Saturday, January 21, 2006

Admisistration Wants Your Search Habits

Chicago Sun-Times
Google Inc. is rebuffing the Bush administration's demand for a peek at what millions of people have been looking up on the Internet's leading search engine -- a request that underscores the potential for online databases to become tools for government surveillance.

Google has refused to comply with a White House subpoena first issued last summer, prompting U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this week to ask a federal judge in San Jose for an order to hand over the requested records.

The government wants a list all requests entered into Google's search engine during an unspecified single week -- a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks 1 million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases.
This is a jumping all over the Bill of Rights. Instead of searching for info on a few suspects, they are basically searching a huge cross section of Americans, spying into their personal lives hoping to catch a few bad guys. The end does not justify the means when everyone's right to privacy and due process is violated.
In court papers that the San Jose Mercury News reported on after seeing them Wednesday, the Bush administration depicts the information as vital in its effort to restore online child protection laws that have been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Yahoo Inc., which runs the Internet's second-most-used search engine behind Google, confirmed Thursday that it had complied with a similar government subpoena.

Although the government says it isn't seeking any data that ties personal information to search requests, the subpoena still raises serious privacy concerns, experts said. Those worries have been magnified by recent revelations that the White House authorized eavesdropping on civilian communications after the Sept. 11 attacks without obtaining court approval.
I agree that child porn is terrible and that things should be done to stop it, but what must be done has to be within the confines of the law. America is a republic or a land ruled by laws. If you strip the laws away or only use them when they suit your purpose then it is no longer America.

posted by David at 7:29 AM :: Permalink ::

Comments on "Admisistration Wants Your Search Habits"


Blogger Norma said ... (21 January, 2006 16:54) : 

Vendors (like Google) do this all the time with their (your) information, only it's called marketing.


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