Google refuses to hand over logs to US Department of Justice

Friday, January 20, 2006

The search engine Google has been asked by the U.S. department of Justice to hand over its records of user activity. Google was asked for information regarding the type of search and the index of pages it had over a week.

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This evidence is being requested by lawyers who are trying to defend the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act, which was struck down in 1998 by the Supreme Court.

Google has not complied with the request prompting US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to request a court order from a federal judge in California. Google has nevertheless stated that it would fight the order. Nicole Wong, the associate general counsel for Google, said "Google is not a party to this lawsuit and their demand for information overreaches," and that "We had lengthy discussions with them to try to resolve this, but were not able to and we intend to resist their motion vigorously."

Unlike its competitors, Google is taking a firm stand on this issue with no room to compromise. Yahoo has already said that it releases data "on a limited basis and did not provide any personally identifiable information." and Microsoft said that it "works closely with law enforcement officials worldwide to assist them when requested".