Google is refusing a US government request to turn over records of searches made.
Google has refused to comply with a US government subpoena for information about how people use its search engine, opening one of the first legal battles over whether law enforcement agencies should have access to the increasingly far-reaching data held by search engine companies.
Yahoo and Microsoft were not so courageous.
Yahoo and Microsoft have complied with the request, turning over millions of search queries to the government, although both firms insist they did not violate their users’ privacy.
The real issue is not this particular data, which the government specifically said should not identify the searcher, but what the next governmental request could be if they get away with this one.
Google keeps data identifying searchers. Maybe the government will request it one day. If you use Google and Google Mail, you’ve left a huge and easily trackable data trail. This is true of Yahoo, MSN, and AOL too.
This is just more of the idiot neocon approach to problems. Instead of carefully selecting the information they want (people seeking porno), they instead demanded Google provide a list of EVERY search made one one week last June, plus one million random cached pages. How does this help stop kiddie porn? It doesn’t, is the answer.
It’s the same brute force approach the neocons always try. It doesn’t work, but it’s all they know how to do. Look at the war in Iraq. They thought they could win by overwhelming force. Instead, they are losing. They illegally monitor thousands and thousands of Americans, hoping to find terrorist links by sifting through millions of phone calls and emails. This hasn’t worked either.
Google was getting 250 million searches a day in 2003. It’s certainly way more than that now. Call it 750 million a day now * 7 days (what the Feds want.) That’s 5.25 billion searches. This will help the government find kiddie porn? Just analyzing it will take months and massive computer resources and time. And to what end? Not much that I can see.
Instead of thinking smart and acting smart they instead use brute force. And create ugly precedents as they go.