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Google stands firm

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Disagreeable

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Good for Google. Entire article; link below; my emphasis.

The Bush administration has gone on a fishing expedition into Google, trying to force the company to hand over a large amount of data that might help the government defend a law seeking to shield minors from Internet pornography.
It's troubling on several fronts. The U.S. District Court in San Jose should back Google's refusal to hand over the information.
The Justice Department wants the court to compel Google to hand over 1 million random Web addresses from its search index as well as all the terms users typed into its search engine over a one-week period.
The reason: The government is in a legal fight to defend the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act. Although the case, Gonzales vs. ACLU, does not involve Google, the government says it needs the information from the search firm to ``understand the behavior of current Web users, to estimate how often Web users encounter harmful-to-minor materials in the course of their searches and to measure the effectiveness of filtering software in screening that material.'' The request is not an appropriate use of subpoena power. The government wants Google's data not as evidence in a case, but rather to conduct an experiment which it hopes will show that Internet porn filters are ineffective. In short, the government wants Google to help it make its case, using the company as a research arm. Google is right to fight the subpoena, especially since the information at stake can be considered a trade secret.
The information sought by the government would not endanger the privacy of Google's users, since it would not include any data linking specific individuals to searches. Still, the request raises a dangerous precedent. Google and other search engines have heaps of data about what their users search and do online, and a future government subpoena may well seek such sensitive information. We hope Google will show the same resolve in resisting subpoenas that do put its users' privacy at risk.The government is wrong not only about the Google subpoena. Its whole attempt to defend the Child Online Protection Act is misguided.
The 1998 law makes it illegal for commercial Web sites to post material that is ``harmful to minors,'' unless they ensure that only adults can access it. It's ineffective and overly broad: It could criminalize various forms of protected speech, including sex advice columns, Web sites dealing with reproductive health or gay issues, and even those of some art galleries and bookstores. The U.S. Supreme Court has already cast doubt on its constitutionality.
The only good thing about this spat between Google and the Justice Department is that it came to light. It's a reminder for users of Google, or any other online site, that the privacy of their search history, their e-mail correspondence, their online photos, their song lists and buddy lists and countless other details of their digital lives is always at risk.
If they want better protections, they're going to have to demand them from the online sites they do business with. And we should


http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/13669370.htm
 

Steve

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data that might help the government defend a law seeking to shield minors from Internet pornography.

given the choice of siding with the ACLU, PORN, or the Goverment......Thats easy, I side with the goverment......

but Dis, if you want to defend the child porn go ahead......
 

Disagreeable

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Steve said:
data that might help the government defend a law seeking to shield minors from Internet pornography.

given the choice of siding with the ACLU, PORN, or the Goverment......Thats easy, I side with the goverment......

but Dis, if you want to defend the child porn go ahead......

In a simple mind like yours....
 

passin thru

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Heck froze over.

I have to agree with dis on this.
This is not about porn, it could be gun owners next, etc. It is about your rights. If the gov has proof someone did something wrong then let them pursue that case within the law. Blanket searches infringe on Americans rights.
 

kolanuraven

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The govt needs to be put back on the leash!!! This is over doing it a bit trying to get Google to turn over records. But, Google is SO BIG...the gov't may have met it's match.

This is just plain wrong!!!

If everyone is so worried about 'porn' on the net.....pay attention to your kids....be a better parent yourself....don't let the gov't do it for you. Track what your kids view on the computers in your home ....if they're stepping over the bounds....bust their a$$.
 

MsSage

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III. THE ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS PRIVACY ACT

A. Introduction

ECPA regulates how the government can obtain stored account information from network service providers such as ISPs. Whenever agents or prosecutors seek stored e-mail, account records, or subscriber information from a network service provider, they must comply with ECPA. ECPA's classifications can be understood most easily using the chart that appears in Part F of this chapter

The stored communication portion of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act ("ECPA"), 18 U.S.C. §§ 2701-2712, creates statutory privacy rights for customers and subscribers of computer network service providers.

In a broad sense, ECPA "fills in the gaps" left by the uncertain application of Fourth Amendment protections to cyberspace. To understand these gaps, consider the legal protections we have in our homes. The Fourth Amendment clearly protects our homes in the physical world: absent special circumstances, the government must first obtain a warrant before it searches there. When we use a computer network such as the Internet, however, we do not have a physical "home." Instead, we typically have a network account consisting of a block of computer storage that is owned by a network service provider such as America Online. If law enforcement investigators want to obtain the contents of a network account or information about its use, they do not need to go to the user to get that information. Instead, the government can obtain the information directly from the provider.

Although the Fourth Amendment generally requires the government to obtain a warrant to search a home, it does not require the government to obtain a warrant to obtain the stored contents of a network account. Instead, the Fourth Amendment generally permits the government to issue a subpoena to a network provider ordering the provider to divulge the contents of an account. (14) ECPA addresses this imbalance by offering network account holders a range of statutory privacy rights against access to stored account information held by network service providers.

Because ECPA is an unusually complicated statute, it is helpful when approaching the statute to understand the intent of its drafters. The structure of ECPA reflects a series of classifications that indicate the drafters' judgments about what kinds of information implicate greater or lesser privacy interests. For example, the drafters saw greater privacy interests in stored e-mails than in subscriber account information. Similarly, the drafters believed that computing services available "to the public" required more strict regulation than services not available to the public. (Perhaps this judgment reflects the view that providers available to the public are not likely to have close relationships with their customers, and therefore might have less incentive to protect their customers' privacy.) To protect the array of privacy interests identified by its drafters, ECPA offers varying degrees of legal protection depending on the perceived importance of the privacy interest involved. Some information can be obtained from providers with a mere subpoena; other information requires a special court order; and still other information requires a search warrant. In general, the greater the privacy interest, the greater the privacy protection.

Agents and prosecutors must apply the various classifications devised by ECPA's drafters to the facts of each case to figure out the proper procedure for obtaining the information sought. First, they must classify the network services provider (e.g., does the provider provide "electronic communication service," "remote computing service," or neither). Next, they must classify the information sought (e.g., is the information content "in electronic storage," content held by a remote computing service, "a record . . . pertaining to a subscriber," or other information enumerated by ECPA). Third, they must consider whether they are seeking to compel disclosure, or seeking to accept information disclosed voluntarily by the provider. If they seek compelled disclosure, they need to determine whether they need a search warrant, a 2703(d) court order, or a subpoena to compel the disclosure. If they are seeking to accept information voluntarily disclosed, they must determine whether the statute permits the disclosure. The chart contained in Part F of this chapter provides a useful way to apply these distinctions in practice.

The organization of this chapter will follow ECPA's various classifications. Part B explains ECPA's classification structure which distinguishes between providers of "electronic communication service" and providers of "remote computing service." Part C explains the different kinds of information that providers can divulge, such as content "in electronic storage" and "records . . . pertaining to a subscriber." Part D explains the legal process that agents and prosecutors must follow to compel a provider to disclose information. Part E looks at the flip side of this problem, and explains when providers may voluntarily disclose account information. A summary chart appears in Part F. The chapter ends with two additional sections. Part G discusses three important issues that may arise when agents obtain records from network providers: steps to preserve evidence, steps to prevent disclosure to subjects, and Cable Act issues. Finally, Part H discusses the remedies that courts may impose following violations of ECPA.

This chapter includes amendments to ECPA specified by the USA PATRIOT Act of 2001, Pub. L. No. 107-56, 115 Stat. 272 (2001) (the "PATRIOT Act"). The PATRIOT Act clarified and updated ECPA in light of modern technologies, and in several respects it eased restrictions on law enforcement access to stored communications. Some of these amendments, noted herein, are currently scheduled to sunset on December 31, 2005. See PATRIOT Act § 224, 115 Stat. 272, 295. Law enforcement personnel who use statutory provisions which are scheduled to sunset are strongly encouraged to report their experiences to the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section at (202) 514-1026. CCIPS can convey such information to Congress, who will decide whether the changes effected by the PATRIOT Act should be made permanent.

Here is where I got that from

http://www.cybercrime.gov/s&smanual2002.htm#_III_

Have fun Dis LOL
It about made my eyes glaze over but it covers alot and I did learn bunches.
 

Steve

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If everyone is so worried about 'porn' on the net.....pay attention to your kids....be a better parent yourself





I agree but,


when shown a article pitting the Goverment against Porn and the ACLU ,, and thier fighting to get access to children..........,


I will still side with the Goverment...

if it was "just" about google then I could undestand the outrage.....
 

mp.freelance

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While I certainly understand trying to eliminate child pornography, I have to say I'm concerned with the administrations actions. They're not just requesting materials pertaining to this disgusting practice, but ALL internet searches. As a conservative, I believe in limited government. NOT just for Democratic administrations, but Republicans as well. Both with this, and the NSA ordeal, Bush could be setting dangerous precedents. As well intentioned as they may (or may not) be, I'd hate to think of the day a raging liberal President held himself to the same standard Bush does. Like Rush Limbaugh once pointed out in regard to government censorship: someday, Democrats may use censorship laws to discriminate against what they deem "hate speech." Given enough discretion, this could be used to include anything that doesn't fall in line with the pro-abortion, pro-gay, anti-religious agenda.
 

theHiredMansWife

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passin thru said:
Heck froze over.

I have to agree with dis on this.
This is not about porn, it could be gun owners next, etc. It is about your rights. If the gov has proof someone did something wrong then let them pursue that case within the law. Blanket searches infringe on Americans rights.

Very true.

It's no different than going house to house, checking to see if anyone is doing anything that might be illegal.
The Fourth Ammendment is just as important as the Second...
 

kolanuraven

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Ok...all you staunch loyal Bush Rep's. ( and I'm not being snitty here) but ,if you agree with the phone listening deal of NSA and now this w/ the internet searches....you think it's A-OK what about the future????.

Let's fast forward to the next Presidential election or the next and Hillary Clinton wins by a landslide......would YOU want HER and HER admin. listening and looking into your business????? Something to think about because it could happen.

As much as I like her...I don't want her, nor anyone else peeking under my doors to see what's going on in the privacy of my own life. We've got laws....we don't need " I Spy" being played by the gov't.
 

Cowpuncher

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What useful purpose does Google have collecting this information in the first place? Selling it to marketers?

Why doesn't the US just pose as a marketer and buy it?
 

theHiredMansWife

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Since Google funds itself completely through the selling of ad space, they keep careful track of demographics. Nothing really specific like your name or anything (they don't have access to that info), but the basic tracking of how many hits this link is getting today, where people go after that and what type of sites they seem to hit most often.
that sort of thing.

(Guess who's kid brother works for Google. :wink: )
 

mp.freelance

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Cowpuncher said:
What useful purpose does Google have collecting this information in the first place? Selling it to marketers?

Why doesn't the US just pose as a marketer and buy it?

They use it more for the internal functioning of their search engine, from what I know, to make sure you get the most relevant results. I don't think they release the info to marketers directly.
 

nenmrancher

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If the goverment had offered to buy the information instead of having google give it to them this thread would not be here. All it takes is a bit a money and you can have what ever you want in the world today.
 

Dunkin

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Somehow I don' t think crawling pages on search engines is going to help them catch terrorists. I highly doubt terrorists chat it up on chat forums or create webpages discussing their terrorists plans. This is just a way to gather information on dissident voices, people who are a threat to the government, and not a threat to america itself.
 

kolanuraven

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R2...be careful....if George W & Co are reading your last post, he might think you know a wee bit too much about the " terrorists"......the NSA may come a-knockin' :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
 

Steve

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This is just a way to gather information on dissident voices, people who are a threat to the government, and not a threat to america itself.

actually the request for google had nothing to do with terrorists..

it is in requesting information in defending children against Porn.....the ACLU has filed a suit against America on behalf of porn.

and the goverment in defending the existing law has subpeona google search information in an effort to back up thier case.....


is part of its attempts to defend the 1998 Child Online Protection Act, which is being challenged in court in Philadelphia by the American Civil Liberties Union. The ACLU says Web sites cannot realistically comply with COPA and that the law violates the right to freedom of speech mandated by the First Amendment.

The search engine companies are not parties to the suit.

An attorney for the ACLU said Microsoft, Yahoo and AOL received identical subpoenas and chose to comply with them rather than fight the request in court.

Yahoo acknowledged on Thursday that it complied with the Justice Department's request but said no personally identifiable information was handed over. "We are vigorous defenders of our users' privacy," said Yahoo spokeswoman Mary Osako. "We did not provide any personal information in response to the Justice Department's subpoena. In our opinion this is not a privacy issue."

From AOL. ...We gave (the DOJ) a generic list of aggregate and anonymous search terms, from a roughly one day period. There were absolutely no privacy implications," Weinstein said. "There was no way to tie those search terms to individuals or to search results."

A Microsoft representative said: "MSN works closely with law enforcement officials worldwide to assist them when requested....It is our policy to respond to legal requests in a very responsive and timely manner, in full compliance with applicable law."

"We (MSN) did comply with their request for data in regards to helping protect children, in a way that ensured we also protected the privacy of our customers," the company said. "We were able to share aggregated query data that did not include any personally identifiable information, at their request."
 

Steve

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I thought that the ISPs and others had been cooperating with the FBI on porn investigation for ages.

More then likely this ACLU lawsuit would stop that.....as it is an attempt to overturn the Child Online Protection Act....

But by the original article one would think otherwise.....to much spin,.....
 

theHiredMansWife

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I thought that the ISPs and others had been cooperating with the FBI on porn investigation for ages.

They do. But again, that's that whole warrant thing. In order to turn over info, the ISP needs to have a warrant.

What they're after from Google is just the general information so they can then start the hunt within it. There's no warrant, because they have no idea who they're looking for yet.

Like i said, it's no different than going door to door and doing searches of peoples' homes to see what they might find.

It's a total violation of the fourth ammendment.
 

theHiredMansWife

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True. it's more like if the feds were demanding library records of what people have been checking out. (Which they can, btw thanks to the Patriot Act. But the library is a public institution whereas Google is private)

If you are out there, posting or disseminating child porn, aren't you breaking the law?

Posting, sure. But searching? Have you ever noticed how much garbage comes up with some things you search for? More specifically, what if someone *were* using the key words they wanted in order to get this kind of thing to come up.
How do you decide who is doing legitimate research on the subject vs. someone who is after it for their jollies?

No, I think that just like seizure of library records, this is a clear violation.

If they suspect someone, great. Get a warrant and bust 'em. Inmates just love pedophiles...
 

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