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Woah.

http://www.bloomberg.com/

Google Sued by U.S. Over Access to Pornography Data (Update2)

Jan. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Google Inc., the most-used Internet search engine, was sued by the Justice Department after it refused to turn over information that may help the government monitor sexually explicit material on the Web.

A motion to compel compliance with a subpoena, filed yesterday in federal court in San Jose, California, said the government seeks the data to enforce the Child Online Protection Act, designed to protect minors from pornography. A challenge to the law is being reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The Justice Department said it asked for all Google queries for a week and for 1 million Internet addresses in the company's database. According to the lawsuit, other search engines have complied with similar requests, ``and have not reported that they encountered any difficulty or burden in doing so.''

``We had lengthy discussions with them to try to resolve this, but were not able to and we intend to resist their motion vigorously.'' Nicole Wong, a Google lawyer, said in a statement. Wong said the demand for information ``over-reaches.''

The information would ``assist the government in its efforts to understand the behavior of current Web users, to estimate how often Web users encounter harmful-to-minors material in the course of their searches, and to measure the effectiveness of filtering software in screening that material,'' the government's filing said.

Yahoo

Mary Osako, a spokeswoman for Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo! Inc., said the company complied with the government inquiry on a ``limited basis,'' and didn't give the U.S. ``any personally identifiable information.''

``We are rigorous defenders of our users' privacy,'' Osako said. ``We did not provide any personal information in response to the Department of Justice's subpoena. In our opinion this is not a privacy issue.''

Ask Jeeves, an Internet search engine owned by IAC/InterActiveCorp, has not received any requests from the government, spokesman Patrick Crisp said.

Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller declined to immediately respond to questions about the lawsuit.

ACLU Challenge

The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy rights organizations successfully sued to block enforcement of the Child Online Protection Act after it was signed into law in 1998, according government's lawsuit. The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case after a federal appeals court twice upheld challenges to the Act on grounds it violates First Amendment free speech protections, the lawsuit said.

Google objected to the government's subpoena, saying it would reveal trade secrets by providing the data and disclose personally identifiable information about its users. In response, the government said it would keep the data secret and that the request wasn't for personal information.

Shares of Google fell $8.46, or 1.9 percent, to $436.45 in Nasdaq Stock Market composite trading. They've risen 5.2 percent this year.

The case is Gonzales v. Google Inc., 5:06-mc-80006, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).
 

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And since there is no mention of Yahoo, they probably turned their info over.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
ct47 said:
And since there is no mention of Yahoo, they probably turned their info over.

In another article, Yahoo said they got a similar request and handed over search info but (suposedly) not WHO did the searching.

Anyone you still doesn't think this administration isn't pushing a puritanical agenda has their head in the sand.
 

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Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
You go Google!
this country is going to hell in a really fast way.
 

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As long as we are discussing constitutional issues here let's remember one thing: Congress passes laws, the President executes the laws. Congress passed the Child Online Protections Act and the Justice Department is executing the provisions of this law. As to if it violates your 4th Admendment rights, the US Supreme Court will decide. Also, this law was first passed in 1998 (I think), long before W was the President. Finally, the bill was sponsored by a democrat and passed the US Senate by a vote of 74-25.
 

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Sciteach, I didn't see anyone saying the law is bad. The complaint is how the law is enforced, or the lengths to which the administration will go to attempt enforcement. In this case, the government is not actually seek to enforce the law, but to dig up data they can use in enforcement.
The information would ``assist the government in its efforts to understand the behavior of current Web users, to estimate how often Web users encounter harmful-to-minors material in the course of their searches, and to measure the effectiveness of filtering software in screening that material,'' the government's filing said.
OK, lets review this. Without IP addresses, how is this data going to assist in determining the effectiveness of filtering software? In order to determine how often web users encounter certain material, they must want more than just search terms, but to actually find out WHERE searches are leading people and to look at those searches to see if they find anything the government deems "harmful."

Now if you do a search on "vagina" you are probably gonna find some naughty sites in the search, along with sites on women's health, etc. (the odds on someone actually looking for naughty sites by typing "vagina" are pretty slim!) This is obvious. The question here is, what does the government think it's going to learn that we don't already know? Besides maybe where the searches are coming from?
 

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I agree, the data the feds SAY they want (search queries) is useless... Why?

Because you have to determine the intent of the user from the search query. And also a list of terms won't tell you if:

Jr. is surfing the web with a parent watching.
Jr. is web filtering software installed.
Jr. is intentionally looking for things he should not.
 

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I think it's fine to request certain records, but honestly, who cares about what minors are viewing? Kids are going to find porn, using Google or just jacking a magazine/video from a store.

What they SHOULD be doing is looking for people who are searching for child porn. A lot more psychological damage is done when a kid is forced to pose nude for a family friend than if they see Pamela Anderson naked.
 

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Mixed emotions here. I've always been the first to say "if you have nothing to hide and are not guilty of anything, what are you afraid of?"

But as I get older, I don't like the idea of government having so much introspection on my life. I'm not crazy about the idea of this Google thing and the gov't but I guess in the end it's for the better good?

As far as porn, I guess I'm naive to technology, but how is something as damaging both psychologically and legally as child or illegal porn even allowed on the internet. I'm sure I'm wrong or just not tech savvy enough, but there is no way of monitoring new and existing websites for illegal content?

Consenting adults in porn? Fine no problem. I still don't see how it is different from buying a Hustler or magazines of the like in a corner store. I may be going out on a limb, and keep in mind I'm speaking of ADULTS in porn, but the more you suppress something the more people want it. Sex is a huge part of our being and the more the government censors it and bans it (keep in mind I'm talking legal porn), the more people are going to want it and the greater efforts they will go through to find it.

Go to Europe, holy boobies Batman, in many places, sex and nudity is not taboo at all. We think of having a topless beach here in America as a mortal sin. When kept clean, legal, and not morally sickening, sex should be embraced. Why do you think it supposedly sells so much in America, it's taboo.
 

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Because somehow, call me paranoid, I don't trust the current administration to use the information solely for the purpose for which they say they're going to use it. Come to think of it, I'm not sure I'd trust ANY administration with it.
 

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RottyB5A2 said:
But as I get older, I don't like the idea of government having so much introspection on my life. I'm not crazy about the idea of this Google thing and the gov't but I guess in the end it's for the better good?
Is fighting to break an injuction that has been confirmed twice by the Supreme Court, on a law found unconstitutional twice by the 3rd circuit, "the better good?"

This has nothing to do with child porn, by the way. The COPA standard criminalizes "any communication for commercial purposes that is available to any minor and that includes any material that is harmful to minors"
 

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DEMOCRACY---------------------------^------------THEOCRACY


Seems like the scale is tilting a bit to the RIGHT lately. With the Supreme Court being poised to overturn such things as Roe v Wade,Gay Rights and who knows what else. Maybe even Civil Rights ?
And the "reasoning" behind these Google subpoena moves being to "Protect the Children" - the Old Stand By, is pure bullshit. It reeks of McArthy-ism. This time it's "Protecting the Children" instead of Communism.
The country that was founded on people fleeing religious and other persecutions is slowly becoming the opressor rather than the opressed we supposedly were. Sure lines have to be drawn but who is to decide these lines ? Simply the Right ? Simply the Left ? In no way am I advocating child abuse. Thought I'd say that flat out before someone turns what I'm saying into that. Simply put, this is way more than what it seems on the surface. The "LAW" no longer needs to follow the "LAW" in order to enforce it ? Land of the Free ? Maybe on the surface....
 

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Protect children from what? Seeing porn? Excuse me, all you adults out there, yes you too, Rotty, now everyone that saw some porn as a kid raise your right hand.

Your OTHER right hand.

Yes, how many of us actually avoided pornography as kids? How many of us sought it out? How many of us stashed it under a mattress?

(funny aside: Lady co-worker divorcee is having a problem with 13 year old son surfing porn on her PC. It's not the porn that's such an issue, but the virus shit you can catch on sites like that. We've chatted about it, and I suggested that she print out some of the pages he's visited, stash em under his pillow and tell him that's where that kinda stuff is supposed be hidden.)

So the question is, how many of us were harmed by seeing naked people? Um Sciteach, this is where you put your hand back down.

Anyway, as was mentioned above, if the Feds said they were looking for evidence of child pornography (that's where children are used in porn, not where children are looking for porn), then that might be a worthy search. But it sounds to me like they are subpoenaing records for a freaking SURVEY.

They could've come to Passatworld and done that.

(toungue stuck VERY FIRMLY in cheek!)
 

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Next thing you know they will start reviewing security video from all the liquor stores in the US to see how often minors are sneaking peeks at Hustler.
 

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watchout, he'll put Viagra in your M&Ms
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c'mon guys. This is really just Bush and his cronies trying to get free access to good porn. They have to subpoena the stuff, because they're not smart enuff to figger out the interweb.
 

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Harvey Wallbanger said:
Um Sciteach, this is where you put your hand back down.
Hey, I resemble that comment!

Think about this. What was porn when we were kids. Boobies! Now porn is 20 dudes, one chick, a midget, and assorted animals or veggies. If you think that children are just little people you really don't understand child development.
 

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Sciteach said:
Think about this. What was porn when we were kids. Boobies! Now porn is 20 dudes, one chick, a midget, and assorted animals or veggies. If you think that children are just little people you really don't understand child development.
boobs may have been porn where you grew up, but for a large portion of the rest of the world, they're not as tight-assed as that. we all know children aren't just little people, but children see and understand vulgarity to be as what they are taught to be societal norms, starting at HOME. the Bush administration is playing games with this issue, and it has nothing to do with the definition of porn past, present tense, or future, save for the official definition of law. once again, you are totally off-topic, and not even funny.
 
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