JANUARY 24, 2006 (COMPUTERWORLD) - A majority of 1,017 Americans, 56%, who responded to a survey by Ponemon Institute LLC said they do not believe Google should turn over Web search information to the U.S. government.
The Department of Justice recently asked a California court to force Google Inc. to turn over information about how the company's search engine is used to find pornography on the Internet. Justice officials say they need the Google usage records to prepare their case to revive the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA), which the Supreme Court blocked from taking effect two years ago.. But Google has so far resisted the subpoena (see "Update: Feds wrestle Google over search records").
The full story can be read at computerworld.com
Hopefully Google does the right thing and keep the data for themselves unlike the other major search engine vendors.
Some might ask why it is important, what is wrong with making some data available to the feds as an "anti-terrorist" measure. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes; but who will watch the watchers? Personally I believe giving up fundamental freedom result in a situation worse than without the forementioned measures. The subject deserve a couple of quotes:
Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
-Adlai Stevenson, speech, Detroit, 1952
It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.