Google, the world’s largest Internet search machine, is right to resist Justice Department demands for broad access to its vast database of search requests, which many users (naively?) thought were private.
Justice officials, who want the information as part of efforts to salvage an online anti-porn filter law, claim they aren’t asking for individual identities, but isn’t that the next step on this slippery slope?
Google’s track record doesn’t exactly inspire confidence, though: It has cooperated with the Chinese government to censor certain words such as “democracy.”
Perhaps the best solution, say some Internet privacy experts, is for Internet companies such as Google and Yahoo to voluntarily end their practice of indefinitely keeping data on customer use history.
Putting a time limitation on recordkeeping would remove much of the temptation for government to go snooping.
Posted by Randy Scholfield
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