Judge Orders Google to Hand Over Data to DOJ

After the US Department of Justice (DOJ) agreed to reduce the number of search records it was seeking from Internet search giant Google, a federal judge on Tuesday indicated that he would order the company to comply. The DOJ originally requested the information from Google and several of its rivals to measure the effectiveness of the Child Online Protection Act, a law that shields children from explicitly sexual material on the Internet.

"I am going to grant some relief to the government," said US District Court Judge James Ware. The DOJ was originally seeking one week's worth of Google searches, which could have amounted to billions of queries. But over time, the DOJ has reduced that number, and on Tuesday, said it would be satisfied with results that included 50,000 Web site addresses and 5000 search queries. Of those, the DOJ said it would review 10,000 Web site addresses and 1000 queries.

Although Google expressed concerns about its users' privacy, those concerns are likely a ruse, as the search results won't provide the DOJ with any information that would identify the individuals who performed the searches. What the company was really worried about, apparently, was that users, perceiving Google working closely with the government, would curtail their Google searching, thinking they were being monitored.

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