ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, January 20, 2006

What Hell Is This?

I just deleted my intial post on this subject and now that I have calmed down A BIT, I will start again.

It seems the Feebs at Justice think it is just a wonderful idea to issue a blanket subpoena of all searches for one week on all the major search engines (Google et al) to test how much porn is being accessed. No probable cause. no pending prosecution and no threat to national security. Just your basic good old fashioned fishing expedition.

This is not an action taken for intelligence. It clearly is a law enforcement matter. The standard is, should be, far more restrictive.

The article appears at My Way News:

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) - The Bush administration, seeking to revive an online pornography law struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court, has subpoenaed Google Inc. (GOOG) for details on what its users have been looking for through its popular search engine.

Google has refused to comply with the subpoena, issued last year, for a broad range of material from its databases, including a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period, lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department said in papers filed Wednesday in federal court in San Jose.

Am I the only one that sees a HUGE problem with this?

Over the last couple of weeks I have posted multiple defenses of the NSA surveillance of possible terrorist communications. The Lefties were having a collective heart attack over this reasonable and necessary action by the government. There was reason to suspect the folks being surveiled were up to no good. The government had identified people they suspected of being a threat to our national security.

But now comes this story.

I can hear it now, "See. told you so!"

And they, the Lefties, would be right.

What moron thought this up?

What greater moron approved this subpoena?

I will have a LOT more to say about this as I look into the matter.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: MontereyJohn

Comments (6)
Brian said...

Calm down, calm down....

From the article:
The government contends it needs the data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches as part of an effort to revive an Internet child protection law that was struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court on free-speech grounds.
The matter is now before a federal court in Pennsylvania, and the government wants the Google data to help argue that the law is more effective than software in protecting children from porn.

Basically, it appears the Fibbies want to the frequency of which porn comes up, not necessarily fishing for what individuals may be accessing with regards to porn.

The government can ask for the information all they want. Its surprising that Google is fighting them on it. I would have thought that despite their "do no evil" motto, that Google would have turned over the search results already. Just as Yahoo did.

If you are asking how I think the government should rule in this particular case, then I would say the courts should deny the FBI's request.

But I don't see this as an attempt at a huge government power grab. Rather an attempt to revise and reenact the COP act.

Monterey John said...

I don't much care why they want it, what conccerns me is that they have it at all. What sorts of data bases could be developed from this sort of request? Who says it is going to be limited to COPA? Who says names and searched won't be matched?

Funny, Judge Napolitano of Fox just came on the radio, and he is pretty much expressing the same opinion I did.

Monterey John said...

I am also bothered that the NSA activities and this fishing expedition will now be melded together into the same argument and both will go down together.

The whole thing is frankly outrageous.

Much as I hate to admit it, Bob Barr had it right.

TrueLiberal said...

>Am I the only one that sees a HUGE problem with this?

You and the kiddie porn people perhaps. You either have to have actual punishment for a deterrent or you need to need to find another way to stop the child abuse by the group who trade in it. People who don't participate in kiddie porn won't be affected.

Monterey John said...

They say it is for porn... that's what they say.

Are you willing to bet the ranch on that?

They didn't ask for porn sites, they asked for ALL searches.

I have what I consider to be a healthy skepticism about this sort of thing.

Brian said...

John, a reasonable thought experiement for you. Do you have an expectation of privacy for your search queries on a website (not just google).

What if Google published their entire database of what ip's searched what. What if they just turned them over to the NSA? The FBI?

Are either of these illegal? Immoral?

Your privacy protection with Google is pretty limited. If you don't like that fact, then use another service. Or anonymize your connection to Google further.