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Google to Launch Government Search Site

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the uncle-sam's-table-of-contents dept.


Billosaur writes "Word has come out via the Washington Post on Google's plan to launch a a tool for searching US Government web sites. The tool, usgov.google.com, is meant to be used by Federal employees who may need to search across several different sites for information, and '...is also designed to help citizens navigate convoluted pages of government-speak and tailor news feeds to their interests. Users can customize the layout of their page to remain updated on government-related news from official and commercial sources, including the White House, Department of Defense, The Washington Post and CNN. Google is also working with agencies to increase the frequency of news updates to keep content current.'"

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Hardly new - this search was already in google (5, Informative)

timecop (16217) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545305)

Well, this isnt exactly new - there used to be a http://www.google.com/unclesam [google.com] which is similar to their custom searches like /linux [google.com] and /microsoft [google.com] , and limited results to .gov sites. The only thing that looks different now is they have personalized newsfeeds related to government stuff, which you could already do on your personalized page anyway, if you were so interested.

Re:Hardly new - this search was already in google (1)

dubmun (891874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545774)

It now searches .mil as well as government sites with .com, .net, and .org extensions.

Re:Hardly new - this search was already in google (1)

greyduk (966196) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546641)

So it is different. I guess I shouldn't believe parents so blindly.

Dejavu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545306)

I've seen that kind of search before

In other news (5, Funny)

obeythefist (719316) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545322)

In other news, Google Inc have announced they are changing their logo to a more classical look. Spokesman for Google's marketing department said "We find the new glowing eye in a pyramid logo to be more appealing to a broader range of customers."

Be careful! (5, Funny)

Funkcikle (630170) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545341)

It is just a phishing site! Once you search for stuff, it will inform you that the information is only accessible by Government employees.

"Please enter your employee login and password to continue."

Those sneaky Googlers...

Re:Be careful! (1)

gbobeck (926553) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545527)

Once you search for stuff, it will inform you that the information is only accessible by Government employees.

I don't think so. I searched using the term 'bullshit' [google.com] and I was able to access virtually every result.

Re:Be careful! (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545710)

Director of the FBI: Get me the file on this guy who filed for it under the Freedom of Information Act; and if he doesn't have a file - start one!


Use it to find hacked sites (3, Interesting)

martinde (137088) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545343)

View source on this page [sandia.gov] . Doh! I guess hidden information in a wiki isn't exactly hacked... But I wonder what's in it for the people putting that stuff on there?

Re:Use it to find hacked sites (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545494)

ask the spammer

registrant-firstname:            Jason
registrant-lastname:             Scott
registrant-organization:         JMS Internet, Inc.
registrant-street1:              PO Box 278
registrant-pcode:                93613
registrant-state:                CA
registrant-city:                 Clovis
registrant-ccode:                US
registrant-phone:                +1.5593234283
registrant-email:                jason@jasonscott.com

D*** G-men, changed the site... (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547261)

according to this:
This page was last modified 03:26, 16 June 2006.
So what did it say? What the AC replied to your comment?

Re:D*** G-men, changed the site... (1)

martinde (137088) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547442)

It had a bunch of comments (or otherwise invisible text, I guess, since google had indexed them) nested in the page source leading to warez sites, mp3s, etc. When I say a bunch, I mean a BUNCH - probably 500 or so links. The comments also had something like "we're easy on your site" in them, basically saying "we could have defaced your site but we didn't".

Yes, but more importantly... (2, Funny)

denebian devil (944045) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545357)

What I want to know is when Google will be able to help me search for my shoes in the morning.

Re:Yes, but more importantly... (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545434)

One's under the computer desk, the other is by the back door.
Key's are in the freezer.

All joking aside, my brother used to call information(this was before the internet existed.) and ask questions like that.
Scary thing is, they were ofter correct.

If the shoe fits (1)

Joebert (946227) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545365)

Does this mean that the government sites will be rushing to make new laws, err I mean content ?

I'm glad. (5, Funny)

BrainRam (939611) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545366)

It's a good thing that Google launching a government search site. I've been looking for the US government for years, but haven't been able to find them. This would have really have been useful last year during Katrina, since I know a lot of other people were looking for the government then as well...

Oh, wait, there they are knocking on the door now. Guess I don't need the government search site after all.

Re:I'm glad. (2, Insightful)

bigpat (158134) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546247)

Oh, wait, there they are knocking on the door now. Guess I don't need the government search site after all.

Well after today's supreme court decision, knocking probably means it isn't the government, because they don't have to knock anymore.

So, uh... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545374)

When do we get to search through the federal government's private emails and download mp3's of their phone calls? ...parooze their transaction summaries, nose around in their medical records, see what they've been looking up in the library of congress, and run statistical analysis on seemingly random characteristics?

I'm not holding my breath.

It works perfectly! (4, Funny)

rabiddeity (941737) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545520)

SELECT * FROM The_Government WHERE Intelligence > '0'

Your search returned no results

Re:It works perfectly! (3, Funny)

HappyDrgn (142428) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545574)

ERROR: Unknown column 'Intelligence' in 'where clause'

Re:It works perfectly! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545611)

FATAL ERROR: Multiple columns are not supported.

you can do this manually (5, Informative)

erikus (891552) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545381)

You can just use the regular google search with site:.gov OR site:.us OR site:.mil (maybe a few others) appended to your search to get the same results.

Compare these results:
usgov search [google.com]
manual search [google.com]

Re:you can do this manually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545427)

Iowa is listed on the regular site. The unclesam site has justly removed it.

Re:you can do this manually (1, Insightful)

demachina (71715) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546031)

If this has already been done, I'm wonder if maybe instead Google could straighten out all the fucked up computers at the FBI so they could communicate with each other and maybe stop the next 9/11 like they should have the first one when agents started getting reports of Arab men training to fly but not land airliners but they weren't talking to each other so....

Then maybe the U.S. wouldn't need to resorting to massively spying on everyone, torturing people, invading random countries, etc. to deal with this little terrorism problem.

If Google could do that instead of just "do no evil" they could make their motto "do good". Since /. seems to think Google is like God and can do anything, I think straightening out our messed up government, and nipping this police state in the bud, is a simple thing. If Google is concerned about being in the Chinese police state, what are they going to do if they let their home country turn in to one.

Go Google!!!

Re:you can do this manually (1)

rm69990 (885744) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547025)

Ummm....why the hell would a search engine company, who also happens to have a couple consumer AJAX applications be responsible for straightening out the FBI's computer systems to ensure they could talk to each other? I think the most important question however, is, who the hell modded you insightful?

Re:you can do this manually (1)

MrNougat (927651) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546307)

Notice the difference in the "Sponsored Links"? Top of the list on the manual scan is "Mortgages at Countrywide," which is not even displayed at all on the usgov search side. Also, the manual scan reports 37.5 million results, while the usgov side reports only 31.8 million.

There's a definite difference between the two searches. I wonder what the basis for that difference is. One might jump to the conclusion that there's some kind of censorship going on, were one fully outfitted with a TFH.

Re:you can do this manually (1)

dkf (304284) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547094)

Not all .us sites are governmental it seems.

And anyway, why is the federal government so unpatriotic as to not use .gov.us instead of .gov? You'd think they loved their country more than that...

You are correct (1)

drachenstern (160456) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547275)

.us can also be used for many other purposes, including, IIRC w/o looking it up, that states utilize something similar to XX.us much the same as UK companies utilize co.uk instead of .com

the reason why the govt gets to use .gov is because the us controls the internet, of course. especially since we had a VP who created it one night in his basement with a jar of pb and some old clothesline [/sarcasm]

Peek at future slashback: (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545385)

Sadly, despite the support of Google, which raised the count of hands from "both" to "effectively infinite", the US Government could not its booty find.

They'll never learn... (1)

packetmon (977047) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545386)

The U.S. government is humorous. A recently released FBI report about the compromising ties between a Chinese-American Mata Hari and her FBI-agent lover is a stark reminder that after terrorism, the greatest threat to our national security at home is espionage." (source [latimes.com] ). Couple this with government employees giving data away [google.com] , and we've got the making of a new way to spy on the US without planting swallows, cobblers, ravens [spymuseum.org] ... I wonder how fast after this service is up will we be reading about a government slip-up via that portal... Anyway, this truly isn't anything new. I've used Google's Uncle Sam [google.com] search plenty times...

Well, it appears to be working (4, Interesting)

cliveholloway (132299) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545395)

14,000 results for "do not distribute" [google.com] .

Now all they have to do is learn what not to index :)

Even worse! (3, Interesting)

Johnny Doughnuts (767951) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545555)

us gov search for "confidential "do not distribute"". [google.com]

The results are astounding, someone should get fired over this.

Re:Even worse! (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545716)

Oh it gets better... there's a couple of legal stuff in there...

Just reading one. It contains internal government emails, private correspondence between a client and their attourney.

The start cracks me up though "you need to start reading from the bottom and read up" - Outlook users, lol.

Re:Even worse! (1)

Tony Hoyle (11698) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545726)

Oh yeah, found it...

"The unauthorized disclosure or interception of e-mail is a federal crime. See 18 U.S.C
SEC.251 7(4)."

Someone's toast.

Re:Well, it appears to be working (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545780)

Seems like those are exactly the kind of documents we want indexed. If it is a security matter, it will be classified and handling procedures ought to keep any classified documents off the public web. If it's not a security matter, then there ain't much justification for trying to hide it, the government is supposed to be accountable to the people. Informal investigations via google-hacking seems like the modern equivalent of the "surprise" audit.

Re:Well, it appears to be working (1)

idonthack (883680) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545852)

If you actually read the results, most of it is pages with phrases like "we do not distribute phone numbers" or "we do not distribute samples". But there are a few actual files that appear to be distributed incorrectly; right on the front page is a .doc that says "FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY - DO NOT DISTRIBUTE". It appears to just be a report on logistics.

Re:Well, it appears to be working (2, Interesting)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545930)

"do not distribute -e-mail [google.com] , 843 results.

A couple are irrelevant but the signal to noise is much better than the GP query.

Re:Well, it appears to be working (1)

stev_mccrev (712012) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546050)

refine it further with intitle:"do not distribute". [google.com]

23 results.

Re:Well, it appears to be working (1)

belg4mit (152620) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546121)

For some definition of "refine". Instead of just removing spurious results you've tacked on
a highly restrictive criterion. It seems to me that "Do not distribute" could accompany any
number of qualifiers on a title page, but not be part of the actual title.

Re:Well, it appears to be working (1)

forgotten_my_nick (802929) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547131)

Top Secret works as well somewhat.

Its also interesting to read all the sping earlier years. I typed in "Weapons of mass destruction" and gives you details on how Iraq had WMD. lol.

Let me be the first to say: Cool (1)

2bitcomputers (864663) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545409)

I think this is cool. If half of the people who watch fox news found out about what their goverment is really doing then maybe they will stand up and do something about it. Wouldn't it be great if they added a big fucking "Email your congressmen about this issue - using your gMail account" button at the top of every article?

In Soviet Russia... (4, Funny)

SonicSpike (242293) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545443)

...government searches you!

Re:In Soviet Russia... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545477)

s/Soviet Russia/United States/

Careful of those typos...

Oh boy, here comes trouble (1)

malus (6786) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545459)

If pr0n didn't get google in enough trouble, then this certainly will. The feds just don't want it's citezens to have easy access to this information. Cheers, google. Perhaps now *I* can find those kick ass grants mathew lesko is hawking! profit!

FOIA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545465)

Now, if only they could use this kind of technology to speed up FOIA requests. Of course, then you'd actually get the information you were searching for.

Existing search engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545476)

Doesn't the government already have a pretty search engine [nsa.gov] ?

I got it up now! (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545484)

Nothing for you to see here, please move along.

Looks like the site is working fine. All the information the govenerment wants accessable to the people is at my fingertips.

Dear NSA, please open a file on me (3, Insightful)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545525)

My entire search history, my email, and my interactions with the Federal and State governments will all be neatly catalogued by an online service, whose records, I am sure, you will have no trouble in subpoena-ing when necessary.

Thank you,
John Citizen

Re:Dear NSA, please open a file on me (1)

Kuciwalker (891651) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546071)

Why would they have to subpoena anything when they could already do a search of their own data? Dumbass karma-troll.

Freedom of Information Act (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545575)

Google should do FOIA requests on everything imaginable and compile a database of all the documents, that way we can search through that too instead of having to file the requests our selves... just a thought.

Engage the cloak! (1)

tacarat (696339) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545576)

They're piercing the bureaucracy!

I hope Google adds a "euphanism" translator while they're at it. I can see an explosion of new words and phrases being made to try obfuscating information and guiding public opinion. Not that it hasn't been going on already...

Re:Engage the cloak! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15547066)

We hope they have a dictionary too.

http://www.dictionary.net/euphanism [dictionary.net] :

No entries found for "euphanism"

We have not found any entries on our dictionary databases for the word you entered. Perhaps you are looking for one of the following instead?

Euphonism \Eu"pho*nism\, n. An agreeable combination of sounds; euphony.

Nah ... must be tacarat figures Google should employ this chick (GENDER: male !) instead :

http://suicidegirls.com/members/Euphanism/ [suicidegirls.com]

"Sadly, unless Euphanism tells you more about Euphanism, this is all you'll ever know about Euphanism."

I'm starting to wonder what "girl" means in "suicidegirls" ???
Maybe it's a euphemism...

This has been around forever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545583)

As a member of the Armed Service I have been using this site for well over a year (under the /unclesam). It is a very good quick way to find pubs and forms that you need access to for work, but it's function beyond that is minimal. Sorry guys, no black boock top secret info here, just a bunch of fun filled documents and paperwork.

Great, I know exactly what this leads too (2, Funny)

pelsmith (308845) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545587)

One month from today, the word will come out that sensitive information is available on Google, and being actively utilized by China, Iraq and France.

Two months from now, DoD sys admins will be told to block Google.

Twenty years from now, the following questions will still be on the security clearance application form:

206. Have you ever used any of the following "hackor" tools:
Google YES/NO

Thankfully... (1)

Ieshan (409693) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545596)

The google search for Miserable Failure [google.com] seems to have been uncorrupted by this latest move.

A true testament to Google's ability to gracefully decay when replacing all the substantive information with political crud.

Re:Thankfully... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545913)

Miserable Failure
Whatever you're looking for
you can get it on eBay.

and also

Fed up with Windows?
Discover the freedom, power,
and stability of Linux computers

No, really.

whaaaa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545601)

Does this mean US Government employees will have valuable information at their fingertips and will be able to become efficient at their jobs? Oh wait, they're looking at US Government websites.

Serach porno. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545604)

If you search the word 'ponro' you will get some odd sites. Some sites you might not think should be host on .gov tld.

I hope it is useful (2, Insightful)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545606)

I just hope they make it useful. In the past I know there has been information that I wanted on publically finded, publically open sites, because I found it, but when I asked Google for the same information I was told that my search got zero matches. I was told here that the likely cause of this was someone flagging the page or pages above the information "no robots" or whatever the flag is to keep spiders out. This is a complete crock for public information, and I hope that Google indexes as much as it can, no matter what flag some low level tax-payer paid employee decided to stick on it.

If the don't, the terrorists have won. (Heck, that argument seems to work for anything Bush wants.)

Chineese Government Search (2, Funny)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545624)

When google implements their search for chineese government sites, this is what we can expect to see.

Nothing found for your search.
IP Logged.

Re:Chineese Government Search (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545757)

Except in "Chineese" I suppose. It is a funny post, though. Too bad my mod points expired about 15 minutes ago.

Now you get get the scoop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545645)

On poop [google.com] . W00t!

A re-branded Uncle Sam search? (1)

j1mc (912703) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545672)

I have http://www.google.com/unclesam [google.com] bookmarked in my del.icio.us bookmarks, which now redirects to this new search page. Seems to me like they've been offering this specialized search for at least a little while (not sure when they may have started it), but now they've just refined it - adding som U.S. government news content to the search page. (It used to be just a straight-forward specialized search ala the Google Linux [google.com] search page.)

Quick! (1)

rjamestaylor (117847) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545675)

Someone register google.gov real quick like! You'll make a billion!

(Note: this is an example of sarcasm. Enjoy. If you actually have the connections to register Google.gov, please move along, this isn't the tax payer you're looking for.)

Notice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545705)

Notice the syntax when you search...

google.com/search?hl=en&q=bushisaqueef&btnmeta%3Ds earch%3Dunclesam=Search+Government+Sites

A rose by any other name would smell as sweet...

Nothing to see here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545763)

...please move along.

tax code just got easier... (3, Funny)

a_greer2005 (863926) | more than 7 years ago | (#15545769)

Now you can find that tax loophole with the power of google parsing through all of those IRS publications... Thank you Google.

I would be scared (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15545912)

If the government wasn't so incompetent. How is the war on drugs?

Will we turn on the 6 o'clock news and see arrests of 14 year old boys downloading porn, playing Grand Theft Auto, and while posting naked pictures of himself on My Space. I doubt it. Just more pre-election hype.

My .04 cents

Speaking as a Political Science student... (2, Funny)

jelton (513109) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546011)

I just made a mess in my pants. This is like manna from heaven for the research I do.

google keywords (1)

RedHatChilliPeppers (980675) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546085)


Google Search: inurl:www.nsa.gov "index of" Area 51 *.doc, *.pdf

Google Results:
index of/Area 51

roswell report hoax.pdf
bush is an alien.doc
bill gates is from mars.doc
bill gates report.pdf

click bill gates report.pdf

xpdf runs Project: BGR (Bill Gate Report)

In America (1)

dcapel (913969) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546106)

you search the Government.

In Soviet Russia, the Government Searches you. ...wait a minute...

"Beware of the leopard" (2, Funny)

jellybear (96058) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546257)

Finally a solution to the problem that confronted Arthur Dent:

"I eventually had to go down to the cellar to find them."
"That's the Display Department."
"With a torch."
"The lights had probably gone."
"So had the stairs."
"But you found the plans, didn't you?"
"Oh yes, they were 'on display' in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying 'Beware of the leopard.'"

Now you'll be able to simply create an RSS feed for your house.

Soon to be... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#15546605)

...shut down in the name of "National Security"!

The real purpose (1)

elyk (970302) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546669)

Is probably an attempt to appease the us govt after successfully challenging the subpoenas. I wonder how long until they add a special version of trends designed specially for the government, including the ability to drill down to individual queries. Or for that matter, how long until they create a new cabinet-level Department of SEO

So where will they lean? (1)

dezert_fox (740322) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546718)

It will be very interesting to see where the Google usgov search engine comes out in terms of the political spectrum.

Google to Launch Government Search Site (1)

TempeTerra (83076) | more than 7 years ago | (#15546779)

At last! I, and I'm sure many other slashdotters, have been trying to find a new government for years. I think Google's on to a winner with this service!

So much better than gov's doing it themselves (1)

gjuk (940514) | more than 7 years ago | (#15547143)

I'd much rather entrepreneurial organisations like google do this than Governments doing it themselves.

As ever - the British Government wasted millions of pounds on a poorly thought through and badly implemented project to bring all of e-government together - direct.gov.uk.

Specifically to the google point; some British techs came up with the rather cheaper www.directionlessgov.com - which compares google results when you search for government terms to the results from direct.gov.uk. Unsurprisingly - google turns out to be rather more effective than the government.
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