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DOJ Underestimates The Size Of Google's... Googles?

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Recently, its been reported that the Department of Justice has decided that it wants to randomly search the records of preferred search engines Yahoo, AOL, MSN, and Google for porn-related searches. It has also been reported that Google basically told the DOJ to go pound sand. Among the reasons Google gave, was that they wanted to protect their search engine trade secrets. I can understand that. What other thing could be more important to a search engine company than it's method of searching?

Hammer of Truth carried a post on this topic. They had an image on their page that inspired me to pay homage to Google in a way that HoT's didn't. Theirs came close, but I think they missed what it took to do what Google did. So, here you go...

My opinion of DOJ's actions: If they want to look at records of searches with no individual identifiers, then I'd be ok with that (as long as participation in their program was voluntary for search engine companies). However, DOJ didn't do this. They, as I understand it, demanded records that included the IP addresses of those who initiated the searches. This gives DOJ the ability to prosecute anyone who did anything they determine objectionable or inappropriate. This, in my opinion, is not ok. Its tantamount to DOJ showing up on your doorstep demanding to "have a look around" to make sure you're complying with all the laws. The DOJ is on a fishing trip, and Google is right to tell them, "Go to Hell!"

Here's the irony behind this whole story: The Mercury News reported in an article that:
The government argues that it needs the information as it prepares to once again defend the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act in a federal court in Pennsylvania. The law was struck down in 2004 because it was too broad and could prevent adults from accessing legal porn sites.
The DOJ wants to commit the unconstitutional act of unreasonable records confiscation/examination to help them defend the constitutionality of another Act. One that has already been shown to be unconstitutional. They simply just don't get it.


Anonymous Stephen Gordon said...

I love the graphic.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Me, too!

10:43 AM  
Blogger Alnot said...

I had a co worker that was addicted to porn. I did not know that when he used my computer at work. I found a teen hotties search still open on my computer one morning when I came in to work. I walked over to my bosses office and showed him what I found. We suspected the janitorial service at first and since my boss was the head of computer information services for the college he within a month had tracked down who the real culprit was and most of the searches were done on my computer. Lucky for me that my boss also found more teen porn in a briefcase that my coworker used that prompted his resignation from the college in order to avoid prosecution. I wonder how much of this type of activity is covered up in our PC world?

12:51 PM  

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