Mudcat Café message #1653292 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #62901   Message #1653292
Posted By: Amos
22-Jan-06 - 01:56 AM
Thread Name: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
Subject: RE: BS: Popular Views of the Bush Administration
January 21, 2006
Editorial, New York Times

Fishing in Cyberspace

Enough is never enough, not when the government believes that it can
invade your privacy without repercussions. The Justice Department
wants a federal judge to force Google to turn over millions of
private Internet searches. Google is rightly fighting the demand, but
the government says America Online, Yahoo and MSN, Microsoft's online
service, have already complied with similar requests.

This is not about national security. The Justice Department is making
this baldfaced grab to try to prop up an online pornography law that
has been blocked once by the Supreme Court. And it's not the first
time we've seen this sort of behavior. The government has zealously
protected the Patriot Act's power to examine library records. It
sought the private medical histories of a selected group of women,
saying it needed the information to defend the Partial-Birth Abortion
Ban Act in the federal courts.

The furor is still raging over President Bush's decision to permit
spying on Americans without warrants. And the government now wants
what could be billions of search terms entered into Google's Web
pages and possibly a million Web-site addresses to go along with them.

Protecting minors from the nastier material on the Internet is a
valid goal; the courts have asked the government to test whether
technologies for filtering out the bad stuff are effective. And the
government hasn't asked for users' personal data this time around.
What's frightening is that the Justice Department is trying once
again to dredge up information first and answer questions later, if
at all. Had Google not resisted the government's attempt to seize
records, would the public have ever found about the request? ...