Google Fights DOJ Order to Produce Records of Database Searches

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on January 19, 2006

  • MercuryNews.com, Feds after Google data: “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’.”
  • Legislative reference: Child Online Protection Act
  • AP, Google, U.S. Clash Over Online Searches: “The government wants a list all requests entered into Google’s search engine during an unspecified single week – a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks 1 million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases.”
  • Copy of subpoena and correspondece between DOJ and Google (32 pages, PDF): “In an attempt to learn more about computer users searching for p*rn*graphy on the internet, the U.S. government filed a motion in federal court in California seeking to compel Google to to turn over “a multi-stage random sample of one million URL’s” from Google’s database, and a computer file with “the text of each search string entered onto Google’s search engine over a one-week period.”
  • EFF Applauds Google Resistance to Government Subpoena – But Broader Privacy Concerns Remain
  • January 19, 2006 – Fighting Internet-based Obscenity and Child P*rn*graphy – James H. Burrus, Deputy Assistant Director, Criminal Investigative Division, FBI, Before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. Links to all testimony and opening remarks from the hearing today.
  • Related news on compliance by MSN, AOL and Yahoo, to similar DOJ subpoenas for data:

  • Reported by Declan McCullagh, “Federal prosecutors preparing to defend a controversial Internet p*rn*graphy law in court have asked Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and America Online to hand over millions of search records–a request that Google is adamantly denying.” Note that this article also has links to PDF versions of the legal documents related to the ongoing DOJ v. Google matter.
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