Possibly the most interesting news story of the day regards that plucky little start-up known as ‘Google’. Apparently the government of the US wants this ‘Google’ bunch to hand over details of precisley how their ‘search engine’ (what a ridiculous title) works and then what type of stuff random punters are looking at on something called ‘websites’. Oh and there’s some concern over something called ‘porn’ and a lot of concern over ‘kiddiefiddlers’ and ‘terrorists’. Anyhoo, Google said ‘no’.
Google was asked for information on the types of query submitted over a week, and the websites included in its index. The department wants the data to try to show in court it has the right approach in enforcing an online pornography law. It says the order will not violate personal privacy, but Google says it is too broad and threatens trade secrets.
Privacy groups say any sample could reveal the identities of Google users indirectly. And they say the demand is a worrying precedent, because the government also wants to make more use of internet data for fighting crime and terrorism.