Feds Demanding Google Data - Google says NO.

Discussion in 'privacy general' started by securityx, Jan 19, 2006.

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  1. securityx

    securityx Registered Member

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    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

    -snip-

    ``This is exactly the kind of case that privacy advocates have long feared,'' said Ray Everett-Church, a South Bay privacy consultant. ``The idea that these massive databases are being thrown open to anyone with a court document is the worst-case scenario. If they lose this fight, consumers will think twice about letting Google deep into their lives.''

    -snip-

    The government indicated that other, unspecified search engines have agreed to release the information, but not Google.

    MORE:
    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/13657303.htm
     
  2. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    I'm not getting this. I understand that limiting children's access to porn is (supposedly) the issue.

    What I don't get is why the government thinks that getting "1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period" is going to prove anything, one way or the other. There's absolutley no way on earth to match the "Searches" to any given individual , "minor" or otherwise.

    I do remember how the Justice Dept. is trying to force ISP's into logging everything about their customers (http://news.com.com/2100-1028_3-5748649.html ) and making them keep those logs for some as-yet un-specified time period ( supposedly to help fight child porn) - to me, this just seems like more of the same (just approached from another [mis-]direction), IOW, a power play to make sure that they get whatever they want, whenever they want it to feed the government databases).

    I applaud Google for fighting it. Pete
     
  3. Ga1tar

    Ga1tar Registered Member

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    Another example of the Bush administration loosing the plot, as surely there are more important issues to deal with at this moment in time. Or could it be an underway way of clipping Googles wings
     
  4. sosaiso

    sosaiso Registered Member

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    *applause for Google*

    Someone has to stand up to this whole "Homeland Security" speel.
     
  5. Carver

    Carver Guest

    *Carver gives Google a standing ovation.............Wait. Lets see what happens next.
     
  6. securityx

    securityx Registered Member

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    UPDATE:

    Xeni Jardin, one of the writers for boingboing.net, (She is very credible and writes for Wired and is a contributor to National Public Radio), is reporting which search companies handed over the information as ordered:
    Yahoo
    AOL
    MSN


    More here:
    http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/19/_doj_search_requests.html

    ALSO, SearchEngineWatch has more and also a PDF file of the United States vs. Google.
    Very interesting stuff!

    Note to mods: While this is "political" it is not "political" in a partisan way. Following these kinds of developments (which actually is more legal than political) shouldn't result in any kind of flaming. I would urge posters to be careful and not be partisan with this information, so we can discuss this important development.
     
  7. Snowie

    Snowie Guest

    Why should anyone be surprised by the government taking this action when its clearly the agenda of the government to catalog as much information on citizens as it can. For whatever the purpose......its been going on for years.
    Sticking one’s head in the sand as many people seem comfortable doing.....did not make this major privacy invasion disappear.......an it wont.
    This is not a political issue at all........whats political about obtaining information on the public.......after all....its been going on for many years without much of a fuss from the public.......only a handful of privacy advocates world-wide have objected and tryed preventing this mass injustice.........an even in the privacy community there are those who not only refuse to stop using their tracking Cookies at websites.....but even try to excuse it......so why should it be acceptable for some to collect information but not acceptable for others........an now the government wants its share.
    You can not compromise by giving up your privacy at one website then demand privacy at another website.....that is hypocritical .
    So how did the situation reach this point.......how many among you have ignored this issue an thus helped it enlarge and progress into what it has become. The last time I looked the PEOPLE were still the actual government in America......“We The People........ “.....so who among you made objections to your elected officials.....
     
  8. MikeNash

    MikeNash Security Expert

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    I would imagine that the objective is more data mining and analysis of what is being searched for, and what is being found - and how prevalent the searching is.

    For example, if one were to establish from ALL google searches over a one week period that x% of them relate to the bad stuff, that could present a compelling argument to bring in any kind of law... The "OMG, 5 million searches for kiddie porn were performed in just one week! Think of the children! Whip up the media! Legislate against this evil!" approach. Job done. Legislation passed and everyone is safe.

    As an aside, I believe I read somewhere that google does log information each user searches for and I seem to recall this tracked to a user by cookies (regardless of if the user can be identified)

    Once a cookie "of interest" is identified, it would be fairly straightforward to wait until the next time it were presented in a web request and get the IP address of the requesting server.

    IP address back to ISP and identify the individual. If anonymising proxies are used... well, that's just more legislation needed , isn't it.
     
  9. spy1

    spy1 Registered Member

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    Thanks for clearing that up for me, Mike.

    Reading the blog linked to here:

    http://blog.searchenginewatch.com/blog/060119-060352 was very informative, too.

    Personally, I don't think the government has a leg to stand on regarding the "legal" basis for the subpoena - they're not requesting the information based on need for either a terrorism or a child pornography investigation - they simply want the raw information so that they can manipulate the results to press for their legislation. Pete
     
  10. dfdf

    dfdf Guest

    google.com.. I used it more than other crap search engines.. they rule. they've stood head and neck for theirselves and users.
     
  11. Dary

    Dary Guest

    He has since updated the post to reflect responses from other search engines on whether they, too, were asked to supply search data to the DoJ. According to Danny, Yahoo was asked and complied. MSN issed a statement which doesn't really answer the question, which suggests that they were asked and complied. Ask Jeeves was not asked.


    @ ask jeeves was not asked.. ROFLMFAO!! WTFBBQ! hilirious. google rules.. I hope they dont fall down.
     
  12. Kye-U

    Kye-U Security Expert

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    Well then, I'll just have to go ask Jeeves for help. ;)
     
  13. "Matt Cutts, a software engineer at Google since January 2000, used to work for the National Security Agency.

    Keyhole, the satellite imaging company that Google acquired in October 2004, was funded by the CIA.

    "We are moving to a Google that knows more about you." — Google CEO Eric Schmidt, February 9, 2005

    Since 2000, Google has recorded your search terms, the date-time of each search, the globally-unique ID in your cookie (it expires in 203:cool:, and your IP address. This information is available to governments on request. If your favorite site features a Google search box, ask them to install their own local site search. They could also use our site search for webmasters, which shows the same results without the tracking."

    http://www.scroogle.org/cgi-bin/scraper.htm

    no cookies | no search-term records | access log deleted after 7 days

    "
    Does anyone have any similar dirt on the management of scroogle?
     
  14. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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  15. Snowie

    Snowie Guest

    Copy and Paste from Ron's link



    "How does a search engine tie a search to a user?
    If you have never logged in to search engine's site, or a partner service like Google's Gmail offering, the company probably doesn't know your name. But it connects your searches through a cookie, which has a unique identifying number. Using its cookies, Google will remember all searches from your browser. It might also link searches by a user's IP address"

    ________________________________________________________________




    **COOKIES**, the true granddaddy spyware of them all! My dislike for Cookies spans the years......a dislike born of a dislike for spyware as a whole.
    There is not a website anywhere on the internet that absolute needs to have and download Cookies in order to function........it would be a total lie for any webmaster to make a claim that Stored Cookies are essential to the operation of a website.....just a bald face lie!! Session Cookies would and does do the job very well........an thats a fact!
    But will webmasters stop using Stored Cookies..of course not....why,....because people don't seem to really care that they are being TRACKED......and LOGGED!
    oh well........
     
  16. Snowie

    Snowie Guest

    Oh, but do hang around......an wait for that glorious explanation that will be given by someone explaining how innocent a Stored Cookie is.....oh, but its just a small etc, etc, etc, etc.......
     
  17. Infinity

    Infinity Registered Member

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    in general cookies can be deleted a lot quicker then some general trojan/spyware infection nowadays Snowie! that's the only reason why I put other malware on my top priority list rather then cookies! however I do think cookies are underestimated in terms of security .. spyware/tracking cookies should be cleaned, should not be installed in the first place .. built in browser settings does help me in this case after all.
     
  18. Snowie

    Snowie Guest

    Infinity


    ***in general cookies can be deleted a lot quicker then some general trojan/spyware infection nowadays Snowie! *****


    __________________________


    Your statement is totally correct..........an it still does not change a thing.........Cookies are used for tracking purposes.......Cookies are spyware by every meaning of the word.........an the fact that they can be deleted does not make them any less spyware......an if anything Cookies may actually be worse than most spyware because people allow cookies to remain on their computers.....even if only briefly....an those cookies are calling home giving up your information......how long does that take timewise...............
    Its not like this is something new....heck no.....this has been going on for the past twenty years or more........people keep excusing away the dangers of Stored Cookies while those same Cookies are tracking them....geeeeezz
     
  19. Snowie

    Snowie Guest

    Infinity

    You will need to excuse me at the moment......this subject is one that is not good for me to comment on............LOL....

    You take care friend.....think I'll bow out of this thread for a while.


    Warm Regards
     
  20. Infinity

    Infinity Registered Member

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    no probs Snowie, best wishes and warm regards to you too!

    just don't think I underestimate those and don't think I don't clean/block them!

    P.S. it was you that has put me on to encryption/steganography and thanx for that! have a nice weekend,

    Inf;
     
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