free html hit counter Updated: Judge in Google v DOJ: Likely Force Google to Turn Over Info | John Battelle's Search Blog

Updated: Judge in Google v DOJ: Likely Force Google to Turn Over Info

By - March 14, 2006

From a WSJ story (paid reg):

A federal judge said he is likely to require Google Inc. to turn over some information about its users’ searches to the Justice Department, after the government said it would scale back its request.

After a hearing in San Jose, Calif., U.S. District Court Judge James Ware said he will pay special attention to privacy concerns as he weighs the government’s request for the information with the interests of a private company.

The legal showdown over how much of the Web’s vast databases should be shared with the government has pitted the Bush administration against the Internet giant, which resisted a subpoena to turn over any information because of user privacy and trade secret concerns.

Update: Google has provided me this comment from counsel Nicole Wong:

“We’re very encouraged by the judge’s thoughtful questions and comments.

They reflected our concerns about user privacy and the scope of the

government’s subpoena request. At a minimum we’ve come a long way from the

initial subpoena request, which was for billions of URLs and an entire

week’s worth of search queries. When the government was asked to justify

their demand they conceded that they needed much less. Now the government

has on its own already reduced that to 50,000 URLs and 5,000 search queries

as a result of this process.”

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