Government Requests User Data From Google

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From the The Mercury News:
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. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.
Scary, eh? There is hope, however. Nicole Wong, an associate general counsel for Google, said the company will fight the government's effort "vigorously."

With the recent writings I've been doing on Internet use and privacy, I've been surprised by the number of commenters who say "so what?" to this matter. Privacy is an extremely important part of this (and any) free country.
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.
I do have high hopes for Google and their "Don't be evil" mantra. According to the news story, other search engines have agreed to release search records, but Google still refuses. That's 46% of U.S. searches that they continue to guard. Let's hope they can hold their ground.

Update: Almost a $40 drop in one day (Friday). That stinks.

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