Friday, January 20, 2006

Google's principled legal stand is in contrast to Yahoo and MSN.

Creeping encroachments on our privacy to do not begin at the center but on the periphery, where many people will say that"that doesn't affect me". Bravo to Google for standing up with it should.

Google Resists U.S. Subpoena of Search Data - New York Times: "Although the government has modified its demands since last year, Google said Thursday that it would continue to fight. 'Google is not a party to this lawsuit, and their demand for information overreaches,' said Nicole Wong, Google's associate general counsel, referring to government lawyers. 'We intend to resist their motion vigorously.'
Philip B. Stark, a statistics professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who was hired by the Justice Department to analyze search engine data in the case, said in legal documents that search engine data provided crucial insight into information on the Internet.
'Google is one of the most popular search engines,' he wrote in a court document related to the case. Thus, he said, Google's databases of Web addresses and user searches 'are directly relevant.'
But Danny Sullivan, editor of SearchEngineWatch, an online industry newsletter, questioned the need for a subpoena. 'Is this really something the government needs Google to help them with?' he said.
As for Google's rivals, MSN declined to speak directly to the case but released a statement saying it generally 'works closely with law enforcement officials.' "

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