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ATS: Feds Go After Google Data

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posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 12:07 PM
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As part of an effort to bring back an Internet child protection law that was set up to penalize websites that make pornographic material available to minors, the Federal Government has asked a federal judge to force Google to turn over "random data" from its databases.
 



www.mercurynews.com
The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.

The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

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.

The Mountain View-based search and advertising giant opposes releasing the information on a variety of grounds, saying it would violate the privacy rights of its users and reveal company trade secrets, according to court documents.

Nicole Wong, an associate general counsel for Google, said the company will fight the government's effort "vigorously.''


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


I have no problem with protecting our children, but asking a search engine to turn over private data that will only be used to fuel the need for a law is wrong and is no different than what the Bush administration did when it wiretapped Americans.

This would be a blatant invasion of privacy because the information would contain IP addresses and other information of people that have done searches for this material AND any other material that would be contained in the "records of all Google searches from any one-week period".

It would also be a violation of the First Amendment of freedom of speech, because the information would then be used to shut down pornographic websites.

Related News Links:
www.columbiabasinherald.com
www.ketv.com
www.centredaily.com
www.kansascity.com

[edit on 19-1-2006 by elderban]




posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 12:24 PM
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If they (the Bush administration) really want to fight child pornography, then they should get the new proposal passed to create the new "red light district" of top level domains with .xxx or .adult and move this type of material out of the mainstream. This would allow very easy filtering of questionable content, yet still allow it for those who (for some reason) find value in it.

Peace,

~Jammer+



posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 02:36 PM
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".... no different than what the Bush administration did when it wiretapped Americans."

REPLY: This is covered in another thread, but the wiretaps were/are legal.

".... This would be a blatant invasion of privacy because the information would contain IP addresses and other information of people that have done searches for this material AND any other material that would be contained in the "records of all Google searches from any one-week period".

REPLY: The "right" to privacy only pertains to "papers and effects." If you think you have a right to privacy (in America), then you haven't checked out what the DNR can do.



posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 02:39 PM
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The law is not for child pornography, but to "to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors". They already have laws regarding child pornography and the internet.

But, your suggestion to change the websites to .xxx or another adult-related top level domain would be a good idea. That, and it could be something the adult industry on the internet could do voluntarily.

This action has far-reaching implications, other than just "protecting the children". I'm thinking they're wanting to shut adult websites down all together and they'll whittle their way in with laws much like the one they're trying to get passed here.



posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 05:39 PM
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Use whatever they can, but i just doubt it would do much good...
maybe if they hacked Kazaa...



posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 06:25 PM
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But, your suggestion to change the websites to .xxx or another adult-related top level domain would be a good idea. That, and it could be something the adult industry on the internet could do voluntarily.


Its a good idea but I doubt it would work as planned. the porn sites have too much invested in their .com's to make the switch under their own free will. If they are forced to switch people will find ways around it like redirecting the .com page to the .xxx one or hijacking .com pages for use, and other computer trickery.



posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 08:08 PM
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Is anybody so niave as to believe, with this administrations track record of running rough shod over individual rights and their evasiviness, that there are NOT going to use this material. I don't trust a damned thing these people claim or do.



posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 08:12 PM
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Originally posted by zappafan1
".... no different than what the Bush administration did when it wiretapped Americans."

REPLY: This is covered in another thread, but the wiretaps were/are legal.


I have yet to hear a valid arguement that the wiretapping program was legal. i came of age during watergate and a president was forced from office for doing essentially the same thing. Considering the rubber stamp nature of court in charge of wiretaps, the only reasonable arguement as to why they didn't use it, was that they were spying on many more than they claimed, like their political opponents.



posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 08:35 PM
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Child pornography is but a wrapper for the federal data mining initiative to build case files on citizens and find reasons to imprison and/or extort funds from them. It has little to do with what is right and a lot to do with creating a bigger slave class and more complacent fear ridden morons. Once they aquire a database of info, it doesn't stop at the porn door.

So when ATS gets blackballed for conspiracy to commit treason or some other made up charge and its readers get listed, fined and/or imprisoned ... then you'll wonder why you actually thought it was a good idea for the government to spy on you. But it's too late then, isn't it.



posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 09:09 PM
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As I poked around the internet this evening it seems that now not only has Google been targeted by the US goverment for not sharing its data but MSN and Yahoo were given similar requests with which they complied. Given that Google is one of the hot companies recently I wonder a few things.

A) Can they stand against the US Government like this and win
B) If (more like when) they comply will it take a chunk out of their stock
C) Will they loose even more crediblity for giving in than they already have over previous scandals?

I may be a bit out there on this but I think this situation brings up questions about the intel gathering abilities of the US goverment, since all theories about their capabilities seem to point to a sort of omnipotence in the electronic world. If that were the case then why would they need to request information from all these search engines when they could get it themselves through various black boxes forced upon ISPs everywhere? This could be quite a telling move by the government, at least from a geek's persepective on the whole internet snooping concept in that they tip their hand and either show themselves to be inept at the skills we think they possess or in fact just in fact too lazy or cheap to go after the data we've thought they could all along.

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posted on Jan, 19 2006 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by alternateheaven
A) Can they stand against the US Government like this and win
B) If (more like when) they comply will it take a chunk out of their stock
C) Will they loose even more crediblity for giving in than they already have over previous scandals?


A. IF any company can stand up to the government and win, then it would be google. If google REALLY wanted to fight this, then they would actually stand a decent chance. Unfortunately, it seems to be mostly about google's image, and I don't really think they're actually worried about privacy. If they were, they wouldn't have collected most of the information in the first place.



“Google’s acceding to the request would suggest that it is willing to reveal information about those who use its services. This is not a perception that Google can accept,” company attorney Ashok Ramani wrote in a letter included in the government’s filing.


Notice the choice of words. It certainly seems that they're more worried about image then privacy to me.


B. I think that google's stock might gradually decrease AS it's attempting to fight this, then more so if it complies. Google's stock already went down 1.9% today, and there's a good chance the stocks will continue to go down.


C. Most people don't seem to know about Google's previous scandals, and this is the only one I remember which has made it to maintream news. I doubt it would lose too much credibility, since it at least gave the impression that it's trying to fight this. In most people's eyes, it would not be Google's fault for giving the information up, since they tried to resist. Also, many other search engines, including Yahoo have been asked to give away such information to the government, and ALL have complied except for Google. If anything, Google would seem like the better choice to other search engines because of this.



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.




Every other search engine served similar subpoenas by the Bush administration has complied so far, according to court documents. The cooperating search engines weren’t identified.



Also, unless I'm mistaken, no personal information is going to be passed on to the government if Google complies. The government has said that they weren't looking for any personal information, and from the first quote, Google implied that it would not be giving away any personal information by saying that giving in would suggest that they would be willing to give away information about it's users. Saying this suggests that no personal information at all would be given away, but it would seem like they would be willing to.

www.msnbc.msn.com...



posted on Jan, 20 2006 @ 08:32 AM
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Originally posted by AlienS
Also, unless I'm mistaken, no personal information is going to be passed on to the government if Google complies. The government has said that they weren't looking for any personal information, and from the first quote, Google implied that it would not be giving away any personal information by saying that giving in would suggest that they would be willing to give away information about it's users. Saying this suggests that no personal information at all would be given away, but it would seem like they would be willing to.


Yeah, because we can believe what this government "says". I'm more interested in what it "does". I've found the two are more often than not, mutually exclusive.

Quote: "I'm a uniter, not a divider."
Translation: "If you don't agree with me, I'll destroy you."



posted on Jan, 20 2006 @ 10:41 AM
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One interesting side bar to this over reach by the justice dept. was the shameless defense of this attempt by the president of "Enough is Enough" Donna Rice Hughes. Yes , that Donna Rice who convienently ruined the Presidential chances for Gary Hart back in 1988 by being photographed aboard Monkey Business with him. Apparently old RNC prostitutes don't die they just reinvent themselves.Can you say "shameless whores"?



posted on Jan, 20 2006 @ 07:52 PM
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dont worry google u.s is going broke so they need to sue everyone to get money they dont have stand your ground goolge......



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 02:14 PM
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Google's stock has fallen about 10% since it was said they will be sued.

I dont understand the governments argument. They want to have a collection of porn sites in their hands to make an argument "that with these simple keywords you will get sites such as this, with no way of verifying age, through a simple Google search"......

Why dont they get creative, think up some keywords themselves and ...... Google it?



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 03:40 PM
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The interesting thing about this whole ordeal is that there is no criminal investigation, so that right there is reason enough for Google not to give up the information.

In the US there are laws in place that limit how much and what types of information can be requested. So "fishing expeditions", in which police forces or government agencies request data to LOOK through it for people that might have committed crimes are outlawed.

If something like this went through and Google was forced to give the information up, it would set a precedent for the government so it could turn to search firms whenever they want, for whatever data is deemed important...even if they're not doing a criminal investigation.

And the way things have been going in the US, I wouldn't put it past them to do just that.



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 04:16 PM
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Personally, I applaud the fact that Google appears to be standing their ground while several other search engines have readily provided the requested information, without questioning the legality of said requests.

The simple fact that they are not caving to the government's request, whether it be due to principle or potentially revealing propietary database structure, clearly represents either their committment to their users, the protection of their corporate rights or a combination of both.

IMO, this also reveals the possibility that the government does not have the capability to truly monitor all that takes place on the World Wide Web, which I see as a good thing.



Originally posted by warpboost


But, your suggestion to change the websites to .xxx or another adult-related top level domain would be a good idea. That, and it could be something the adult industry on the internet could do voluntarily.


Its a good idea but I doubt it would work as planned. the porn sites have too much invested in their .com's to make the switch under their own free will. If they are forced to switch people will find ways around it like redirecting the .com page to the .xxx one or hijacking .com pages for use, and other computer trickery.


The porn industry is the biggest supporter, and has been lobbying for/pushing the .xxx domain inclusion for quite some time, and is prepared to readily embrace the additon of the .xxx TLD extension.

to Google


Just my $.02

Peace2all



posted on Jan, 21 2006 @ 10:16 PM
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Why is the government trying to protect our children in our homes? Do they check out the shopping list to make sure parents are feeding their kids nutritious meals? Do they monitor TV sets to assure that kids are only watching approved TV? Are they keeping up with the dental and doctor records of children? Even making sure they get a good education?

Are they even making sure all kids have a roof over their heads and food to eat??? NO

The most important thing the gov't can think of to protect our kids is to make sure they don't see a naked lady?

This is so much BS!

A little comic relief:
FBI Eyes



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 03:03 AM
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I know many have come to realize that it is a truly dark time we are approaching as "the beacon of democracy and freedom" for the whole world but the hour is actually much later than it seems. Surely in the darkest reaches of your mind you all wondered what an American police state would look like? It will not be a flashy takeover.

Remember, the people in power with all the money and all the influence have nothing to do with their lives except plan yours and mine and everyone elses as mere statistical assests in their grand chessboard. But I digress for a second.

The Google case should be the glaring red alarm signal that one would except in dire emergency situations. The situation in this case being big brother. This is how clever these Malthusian thugs are that just when you thought all your internet traveling was done in a safe and anonymous setting... You discover that the most important search engine that has the most users has been asked to participate in pretty much an order handed down from the propaganda masters and their corporate armies.

But you also discover that while it is now newsworthy to report the Google case all the other freaking search engines sold out even earlier and Google was the last and largest lone wolf that was not under constant electronic surveillance done by our alphabet soup federalis. Of course, some of you may have known this all before and discontinued use of those search engines and some of you may have not known or didn't care to see the danger.

I am in the latter. I sort of knew but could not see the big picture until I discovered how it all makes sense. The point is, no matter how bad you think this whole issue really is. I'm not talking about Google. I'm talking about the big picture. Remember this, ATS is monitored. They are all monitored. This is all used as data to create a profile or file case for each and every one of us.

I just deleted from my firefox, every search engine including google and yahoo. No more of these serpants in my ever shrinking closet of privacy, no matter where it may be. These are just small losses compared with the big picture, so when you think that this was bad remember how much worse is up ahead.

Be afraid.

PS- I am high. High NSA.



posted on Jan, 22 2006 @ 03:39 AM
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Originally posted by elderban
The law is not for child pornography, but to "to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors".


That is total nonsense. There is already a tool to prevent access to minors and it isn't used. Want to take a wild guess as to what it is?

PARENTS!!!

But these clowns don't want to take responsibility for their children. They don't want to be held accountable for what their children do up in their room with the door closed. Its these pathetic whiners that say "but I didn't know." They don't want to know. They want to go through life ignorant and unaware. If kids are surfing porn sites perhaps the family should lose the right to have internet access. If these parents would spend some time with their kids instead of just giving them toys to make them go away then we wouldn't have this problem. But too many "parents" are more concerned about themselves. They want someone else to watch their kids for them... but for free of course. I mean you can't make them pay for it. That wouldn't be right in their eyes.

/end rant




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