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U.S. Government Wants Google Search Records

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the proud-to-be-an-american? dept.

Google 917

JimBridgerBowl writes "According to the San Jose Mercury News, The Bush administration wants access to Google's huge database of search queries submitted by users to track how often pornography is returned in results. This information would be used for Bush's appeal of the 2004 COPA law, targeted to prevent access to pornography by children. The law was struck down because it would have restricted adults access to legal pornography. Google is promising to fight the release of this information." From the article: "The Supreme Court invited the government to either come up with a less drastic version of the law or go to trial to prove that the statute does not violate the First Amendment and is the only viable way to combat child porn. As a result, government lawyers said in court papers they are developing a defense of the 1998 law based on the argument that it is far more effective than software filters in protecting children from porn."

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917 comments

The solution is obvious! (5, Funny)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508654)

The solution is obvious! Let's all submit pornographic requests to Google.

Re:The solution is obvious! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508684)

Way ahead of you. Been doing this for years.

Re:The solution is obvious! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508686)

Close -- you want to submit Bush's name in every one of those queries. Once it's apparent that he is inextricably linked to the other search material then he'll tuck his tail between his legs and skulk off home.

Re:The solution is obvious! (5, Funny)

Plunky (929104) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508822)

Well, if you look up bush porn on Google you gonna get some pretty good stuff..

Re:The solution is obvious! (3, Funny)

Phreakiture (547094) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508865)

The solution is obvious! Let's all submit pornographic requests to Google.

...and make sure that they all hit either goatse or tubgirl on the first link! That will make sure that the screeners go blind, solving the problem.

Miserable failure (4, Funny)

mtenhagen (450608) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508658)

I guess bush really wants to know how many people are looking for 'Miserable failure' on google.

Re:Miserable failure (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508769)

The same term was applied to Lincoln while in office. Only time will tell, not your partisan premonitions, will tell.

Re:Miserable failure (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508791)

You must be from the South, welcome redneck!

Messerable failer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508790)

He tried, but couldn't spell either word and ended up getting porn.

If there were no logs of searches... (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508660)

...then there would be nothing to obtain.

Re:If there were no logs of searches... (1)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508673)

Indeed, and the fact that your google searches are tied to your gmail account is particularly bothersome.

This is why I won't use gmail and block the google cookie.

Re:If there were no logs of searches... (1)

sgant (178166) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508782)

I use Google mail, I just don't search "logged in". In fact, I just don't have it set to auto-login and when I actually need to use the web-mail part (I actually use POP access to gmail), I'll just log in normally.

Re:If there were no logs of searches... (1)

VoiceOfRaisin (554019) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508842)

you dont think they track IPs too? im sure they could match up your searching with your mail account very easily

Re:If there were no logs of searches... (2, Insightful)

cnelzie (451984) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508826)

The only problem with that is if a search engine refused to keep records of what was searched for and perhaps which links were taken, how could the engines ever improve their effectiveness?

    It's a double-sided sword. It cuts both ways.

He found it! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508661)

He just wants to take his site off the 'Miserable Failure' search results

Results are in (2, Interesting)

jaymzter (452402) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508666)

I've got the results right here [google.com].

Interestingly enough, the first results all deal with being victimized by pornography. There goes my buzz.

Re:Results are in (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508694)

The second result is interesting.

Re:Results are in (5, Funny)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508728)

It's 'cause you searched for "pornography" instead of "Teenaged Tit Freaks"...jeez, man, that's like a basic internet skill.

Correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Insightful)

millennial (830897) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508668)

But how can a law that puts no filter whatsoever in place be more effective than a software filter?
That aside, this is pretty alarming. But let's haul out two old arguments: 1. the media tends to be alarmist (true), and 2. if you're innocent, you shouldn't have to worry (true, but only if the government isn't violating the rights of the innocent, and leads to the possibility of forfeiting other rights).

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (5, Insightful)

UCRowerG (523510) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508726)

Easy: it can't. The Internet is a global thing now, and a law here in the USA isn't going to mean jack in China. They might come up with some sort of legal statement saying that any porn site must be blocked by ISPs in the US. Then again, we've seen how effective these have been for other countries, not to mention that censorship has up until now been one of this country's "great ideals." I still say nothing beats regulation by parents. Inform your kids about what's appropriate to say and do online in a public forum. Monitor their net surfing either in person, with a filter (NetNanny, etc), or by checking your cache after they're done. If they're not behaving, then it's good parenting to take whatever action is appropriate.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (5, Insightful)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508739)

Statement 2 is FALSE.

Being a innocent can cost you your home and job. It does not have to be a government that violating your rights;

    It can be a name that matches yours. Then you have to prove that you are not the matching person. Think Indentiy Theif.

    It can be looking like another person. Then you have to prove that you are not that person. Think Misintification.

In both case you are out the money it cost you clean it up. The public memory can be short, but with the internet... it can be long. This means that you will have do the fight over and over.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508767)

It can be a name that matches yours. Then you have to prove that you are not the matching person. Think Identity Theft. It can be looking like another person. Then you have to prove that you are not that person. Think Misidentification.

Re:Correct me if I'm wrong... (2, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508800)

It can also be the result of two users inadvertantly on the same IP address (think Joe Dipshit, his unsecured wifi hotspot in his house, and his next-door neighbor Joe Criminal).

As to the assumption some people make that the innocent have nothing to worry about, I ask you this:

If the FBI showed up to your office and started asking your boss questions about you, would you bee cool with it just because you've "nothing to hide"?

-Eric

Age ranges? (2, Insightful)

lisaparratt (752068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508672)

What relevance is the data if they can't divide it into demographics?

Re:Age ranges? (3, Interesting)

tolan-b (230077) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508688)

I get the impression they want to find out how easy it is to stumble across porn when you're not looking for it. Probably particularly when safesearch is enabled.

Re:Age ranges? (5, Insightful)

Bimo_Dude (178966) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508778)

I get the impression they want to find out how easy it is to stumble across porn when you're not looking for it. Probably particularly when safesearch is enabled.

That's not the impression that I got FTA. Poring through a massive database of search logs would be much more difficult, time-consuming and inaccurate than simply writing a script to query Google with ramdon words and logging any results that lead to porn.

It seems to me that they want to do some data mining, maybe to identify terrorists (or dissenters), and they could just be using the "what about the children" thing in their attempt to gain access.

If Google is to remain un-evil, maybe it's time for a solar flare to wipe out the records (until the backups can be restored after this is all over).

Did I miss something? (5, Insightful)

Monoman (8745) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508674)

When did Google start asking for your age along with your query? How are they going to tie queries to ages?

Re:Did I miss something? (2, Funny)

LostAngel (891826) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508706)

Duh! They will reference past querys you made. If they see "Teletubbies Fan Club", and "Rugrats Spectacular!" They will know your underage...or have no life. :)

Duh, the NSA will tell them (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508751)

How are they going to tie queries to ages?

Don't worry, the NSA has a full profile on you to cross-reference.

-Eric

Re:Did I miss something? (5, Insightful)

GreyPoopon (411036) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508764)

When did Google start asking for your age along with your query? How are they going to tie queries to ages?

I don't think the government is trying to tie ages to queries. They are just trying to prove that it is easy for anyone (including a minor) to find pr0n on the internet. Although I don't agree with this attempt at massive violation of privacy, the government is correct in its assertion that finding pr0n is childishly simple (pun intended). All you have to do is a Google image search with no filters on the results. Type in pretty much anything and you are almost guaranteed to get nude or hardcore photos somewhere in your results.

Protecting the children from free speech (2, Insightful)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508677)

In other news, the Bush administration wants to look through Google's records to see how often search results included critique of the war in Iraq.

"We need to see how much of the political commentary online is speech protected by the First Amendment, and how much is dangerous speech that can't be allowed in these extraordinary times," a Whitehouse spokesman said.

I really think we need an amendment to the Constitution that says "the words 'no law' shall be construed by the courts to mean 'no law whatsoever, without exceptions, and this means you, moron.'"

Re:Protecting the children from free speech (2, Insightful)

Ours (596171) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508748)

Did a miss the part of the Constitution about "dangerous speech" not been protected by the first ammendment? Or maybe it just poped-in.
Sounds very un-democratic to me that's for certain.

Re:Protecting the children from free speech (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508765)

In other news, the Bush administration wants to look through Google's records to see how often search results included critique of the war in Iraq

They already did that [whitehouse.gov]

a

Re:Protecting the children from free speech (5, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508766)

I really think we need an amendment to the Constitution that says "the words 'no law' shall be construed by the courts to mean 'no law whatsoever, without exceptions, and this means you, moron.'"

That only works if he can read.

-Eric

Re:Protecting the children from free speech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508833)

> I really think we need an amendment to the Constitution that says "the words 'no law' shall be
> construed by the courts to mean 'no law whatsoever, without exceptions, and this means you,
> moron.'"

Some Americans want this sort of thing banned:

http://ia300831.eu.archive.org/3/items/al-jaishul- islami-baghdad-sniper/al-jaishul-islami-baghdad-sn iper-70mb.rmvb [archive.org]

Can you blame them?

Looking for the wrong data (3, Insightful)

EBFoxbat (897297) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508679)

If the administration wants statistics to back up there bill, why not ask Google for statistical data regarding pornographic requests instead of records of the actually quaries?

Which one is it? (5, Insightful)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508689)

Both the summary and the article speak of child porn and protecting children from accessing porn as if they're interchangeable. Well, they're not - which one is it?

There's no more sure-fire way to push people's buttons than to mention child porn... bah. Always makes me feel that it trivializes the problem when it's being used to push someone's agenda.

Seems Like There Are Simpler Ways.... (2, Informative)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508824)

The sting operations by local police forces seems more than adequate enough to catch pedofiles. Boost funding for this and lock up these perverts with the satisfaction of knowing you caught them in the act.

Google pr0n queries?? Probably take the worlds fastest super computer a year to parse!

Parenting is the answer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508691)

Parents are the ones who need to educate their children... filters are pretty much useless.

No one "protected" me (4, Insightful)

coinreturn (617535) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508695)

I'm sure glad no one "protected" me from porno when I was a kid. Someone always has an older brother or father with porno mags and they make the rounds. I had a pretty good collection before I turned 18 and it was legal - from playboy to hardcore. What's so wrong with pornography? I'd be surprised if Bush didn't have some stashed away in the oval office.

Re:No one "protected" me (4, Insightful)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508758)

My beef is, classifying things as porn automatically shuts out educational value. What if you have a daughter in her young teens and she wants to know about mammograms, breastfeeding, AIDS prevention, ovary development, etc? I made it my business to learn all about sex I could when I was a pre-teen, and it paid off when my early partners were delighted that I knew more about their anatomy than they did. I intend extending the same liberties to learn to my children.

Re:No one "protected" me (0)

ettlz (639203) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508872)

I'd be surprised if Bush didn't have some stashed away in the oval office.

No, and it's not like "Republican strip-joint" is exactly a contradiction in terms, either.

Re:No one "protected" me (3, Funny)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508880)

and they make the rounds.

How is this possible with the pages all stuck together?

Oh boy.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508697)

Is this on his (top) priority list (and nothing else to do?).

Sorry had to be like this. I wanted to list all national issues... but list is too big

Privacy rights are eroding (4, Insightful)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508699)

to track how often pornography is returned in results.

Isn't this an invasion of privacy?
What ever happened to parents and not the government being responsible for their kids?

Re:Privacy rights are eroding (1, Flamebait)

geoffspear (692508) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508730)

What ever happened to parents and not the government being responsible for their kids?

Well, if only people would have elected the guy who trusts people and not big government, we wouldn't have all this big government spying on our phone calls and web searches.

Oh wait.

Anyway, when you elect a President named Bush and a Vice President named Dick, what sort of searches are you expecting to see?

Re:Privacy rights are eroding (1)

HCDean (866988) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508743)

It would seem that this issue is irrelevant. Google does not compile ages of users in their search queries, or at least as far as I know. Thus the government would not be able to identify which of it is being accessed illegally and what is legal. This seems like another bureacratic attempt to track what the American people do and say. Unfortunately we can't isolate Bush as the problem either; the government has been doing this for quite some time. Hurray for democracy.

Re:Privacy rights are eroding (0)

SamLJones (930806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508779)

The same thing that happened to parents and not schools being responsible for sex ed and religious indoctrination.

Re:Privacy rights are eroding (1)

spectrumCoder (944322) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508788)

The article states:

The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

As far as I can see, the only figures the american government wants (for now) is the volume of child pornography searches occuring on Google. This isn't an invasion of anyone's privacy, and of course Google already release ample data regarding how often particular searches are made (see http://www.google.com/press/zeitgeist.html>).

If they also requested the ip addresses of the people making the searches, on the other hand, that would be a clear invasion of privacy and probably illegal under US law.

Re:Privacy rights are eroding (1)

Bimo_Dude (178966) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508857)

If they also requested the ip addresses of the people making the searches, on the other hand, that would be a clear invasion of privacy and probably illegal under US law.

FTA:

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 IP addresses could very well be included in this information.

Silly rabbit, we're at war! (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508850)

Isn't this an invasion of privacy?

Well, not if the president orders it, dummy. Thank God we here in the U.S. has a leader with the courage to come out and say "I am above the law as long as this war, which will never end, goes on."

I only wish he would take the next logical step and declare that presidential elections in a time of war could make us vunerable, and therefore they must be indefinitely suspended until we defeat terrorism.

-Eric

Well I'm sold! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508709)

I totally believe Cheney wants this information to "protect the children".

If they want to know how often pornography is returned in search results, how about they, um, perform some searches?

pornography searches? (2, Interesting)

bobamu (943639) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508710)

Yeah right, like they really give a crap about that, I'm sure they are more inclined to want to see the details of Bush sucks [google.com] and Diy Nukes [google.com] but I could be mistaken.

(no black helicopters were harmed while making this comment).

Google should honor the request (1)

LiquidCoooled (634315) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508719)

By printing results 1...4.7googilian in full detail at 72point font full color.

In the real world, why can't they do their own analysis of the search results?
They could use the Zeitgeist and get most popular terms and actually search and see what the results are.

Unless there is some other reason for wanting the data, then I see this as reasonable.

What really concerns me (4, Insightful)

dptalia (804960) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508734)

Is that the government is claiming other search engines have already given up the requested data. I'd rather search with Google who's trying to protect my privacy than some other engine that coughed up the goods without a fight!

The most important part is missing (5, Insightful)

pmc (40532) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508735)

I thought the two salient points from the article were

1) Google were resisting the subpoena

and

2) Others (unnamed) had complied with the subpoena

which is slightly worrying for those that use other search engines.

Re:The most important part is missing (1)

55555 Manbabies! (861806) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508808)

Leave it to the Google fanboys on Slashdot to attempt to make Google appear like the good guy here, while smearing other, unnamed search engines.

Re:The most important part is missing (5, Interesting)

TGK (262438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508839)

Has anyone else read "The Search?" In it, the author discusses how Google's search logs could be utilized as a kind of "database of intentions" if you could apply sufficiently sophisticated datamining techniqes to it. In other words - that based on a persons past search history you can construe not just what they searched for, but what they were really LOOKING for - and infer other things that such a person might want or do.

Scary

our (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508736)

All your search are belong to us!

Foot in the door (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508754)

The problem with this action is that if it passes, it will serve as a foot in the door so that it is possible for the Bush administration (and those who will follow it) to inspect and analyze the internet habits and actions of everyone who has an internet connection. Right now there are state agents questioning certan US citizens' because of their reading habits, there are databases ran with information on normal, law abiding citizens just because they have an oppinion different from the current administration and God knows what other things are being done behind closed doors. Doesn't this worry anyone?

US: formerly known as land of the free, currently aquiring police state status and on the fast track to fascism.

Talk about your open-ended grabs for power (2, Insightful)

ianscot (591483) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508760)

The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

One imagines the dedicated team of talented evaluators at Justice combing the list of returned sites, carefully categorizing them as pRon or non-pRon. No waste of tax dollars there -- noooo. Glad to see we're spending our dollars on the big issues that face us as a society.

The Supreme Court decision back in June 04 [cornell.edu] went back, again, to the first amendment. The series of decisions made over the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) and the earlier Communications Decency Act, came back to the laws not being "narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest" and to whether less restrictive alternatives were available.

In response to those two reservations, Bush and company are apparently looking to prove how very compelling their government interest is -- by showing that kids are awash in the stuff on Google. Apparently the part where they get access to this enormous, open-ended source of information about searches doesn't set off any bells with them about the other half of that decision -- where the idea was to minimize the restrictiveness of the law and keep government intrusion to a minimum.

These were the "small government" conservatives, right?

"1998 Law" (1, Informative)

two_socks (516862) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508762)

"1998 Law" places this in the Clinton presidency, doesn't it?

Re:"1998 Law" (1)

Agelmar (205181) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508881)

It places the law in the years which saw Clinton in the White House, but you have to remember that in 1998 the GOP controlled both houses of Congress - 55-45 in Senate, 223-211-1 in the House.

Don't be evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508770)

"Don't be evil!"

That includes you too, George W. Bush.
Time for Google to start developing a beowulf cluster of lawyers.
The words "fully functional battlestation" come to mind.
I'm sure that their legal staff will become "most impressive".

I see a couple of flaws. (4, Interesting)

StressGuy (472374) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508774)

First off, while there may be obvious pornographic search terms, the range of human fetishes is such that otherwise innocuous searches are actually searches for sexually oriented material (feet, smoking, chewing gum, darn near anything else I imagine). So, it would seem to me that it would be more productive to focus on which search results were actually followed.

Also, just because a search term has a sexual/fetish connotation is not sufficient to imply a search for pornographic material. Even if it is, it does not explain the motive. Case in point, there is a registered sex offender in my neighborhood. From the local sex offender database, it appears he had either received or downloaded child pornagraphy. I have two young children. So, I'd like to know more about this particular type of fetish. However, if my understanding of the law is correct, an attempt to research this on the internet could put me in the position of violating the same law that required him to register as a sex offender.

My purpose is not to obtain illicit material, but rather to get inside the head of someone who may be a danger to my children. How would Bush or anyone else know the difference based upon a Google search?

Results 1 - 10 of about 271,000,000 for "bush " (3, Funny)

Hosiah (849792) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508780)

Wait a minute, which "bush" were you talking about?

Don't forget who signed COPA into law (5, Informative)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508781)

It was 1998, remember? Janet Reno was singing its praises, and Bill Clinton signed it into law.

give me porno or give me death (1)

elnyka (803306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508801)

I won't stand idle while Bush crushes my constitutional right to search for pics of Kobe Tai during my hot, passionate, lonely nights.

Can the US government do this? (1)

16K Ram Pack (690082) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508843)

Any lawyers present?

Wouldn't a subpoena be based on some sort of law? Like that a crime has occurred and the case requires the information?

Thin end of the wedge (2, Insightful)

tomalpha (746163) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508806)

I'm all for preventing child access to porn. But if google hands over (voluntarily or otherwise) even a portion of their logs for a specific purpose it makes it just that little bit easier for Bush (or whoever) to get their grubby mitts on log data the next time round. Where does it end?

Also, how would this play from an international viewpoint? Would the data (potentially) handed over include google.co.uk or google.de logs?

The EU is busy being lobbied (can you be busy being lobbied?) about communications data retention (e.g. pi report [privacyinternational.org]). Without serious safeguards in place and with all those logs sloshing around it's only a matter of time before log subpoenas become routine.

Why can't Google not be Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508809)

The good and proper course for Google is to co-operate with the government to help determine if the law was effective or not.

Nearly all criminal cases are solved and prosecuted based on witnesses testimony. Usually this starts with Det. Lenny Briskow asking neighbors what they heard/saw on a given night. OR askig a restaurant to check their receipts and their waiters memories.

Imagine how hard a case would be to solve if everyone responded to these inquieries with a 'No, that violates the rights of the people I see and do business for me to talk to you.'

Why can't those g-d college hippies as Google be decent citizens and recognize that their lot is tied to the prosecution of illicit activities just like everyone else and just co-operate with the attempt to determine if COPA is effective or not.

Is porn REALLY harmful to children ??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508810)

I know that most parents just don't want their children to see porn. Period.

However, in order to justify a federal law against children accessing porn, there should be at least some scientific evidence that a) Porn is harmful to children and/or b) Children seeing porn is harmful to society

Does anyone know if there have been any such serious studies? (When I say serious I mean no links from the Family Research Council, etc.)

If there isn't any evidence, or if any related studies show no negative effects, it should be up to the parents only to monitor what their kids see.

Mr Bush (1)

ladyKae (945309) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508812)

"The Bush administration wants access to Google's huge database of search queries submitted by users to track how often pornography is returned in results."

I see, too lazy too think up our own search queries are we?

Information (2, Interesting)

Mr_Silver (213637) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508827)

Google is promising to fight the release of this information

To be honest, I'd far rather they didn't have to fight this because they didn't actually keep the information in the first place.

Re:Information (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508863)

To be honest, I'd far rather they didn't have to fight this because they didn't actually keep the information in the first place.

If they didn't, they'd have no business. They depend on targeted ads.

so many things wrong with this (3, Insightful)

edmicman (830206) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508831)

1. protecting children from pr0n is completely different from combatting child pr0n. keeping johnny from searching for free pr0n sites is not the same as preventing the sickos out there violating kids. 2. heaven forbid the PARENTS actually do something and pay attention to their kids of they're looking at things they shouldn't be online. It's not the gov'ts job to be a babysitter, parent, etc.

Innocent websites (1)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508837)

This will really be helpful in destroying a good technology. If they think of more use of these queries than statistics like how many people look for xyz, for example block all of them containing the words sex, pussy, or any others, sites with literature, sites about cats, sites with texts about the procreation of fireflies, etc. will then not be retrievable anymore???

They can also just use google, msn, yahoo and many others to search themselves. It will just be another cat-mouse game again in which sites with illegal content will alter the way they show up in the search engines to prevent goverment queries from detecting them, and innocent sites with accidental hits on the subject will get FBI visits.

So...it has begun... (5, Interesting)

MindPrison (864299) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508844)

As if they didnt already?

Wake up people. While I am all for Google and Share the knowledge with everyone policy - I am less for the privacy issue that arises here. You all know it - Gooooooogle ADS are everywhere and you have a couple of cookies that identify you. Probably not the Slashdotters as we regularly clean our cache, but people with less knowledge will eventually suffer privacy issues.

As far as I am concerned - Google is the smartest internet move in the world. CIA, FBI and NSA loves this stuff. Why do you think the "military" abandoned the internet to the public? Imagine if you create a system that everyone uses...and Imagine you have full access to it...given all of that...you dont really need that much imagination to imagine how bad this COULD be. You can monitor just about anyone and everyone - find out their habits, what do they like? Are Johnny-Pedo watching the "family-album" on a Gooooooogle ADS partner online-photo-album today? If so...is he also logging onto his GMAIL today? Maybe Alichk-WoludbeTerrorist is visiting the do-it-yourself-bombmaker site a bit too frequently and of course using his nice free big juicy google mailbox?

While thats kind of obvious to most of us...there is something FAR more sinister at hand...something you might need to be a bit of a paranoid person to think of (like me!)

Imagine that youre a worried "family dad" and want to educate yourself, finding out what "bad stuff" there is out there and what your family could be subjected to, or just curious in general. Imagine that you are subscribing to the same Goooooogle ADS partner sites and you are a man of your habits...you read certain news in online newspapers with great interest, you also give up what you prefer to eat, what people you hang with, which chat groups you visit, what products you prefer etc. All this can and WILL create a profile of you which Google easily can use for 2 things. 1) Direct their marketing at you with almost lethal accuracy and 2) Sell your information to the highest bidder...wether this is the government that make a "sweet trade-deal" with them...or the sinister business corporate that want to make sure that they only get "pure and clean" employees that fit the "corporate profile". This kind of information is worth more than Gold these days.

All that I am saying guys...is...Honestly, if you didnt see this coming then youre simply to plain naive. Remember - Knowledge is YOUR power too.

Whose definition of pornography would be used? (2, Insightful)

adsl (595429) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508848)

Will there be some agreed legal "definition" of what is pornography? Or will it be a subjective defn or list of key "words"? The results will change dramatically. Of concern here is that we would have a case of "apples" and "oranges" with an ability to produce statistical results to suit any type of requirement of the asking person.

So, what's it for then? (1)

laetus42 (899781) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508862)

From the article:
  • ...targeted to prevent access to pornography by children...
  • ...and is the only viable way to combat child porn...
  • ...software filters in protecting children from porn...
I thought children watching porn and child porn were different things. But then hey, what do I know.

Finally I can say this! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14508871)

I, anal.

Legal and Ethical Issues Aside (1)

necro81 (917438) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508878)

I'd just like to ask a technical question: just how does the government intend to garner much of anything from what Google gives them, even if they got it. The request for one million random web sites alone would keep them pretty busy for a while, let alone the queries of a typical week at Google. Can anyone ballpark how many queries that might be? 10^6? 10^9? The government has some data mining capabilities, but I doubt it has anything that could be readily used on that scale. As a matter of fact, one of the only organizations out there that could do it would be ... Google? Does anyone suppose that part of the subpeona is that Google has to analyze the data for the government as well?

Sounds like a fishing expedition (5, Interesting)

Paladin144 (676391) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508886)

From TFA:

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.

Why should the government be able to access Google's privately-held database, which contains sensitive information about millions of users, just so the government can try to defend a poorly written law? I see this as nothing more than a fishing expedition. Lord knows half the searches on google are probably for porn-related stuff, which the government could use damned lies and statistics to "prove" is bad for children. But the government has no right to demand this information.

You know what's really bad for children? A tyrannical government bent on taking away the rights and liberties of its citizens. Will a child born today even taste freedom after they reach age 18? The way things are going, I rather doubt it.

I hope Google fights this all the way and wins.

Subnets for pr0n... in a dream world (1)

Randall311 (866824) | more than 8 years ago | (#14508887)

So I guess dedicating some entire subnets to pornography is completely out of the question at this point. Though I think that if we've had a better planning of the Internet, we could have placed adult content on certain designated subnets, and then our constitutional rights would not be up for debate with millions of taxpayers dollars wasted yet again on some stupid trial.

It's too late for such a thing to happen now that the infrastructure is set up and pr0n sites are everywhere. As impracticle as placing adult content on designated subnets is (e.g. we sould have to have every country in the world on board, which just wouldn't happen. And even if it did happen, you would have to have some viable way of enforcing subnet restrictions to pr0n sites) it would make filtering out adult material a snap by setting up your own proxy server that blocks the entire subnet.

It's too bad that the world doesn't work this way, and that the pornography industry is far too powerful to ever agree to something like that, which would probably hurt their business.

...And then of course this whole debate could have been avoided in the first place, if we didn't elect such a moron into office. Constantly trying to overstep his bounds and combining church and state. *sigh* Just three more years...
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