No. . .I didn't search for that

January 25, 2006

Working on one hour's sleep so, I don't know if I can post much about this, but here goes. The US government has requested search data from MSN, Yahoo! and Google.

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.</p>

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.</strong>

Google has refused to hand over the information while the others have complied.

The Slate attempts to frame this for us, by stating that the fact that search records are kept in the first place are a problem.

Google is being commended by many for standing up to the Bush administration. But however brave Google's current stance may be, the legal debate over Google's compliance misses the deeper and more urgent point: By keeping every search ever made on file, the search-engine companies are helping create the problem in the first place. In the wake of what we're seeing with this subpoena controversy, the industry must change the way it preserves and records our search results and must publicly pledge not to keep any identifying information unless required by court order. This has nothing to do with our mistrust of Google and everything to do with mistrust of the range of government actors—domestic and foreign—that Google must ultimately obey.

I kind of disagree. . .but I'll allow anyone else to take the first swing.

Ok, just a quick reason why I disagree, search query logs are necessary data in order to both improve search results and to confirm that search results have improved. It would be extremely difficult to predict what kind of searches are being or will be conducted, and the search query logs are used to see what kind of behavior is out there.

Discussion, links, and tweets

Good Morning!