge is power."


So in that sense, yes, the government has been given a mandate by the people to act in what it perceives to be the best interest of society, culture, and security. I fail to understand what the hubbub is about on these matters, as their actions clearly seek to protect the common good. Can one really in good conscience come to the defense of people who would do harm to children?
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
Google should sue DOJ.
Google should sue for damage to it's business model.
Posted by Wiggletoe (24 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Sounds like an excellent strategy to lose millions of dollars....
The government has an infinite amount of money, an infinite amount of lawyers and an infinite amount of time compared to Google. Such a lawsuit would only cost Google millions of dollars. They'd have more luck filing suit against the IRS (and that, too, is nearly impossible to win).
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
Link Flag
Thank you Google
For standing up to the government and standing up for consumer rights. What the government is doing is blatant disregard for the constitution and those government officials who support this act of tyranny should be indicted as criminals against the people.
Posted by yrrahxob (77 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Google should remove sites that show children being molested
Google is the villain. They're not the good guy. They list sites that show children being molested. These aren't adults dressed up like children. I know the difference between an 8 year old and an adult woman with pigtails. That's the real crime here.
Posted by lingsun (482 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not that I don't agree...
but what you are actually asking is for google to police the internet and track down illegal site. I'm going to say impossible.

But, while google is policing the internet for child porn why not police it for illegal music and movie sites. Then go after hate sites that encourage violence against minorities. I'm sure we could find a lot more sites for google to police.

Google isn't the villian. Child preditors are. Stop trying to blame everybody else. It's not the adult industries job to protect children and it's not googles job and it's not the governments job unless an illegal act is being committed. It's the parents job, but I suppose that's to difficult for them to do.

Oh, great idea, unplug your computer and keep your kids of the internet without supervision. If you can't supervise your children then use software that record all the activities that computer does.

Not simple, but your job.
Posted by System Tyrant (1453 comments )
Link Flag
Wrong!
Google does not host websites, it simply reports what it finds. It woud be different if it accepted advertisements from such websites.

Molested children? Dude, what sick websites are YOU looking for?
Posted by gmycyk191 (32 comments )
Link Flag
RE
When Google had the number of sites it had indexed on its front page that number was well over 8 billion and I imagine they've managed to add to it since then. Google like many search engines uses software that automates the indexing process and computers can't reliability tell the different between legal and illegal porn. It would be impossible for Google employees to go thru that much content and remove sites with illegal images or sites that link to other sites with such content etc from their index in any reasonable amount of time. I don't think the people at Google have any desire to serve up childporn, but the shear amount data precludes them from doing anything about it effectively. They do have the safe search function, which is turn on by default, that tries to filter offensive content but it's not perfect.
Posted by unknown unknown (1951 comments )
Link Flag
You dont understand
How can a company possibly sift through 8 billion sites to remove a specific type of data?

I am sure that you probably have no technical savvy so you would not understand the magnetude of such a task.
Posted by darcydj (74 comments )
Link Flag
How do you know?
First of all, how do you know this? Have you personally seen results like you describe?

Second, if you find child porn on the net it is your moral obligation to report it:

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.antichildporn.org/reportcp.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.antichildporn.org/reportcp.html</a>
Posted by dicknixon (5 comments )
Link Flag
so what have you been searching for?
So Bill, are we to conclude that you have been searching Google for child-porn and have been finding sites with 8-year old girls?
Shame on you.
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
If this was MSN y'all'd be backin the guv'ment
I'm willing to bet. In your eyes, Google can do no wrong, even when refusing to reply with a COURT ORDER.

MSFT would drop from $27 to $7 if they pulled this.
Posted by Anon-Y-mous (124 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Subpeona not court order...
&gt;refusing to reply with a COURT ORDER.

Google has been subpeonaed. No court is involved in issuing a subpeona, it is a purely administrative action.

Anyone can move to quash a subpeona. If the court refuses to quash it, then it has the effect of a court order and refusing to comply can be treated as contempt of court. Get your facts straight.

I believe that any business who refused to supply the government the information to conduct its fishing expedition. Even Microslob...
Posted by MTGrizzly (353 comments )
Link Flag
No, I'd be in shock
It would considerably bring them up in my estimation if MSN were standing up and doing the right thing (for once).
Posted by whoeveriam (1 comment )
Link Flag
*boggle*
Am I the only one who thinks this comment is completely out of left field?
Posted by drfrost (467 comments )
Link Flag
Eliminate all websites
The only way to eliminate offensive web sites is to eliminate all websites, all forms of printed material,and all other means of communications. Something out there is always going to be offensive to someone. If it is not communicated publicly, then it must not exist???? That is the kind of hypocrisy that has keep child abuse alive for centuries.
Posted by mydstar (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
nah
Yep. worldwide web is just that - worldwide. so far just the
States are being monitored. doesn't apply to anyone outside the
u.s. as far as one can tell... unless British ones appeal to the
American public... not advocating this.

when will an effort be underway to prosecute or bust child porn
rings overseas? Why not start with Thailand and the American/
China/German tourist trade... sex tours, and all that, if there is
really a 'push' to elim all child porn... and a global effort, at
that...

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.netmasters.co.uk/european_search_engines/" target="_newWindow">http://www.netmasters.co.uk/european_search_engines/</a>
germany.shtml

another viable reason could very well come up for reading all of
your email), happy surfing! (hello, 1984! oh, forgot...it's 2006!~)

then they'll have to start monitoring every citizen's keystroke,
and those records'll have to be turned over... a citizen's duty,
you know! read '1984' - war is peace, and peace is war...

we'll all be sitting in front of the web cam that monitors our
every move, to ensure that we are being good citizens. hey it's
not far off, the U.K. is constantly watched via surveillance
cameras.

surveilling the records is a good start.
Posted by johntherevelator (2 comments )
Link Flag
COPA will work as well as CAN SPAM!
COPA will be just as effective in protecting children as the CAN SPAM law stopped spam.

CAN SPAM is a good example that technology is much better at fixing a technological problem.

Filters work better than legislation.
Posted by Drewzilla (19 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thank You Google!!
Great job google. Irrespective of what data the Feds want and what they want to do with it, just the idea of someone invetigating into search terms and their results makes me feel uncomfortable.
Posted by vasanisalim (9 comments )
Reply Link Flag
ISP's
Feds should look to the ISP's for the information as the links have been actively clicked and there would be a record there. They are lazy and just trying to take the easy way out by trying to break the back of an organisation that actually cares about user privacy. They should get off their ar*e and do the job properly.
Posted by Brad81 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No responsibility
This is just another in the long line of governmental interference in our lives because the People don't want take responsibility for themselves (and, in this case, their children). I am a parent. It is my right and privilege to raise them as I see fit, to allow or not allow what they see, hear and do. Parents need to pay attention to their children and control what they do. It is not the place of government to tell people they can't have something simply because parents are too lazy to do their jobs and want everyone else to "take care of the children". What about those who choose not to have children? Why is it supposed to be an influence on their lifestyle as to what affects someone elses children? Parents don't deserve to be parents who don't want to do the work, IMO.
Posted by fasnashun (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Don't Be So Proud of Google...
If they were not collecting IP info along with search data, it could not be extracted, legally or not.

I realize that they are trying to take a white hat approach, and that their motto is something like 'Do no harm to anyone', which is all laudable.

I also realize that they are collecting that data for one reason: they want to make money from it.

IMO, this would best serve as a wakeup to them that the only way they can be sure not to cause harm to someone by their actions in information collection, is to collect NOTHING that can be identified to any specific individual or location.

Perhaps this would cost them some ability to make money down the road, and sometimes the only way to do the right thing is in a way that costs something.

Sooner or later, a way can and possibly will be found to legally extract what they have collected.

Realizing that law is essentially the agreement of the majority, and that sometimes the majority is wrong, most people would agree that sometimes laws are wrong.

A lot of the people in this country agreed to that idea when England was making our laws, and a lot of them fought and died because they thought that to be so.

Some of the arguments I have read in here seem to assume that since there is a law about something, there is an automatic rightness implied in its enforcement, simply because it is a law.

That seems to be a pretty blind assumption to me.

There are too many things happening lately that seem to extend outside the law, too many loopholes being used in the service of 'defending' us, too much questionable activity happening for a reasonable person not to question it.

When someone is always right, there is something wrong.
Posted by truks (12 comments )
Reply Link Flag
i believe
I believe that all porn sites should be forced to require confirmation og age other than 18 or older such as id number off piture id and all bondage and inscest sites should just go it is like making a mockery of family molestation. we have seen what raising violence input for people causes; whats next. porn is free expression but we can't express racial hate or governtment blunders an d how they really make us feel but we can view sites that mix violent crimes and something once considered sacred and show what is meant to be seen as family sex and same with rape sites if it is illegal why add fuel to the fire and give the already disturbed new ideas. i myself will admit i wath videos but mostly one woman posing however i believe that sex is alright and i do believe in a higher power but i believe the bible is set of guidlines for which to live our lives not divine law. but am not opposed who think otherwise
Posted by nomoreidiocy (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
This has nothing to do with pornography
This has to do with wanting to know what everyone is searching for on the internet. It has nothing to do with pornography. It's just another lie like the other 1,000 we'be been fed for the last 5 years and 20 days. It's just another way to strip Americans of all privacy and freedoms.
Posted by christian545 (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
i agree with peggy.
peggy, i was just about to post the same message as you when i saw your post. The government just wants to know everything we're looking at on the internet, particularly if it has anything to do with what they're doing, and this is their way of doing that. I applaud google for taking a stand on this.
Posted by el_savagejt (2 comments )
Link Flag
true
True porn is just the excuse in an effort to control. And the Republican base eats this up.
Posted by gomerz (2 comments )
Link Flag
yeah right
that is ******** this has nothing to do with control it is about keeping it away from those who cant make their own decisions due to lack of real world experience and not fueling those who drool over child molestaion and rape porn is not the problem or there would be an atempt to ban videos and mag however children can so easily access porn on the internet that would be like saying incest should be legal and they are trying to control us by not letting us **** our children so that is a total crock the only people who say what you did are people who have nothing left to gripe about like people who wanted under god removed from the pledge what next people of different background saying i am not a american so i wont sat the pledge it is not about that it is about honor and pride in american heritage not proving you are true to your country and i think too many people have forgotten that.the same as the death penalty i want to be killed for murder because if i caught someone attempting murder i would take it that far. the government was established to set limits so the next time you see an officer pull somenone for speeding i want you to step out your car curse him spit **** and beat him with a bat because that is what you have done with this ridiculous response of yours.
Posted by nomoreidiocy (5 comments )
Link Flag
Use a little logic
What reason does Google have to not comply with the government's request? If anything they're risking a lot for it. Their stocks have dropped, and they could be facing a heavy penalty from the US government.

So why are they resisting? For YOU. For the rights of privacy in the US.

What does the government want with this data? They want to use it to test their filtering programs, and they're just too lazy to get their own search engine data so they figure they can just be the biggest kid on the playground and go take it from the major search companies.

What have Yahoo, MSN, and AOL done for you? Well, they just sold you out because they're too worried about their pocket books and too scared to stand up for their and your rights.
Posted by Tomodachigai (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Big Brother or Police State
Apparently this Administration does not feel as if the U.S. Constitution is worth the paper it was written on in yet another ploy to spy on the American people by concocting another lame excuse to do so. The NSA is wire tapping phones with no warrant to obtain information on Lord knows what and the DOJ wants to sift through search engine records for porn entries? Yeahhhh right! Duh? Some companies are introducing RFID's to track products. Privacy is under seige in America and it is time to take these Constitutional threats seriously before this nation truly becomes a police state. I for one will vote against any legislator that tampers with the Constitution or Adminstration official that trashes it like this one is attempting to do. Didn't someone say "those that exchange freedom for security &#38; safety, deserve neither?" Nothing less than "freedom of speech" and right to privacy are at stake in this situation. This calls for public outrage and protest.
Posted by croupier01 (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Before you climbed up on your soap box....
... you should have really read what was being proposed - nothing
more than the government getting a copy of the statistics Google
and other search engine operators should already be keeping for
their own needs.

Privacy is not an issue, nor is free speech, nor any other
Constitutional question.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
It depends
I think your streching on this one. All that is being asked for is search terms and results to test the effectiveness of a law. No user information is being requested. The data could be from the same 100 people and the DOJ would not know who they are. So long as they are not releasing information that could idenify people then then Google should just hand it over. The question, is can they give the information without providing identity information.

The thing is that Google put themselves in a tight spot because of the amountt of data they store about user preferences and actions. Now ever time an organization needs information about user search engine usage, guess who is going to be number on the list, Google. No one can ask for information you do not have. I would not be surprised if the NSA has not already tapped them for information that DOES identify people.
Posted by VI Joker (231 comments )
Link Flag
 

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