The Watch

The Watch is concerned about the increasing pressure towards feudalism in the United States from corporations, social regressives, warmongers, and the media. We also are concerned with future history concerning our current times, as non-truths which are “widely reported” become the basis for completely false narratives.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

The government wants to Google us

The San Jose Mercury news prints today that a federal judge has, on behalf of the Bush maladminstration, requested to collect one week's worth of Google searches. The stated reason?

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.

Right . . . the government just can't figure out how many times pornography shows up in online searches. (Answer: probably quite a lot).

And they couldn't, for example, just do their own tests, like enter a few million more or less random searches and count what they find there. No, instead they want to see what actual people are actually searching for. And link identities with searches. Because that will make us safer from porn, or something.

According to the article, Google is not complying. But who knows if this is true? Can Google stand up to the regulatory and enforcement pressures of the federal executive? And Google is only the most visible case, being the biggest search engine. You have to assume that other companies, which are well known both for violating their customers privacy and for quid pro quo relations with the federal government (I'm looking at you, Comcast), have already given this information up. (Edit: I was right, and had missed this sentence the first time through the article: "The government indicated that other, unspecified search engines have agreed to release the information, but not Google." Of course.)

Note also that the government isn't claiming that it is demanding this information to enforce a law. There is no law to enforce. The "child protection law" figleaf was defeated. But they still want the information to see if the law would have been a good idea?? Or something.

Clearly, what they want is all information about everyone. They tap our phones, they monitor the internet, they scan our email. They open private mail.

If the "War on a Method" doesn't work to justify their open assault on the Bill of Rights, they will employ a "war against little kids seeing breasts". Who can argue? If you don't give up your rights, they will say, you are pro-terrorist and pro-children with porn.

We can hope that Google continues to resist this clear attempt to destroy their users' privacy. But the power of a single company to defeat the government in which they operate only comes through honest courts. Maybe the ACLU can help. (I'm a card carrying member, too).


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