It Pays to Fight the Good Fight

In a victory for privacy, Google stands up to the government

Google Wins Ruling on Turning Over Search Queries to Government

March 18 (Bloomberg) — Google Inc. won a partial victory in a battle with the government when a federal judge ruled yesterday that the company didn’t have to turn over customer search queries to the U.S. Justice Department.

As far as I am concerned, this is a major victory for everyone.

As time went on, the government’s demands for search information had dwindled down from asking for billions of urls and a entire week’s worth of search results, then “1 million Web addresses and a week’s worth,” then “50,000 Web sites indexed by Google and the text results of 5,000 random search requests,” and finally they wanted “10,000 of the Web sites and 1,000 of the search requests.” Fed’s Google Search Limited

In the ruling the only thing that Google has to give is a random sample of 50,000 web addresses.

US District Judge, James Ware, San Jose, California ordered Google and the Justice Department to come up with a method to randomly select the 50,000 Web addresses in a way that would not force Google to disclose any confidential information. He gave both sides until April 3 to raise any problems with the confidentiality requirement.

This is a win for Google and online privacy rights. No other search engine even considered standing up to the government and say No. The other Search Engines simply handed over all the data requested by the government a long time ago.

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