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Google Businesses The Internet Government Privacy United States Politics

U.S. Government Wants Google Search Records 917

JimBridgerBowl writes "According to the San Jose Mercury News, The Bush administration wants access to Google's huge database of search queries submitted by users to track how often pornography is returned in results. This information would be used for Bush's appeal of the 2004 COPA law, targeted to prevent access to pornography by children. The law was struck down because it would have restricted adults access to legal pornography. Google is promising to fight the release of this information." From the article: "The Supreme Court invited the government to either come up with a less drastic version of the law or go to trial to prove that the statute does not violate the First Amendment and is the only viable way to combat child porn. As a result, government lawyers said in court papers they are developing a defense of the 1998 law based on the argument that it is far more effective than software filters in protecting children from porn."
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U.S. Government Wants Google Search Records

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  • by Pig Hogger ( 10379 ) <pig.hogger@gmailCHEETAH.com minus cat> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:50AM (#14508654) Journal
    The solution is obvious! Let's all submit pornographic requests to Google.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:54AM (#14508684)
      Way ahead of you. Been doing this for years.
    • by Phreakiture ( 547094 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:18AM (#14508865) Homepage

      The solution is obvious! Let's all submit pornographic requests to Google.

      ...and make sure that they all hit either goatse or tubgirl on the first link! That will make sure that the screeners go blind, solving the problem.

  • by mtenhagen ( 450608 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:50AM (#14508658) Homepage
    I guess bush really wants to know how many people are looking for 'Miserable failure' on google.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:26AM (#14508922)
      Miserable failure??? This administration has liberated people from the evil clutches of dictators and tyrants in Iraq and Afghanistan, thwarted further 9/11 style attacks on the homeland, and steered the economy back on a steady course. That hardly sounds like a miserable failure to me.

      Compared to the last two Presidential Administrations, this has been quite a success.

      Before anybody mods this as a troll, I am directly replying to a modded up comment. Modding me down for simply disagreeing with your opinion is mod abuse.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Anyone who considers George Bush to be a miserable failure is'nt paying attention to the news. as a moral leader hes done a lot to deal with issues like abortion, balanced teaching of difference THEORIES in education (intelligent design). As parent says- most important- he has defended this country from its enemies! how do you call that a failure? At the moment I'm working on this planet as a genetic experimentor from the galaxy Arctaurus and i haven't made my mind up stem cells etc. but George is guided by
      • by QCompson ( 675963 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @03:01PM (#14511739)
        Before anybody mods this as a troll, I am directly replying to a modded up comment. Modding me down for simply disagreeing with your opinion is mod abuse.

        Plus, anyone who mods you as a troll is unpatriotic, unamerican, and quite possibly a terrorist/child pornographer.
    • by WolfZombie ( 918513 ) <immortalwolf@gm[ ].com ['ail' in gap]> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:26AM (#14508924) Homepage
      Searching for "Failure" alone works with Google's "I'm Feeling Lucky" feature.

      Google "I'm Feeling Lucky" using "Failure" [google.com]
  • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:51AM (#14508660)
    ...then there would be nothing to obtain.
    • Google recently ticked me off bigtime! I've had a Google account for a long time (for Google Groups, Gmail) and that was fine. However, now I just noticed they have logged my searches without me ever opting in. In fact, I expressly didn't want this and never have. So, they have made personalized searches an opt-out process. That has gotten me very incensed and I'm not even sure I want the Google personalized homepage anymore. Talk about lack of privacy considerations...
  • Results are in (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jaymzter ( 452402 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:52AM (#14508666) Homepage
    I've got the results right here [google.com].

    Interestingly enough, the first results all deal with being victimized by pornography. There goes my buzz.
    • by SatanicPuppy ( 611928 ) <Satanicpuppy@NospAm.gmail.com> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:00AM (#14508728) Journal
      It's 'cause you searched for "pornography" instead of "Teenaged Tit Freaks"...jeez, man, that's like a basic internet skill.
    • by hackstraw ( 262471 ) * on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:41AM (#14509033)
      Yeah, and next thing you know, the president will put up a porn site at whitehouse.com and then switch it over to a mortgage scam.

      Mr. Bush, I know you didn't do too good in school, but go to hxttp://al4a.com. That is the best start for a variety of porn. It is even has it categorized into the misleading url hxttp://al4a.com/movies.html where you can pick from 51 different categories in either pictures (if you net connection is already too clogged from CARNIVORE) or movies. You have the complete variety from teeny girls, gay sex. bi sex, fat girl sex (Clinton!!!), BSDM, tranny porn, midget porn, redheads, brunets, big titties, little titties, big cocks, the who 9 yards (the cocks are not that big though).

      What is the big deal with porn? Its great. Watching professionals have sex is many times cheaper, better and safer than picking up the drunk girl left at the bar right after last call.

      Porn stars are often very intelligent, humble, and adjusted people. Listen to them talk in an interview.

      Actually, I would rather have Ron Jeremy in the Whitehouse over you.

      What else do you want to know?

      (Since when did slashdot start autolinking http://whatever.com/thingies? [whatever.com]).

  • by millennial ( 830897 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:52AM (#14508668) Journal
    But how can a law that puts no filter whatsoever in place be more effective than a software filter?
    That aside, this is pretty alarming. But let's haul out two old arguments: 1. the media tends to be alarmist (true), and 2. if you're innocent, you shouldn't have to worry (true, but only if the government isn't violating the rights of the innocent, and leads to the possibility of forfeiting other rights).
    • by UCRowerG ( 523510 ) <UCRowerG@ya h o o.com> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:00AM (#14508726) Homepage Journal
      Easy: it can't. The Internet is a global thing now, and a law here in the USA isn't going to mean jack in China. They might come up with some sort of legal statement saying that any porn site must be blocked by ISPs in the US. Then again, we've seen how effective these have been for other countries, not to mention that censorship has up until now been one of this country's "great ideals." I still say nothing beats regulation by parents. Inform your kids about what's appropriate to say and do online in a public forum. Monitor their net surfing either in person, with a filter (NetNanny, etc), or by checking your cache after they're done. If they're not behaving, then it's good parenting to take whatever action is appropriate.
    • by jackb_guppy ( 204733 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:01AM (#14508739)
      Statement 2 is FALSE.

      Being a innocent can cost you your home and job. It does not have to be a government that violating your rights;

          It can be a name that matches yours. Then you have to prove that you are not the matching person. Think Indentiy Theif.

          It can be looking like another person. Then you have to prove that you are not that person. Think Misintification.

      In both case you are out the money it cost you clean it up. The public memory can be short, but with the internet... it can be long. This means that you will have do the fight over and over.
      • It can also be the result of two users inadvertantly on the same IP address (think Joe Dipshit, his unsecured wifi hotspot in his house, and his next-door neighbor Joe Criminal).

        As to the assumption some people make that the innocent have nothing to worry about, I ask you this:

        If the FBI showed up to your office and started asking your boss questions about you, would you bee cool with it just because you've "nothing to hide"?


      • by tourvil ( 103765 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:46AM (#14509068)
        Think Misintification.

        Mistakenly converting to an integer? ;)

      • by bombadillo ( 706765 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:58AM (#14509180)
        Good point. We see this happening now with the no fly lists. Some accidental like the 3 year olds and some wickedly "coincidental" like the author of an anti Bush book.

        More alarming is that many innocent people lost their careers during the McCarthy era. Any one remotely connected to a communist group pretty much had their lively hood destroyed. Innocence is judged by the whim of those in charge and not by a consistant morality.
    • by metternich ( 888601 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:26AM (#14508918)
      if you're innocent, you shouldn't have to worry

      This is extremely firghtening. The Forth Amendment says, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated" NOT "The Goverment shall search through any your posessions and records, but if you're innocent you should have nothing to fear."

      "We need two prisons, one for the guilty and one for the innocent."

    • by faloi ( 738831 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:34AM (#14508988)
      if you're innocent, you shouldn't have to worry (true, but only if the government isn't violating the rights of the innocent, and leads to the possibility of forfeiting other rights).

      The sad thing is that even the innocent have to fear these days. I'm sure if you look hard enough you can find the story about the toddler on the no fly list [usatoday.com] and other examples of the innocent being at the very least inconvenienced. At some point we have to draw the line and say enough is enough. Unfortunately I think that line should've been drawn about 10 years ago...
    • Ok - you're wrong (Score:5, Insightful)

      by btarval ( 874919 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:01AM (#14509209)
      "if you're innocent, you shouldn't have to worry ..."

      That's the logical fallacy of the sheep. Why is it so many people prefer to bury their heads in the sand, and refuse to learn?

      Sir, please open your eyes. Millions of innocent people have been slaughtered throughout human history (often within their own laws) by various governments. As shocking and frightening as it must seem to you, being innocent is no safeguard. Indeed, innocence has nothing to do with it when government officials are granted vast, unchecked power.

      The only safeguard between yourself and unjustified prosecution and imprisonment (or even death) is a thin, old piece of paper. And people's willingness to uphold the words written on it.

      I suggest you acquaint yourself with it.

      Or perhaps I should make it more simple. The Bush administration has shown itself willing to abuse the power it had before the Patriot Act was passed. The question now before us is what are the limits to its current power?

      You may not like the answer. Your "rights" have been redefined, and so has the definition of "abuse".

      Innocence isn't going to save you if you are currently viewed as the wrong type of person. Indeed, in such cases you no longer have a right to legal counsel, or to let other people know you have been detained. Or the right to a speedy trial.

      Welcome the new world that your elected representatives have given you. But please don't be under the mistaken assumption that innocence will protect you, or that the government isn't abusing your legally defined rights.

    • by Alarash ( 746254 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:44AM (#14509611)
      if you're innocent, you shouldn't have to worry (true, but only if the government isn't violating the rights of the innocent, and leads to the possibility of forfeiting other rights).
      When the Nazis arrested the Communists,
      I said nothing; after all, I was not a Communist.
      When they locked up the Social Democrats,
      I said nothing; after all, I was not a Social Democrat.
      When they arrested the trade unionists,
      I said nothing; afterall, I was not a trade unionist.
      When they arrested the Jews, I said nothing; after all, I was not a Jew.
      When they arrested me, there was no longer anyone who could protest.

      That's all I have to say. Mod me down if you want.

  • Age ranges? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lisaparratt ( 752068 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:53AM (#14508672)
    What relevance is the data if they can't divide it into demographics?
    • Re:Age ranges? (Score:3, Interesting)

      by tolan-b ( 230077 )
      I get the impression they want to find out how easy it is to stumble across porn when you're not looking for it. Probably particularly when safesearch is enabled.
      • Re:Age ranges? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Bimo_Dude ( 178966 ) <bimoslash@theness. o r g> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:07AM (#14508778) Homepage Journal
        I get the impression they want to find out how easy it is to stumble across porn when you're not looking for it. Probably particularly when safesearch is enabled.

        That's not the impression that I got FTA. Poring through a massive database of search logs would be much more difficult, time-consuming and inaccurate than simply writing a script to query Google with ramdon words and logging any results that lead to porn.

        It seems to me that they want to do some data mining, maybe to identify terrorists (or dissenters), and they could just be using the "what about the children" thing in their attempt to gain access.

        If Google is to remain un-evil, maybe it's time for a solar flare to wipe out the records (until the backups can be restored after this is all over).

  • by Monoman ( 8745 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:53AM (#14508674) Homepage
    When did Google start asking for your age along with your query? How are they going to tie queries to ages?

    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:03AM (#14508751)
      How are they going to tie queries to ages?

      Don't worry, the NSA has a full profile on you to cross-reference.


    • by GreyPoopon ( 411036 ) <gpoopon@gmailCOW.com minus herbivore> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:05AM (#14508764)
      When did Google start asking for your age along with your query? How are they going to tie queries to ages?

      I don't think the government is trying to tie ages to queries. They are just trying to prove that it is easy for anyone (including a minor) to find pr0n on the internet. Although I don't agree with this attempt at massive violation of privacy, the government is correct in its assertion that finding pr0n is childishly simple (pun intended). All you have to do is a Google image search with no filters on the results. Type in pretty much anything and you are almost guaranteed to get nude or hardcore photos somewhere in your results.

      • by Phreakiture ( 547094 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:24AM (#14508908) Homepage

        They are just trying to prove that it is easy for anyone (including a minor) to find pr0n on the internet.

        Would it not be much simpler and far less invasive for them to just submit a bunch of queries themselves? Of course it would! There's something more going on here that is not related to pr0n. The war on pr0n is a Trojan Horse to get them into the database.

      • by IAmTheDave ( 746256 ) <basenamedave-sd@@@yahoo...com> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:30AM (#14508960) Homepage Journal
        the government is correct in its assertion that finding pr0n is childishly simple

        Um... oh well?

        I'm so tired of this "won't someone please think of the children" scenario. This is a parental issue through and through. If parents haphazardly allow their youngsters onto computers without knowing jack about them, it's like allowing your child to watch TV without any idea as to the content of the programming.

        If I subscribe (this is only hypothetical) to the Spice channel and don't lock the TV, my child has access to that channel whenever. If I don't use CyberNanny or the like, my child has access to pornography on the internet.

        Parental responsibility is failing, and I'm tired of the government trying to clean up the pieces. This is why I'm all for having to have a license to have a child.

        Unfortunately, this seems to me to be quite obviously a ploy to try to get at the most massive user-habit database on the planet. Oh, they want it for porn research - my ass. You think once they are done looking for "tits" they're not going to look up "impeach bush" and place a NSA watch on the IP address that the search came from?

        Slashdot used to interest me. Now it more scares me than anything...

        • by WhiteWolf666 ( 145211 ) <sherwin@ami[ ].us ['ran' in gap]> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:07AM (#14509259) Homepage Journal
          Yes. I thought that Republicans were supposed to be about personal accountability and especially about parental responsibility.

          With Democrats, we get unneeded and excessive government involvement in our personal lives.
          With Republicans, we get unneeded and excessive government involvement in our personal lives, along with unprecedented violations of civil rights and unbelievable corruption.

          I was saddended yesterday by the Supreme Court's decision in the latest abortion case.

          Why does no one see the irony in an administration that spouts off about, "A culture of respect for life in every stage", which then pushes for the death penalty for a wide range of crimes.

          A defending freedom and liberty, while infringing our rights at every turn, and NOT limited to the realm of national security.

          Hilariously, as a fairly old school conservative, the only policies of the Bush administration I can agree with was the supposed IRS reform bill (which never came), and the start of Iraq war 2 (which was our exit strategy from a 10-year announced war/bombing campaign). Both of these were botched miserably, and now we have the constitution figuratively on flames.

          WhiteWolf666 an exBush supporter. All you new-school, "compassionate" "save the children" 'Republicans' can rot in hell.

          P.S. last comment not directed at you, I'm just working on a new sig.
  • by EBFoxbat ( 897297 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:53AM (#14508679)
    If the administration wants statistics to back up there bill, why not ask Google for statistical data regarding pornographic requests instead of records of the actually quaries?
  • Which one is it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Z0mb1eman ( 629653 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:55AM (#14508689) Homepage
    Both the summary and the article speak of child porn and protecting children from accessing porn as if they're interchangeable. Well, they're not - which one is it?

    There's no more sure-fire way to push people's buttons than to mention child porn... bah. Always makes me feel that it trivializes the problem when it's being used to push someone's agenda.
    • The sting operations by local police forces seems more than adequate enough to catch pedofiles. Boost funding for this and lock up these perverts with the satisfaction of knowing you caught them in the act.

      Google pr0n queries?? Probably take the worlds fastest super computer a year to parse!

    • by Caspian ( 99221 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:08AM (#14509273)
      There's no more sure-fire way to push people's buttons than to mention child porn... bah.

      Correct. A similar tactic nowadays is to mention "terrorism". Throw "this is necessary to further our War On Terrorism(TM) at the end of a statement, and at least half of Americans will accept it simply based on that.

      See also: "Red Scare", "Joseph McCarthy", "it's for the children", etc.

      Luckily, even if I wasn't sharp enough to see through this sort of obvious manipulation, this particular route of manipulation doesn't work on me. Unlike most Americans, I recall that as a "child", (12, 13, etc.) I was quite horny and would have welcomed the opportunity to have intercourse with an adult, regardless of whether there was a camera rolling or not. I thus don't see "child porn" as a universal evil.

      This is similar to how so many people interpret "anarchist" to mean "bomb-throwing terrorist". "Anarchy" implies a lack of laws in books, not a lack of morals or a predilection towards violence. Likewise, many people interpret "child porn" as "child rape or exploitation", which is ludicrous. At 12 or 13, with an IQ in at least the 140s, I was arguably more capable than the average adult of giving "informed consent" (whatever that means; it seems that legally speaking, "informed consent" means approximately "you've lived for at least 18 years and have an IQ above 50", which is a truly abhorrent approximation of the pool of people actually intellectually capable of comprehending the aftereffects of sexual context). And as a 12-year-old-- a "child"-- I wanted sex and would have welcomed sex. I also was astute enough to comprehend the issues of STDs, pregnancy, and the like-- a great deal more than I could say of the "average", say, 21-year-old. I would have used protection; would the average 18-year-old? Yet I was considered incapable of understanding the mystical "adult" issues involved with sex. This is absurd.

      This "child porn" scare is ludicrous. It's very telling that people get worked up about "child porn" but not "child rape"-- i.e. something which actually is universally WRONG. Participation in child "porn" can be voluntary, forced, or somewhere in between (coerced?); the actual sex depicted can be consensual, rape, or somewhere in between (i.e. with a child incapable of truly giving "informed consent").

      But most people nowadays (at least here in the States) don't like to judge things on a case-by-case basis; they like blanket statements, sweeping moral judgements that apply to all instances of a particular thing.

      Anyone with a properly calibrated moral compass and a lack of the cultural baggage which states that anyone under (18|16|$INSERT_AGE_HERE) is automatically incapable of giving "informed consent" can comprehend that some sex between "minors" and "adults" is, in fact, consensual and, thus, moral. Nevertheless, the overwhelming majority of the American public assumes that "sex with kids" is automatically "rape", and thus evil. Tie the (completely justified) stigma of rape in with this (ludicrous) assumption that all "intergenerational sex" (ha) is automatically rape and the (religiously motivated and laughable) stigma against "porn" in general, and you have a recipe for Instant Outrage: Just Add Americans .

      We have forgotten what "rape" is. We have forgotten what "consent" constitutes. We have also managed, as I've mentioned before, to become the sole species on the face of the planet (as far as I know) cruel and stupid enough to deny sex to a significant minority of those who want it, based simply upon their age. Saying to a horny 12-year-old "No, you can't have sex, even if you use protection, even if you take every precaution, simply because you're young" is beyond cruel, and quite bigoted.
      • by electroniceric ( 468976 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:52AM (#14509704)
        This "child porn" scare is ludicrous.
        Yes, in the sense that as a threat, I believe it's overblown. Much like child abduction - dangerous, but relatively rare.

        It's very telling that people get worked up about "child porn" but not "child rape"-- i.e. something which actually is universally WRONG.
        I'd guess this is by virtue of being one of those topics that still exceeds polite conversation. Child abuse of any type is universally publicly deplored.

        Participation in child "porn" can be voluntary, forced, or somewhere in between (coerced?); the actual sex depicted can be consensual, rape, or somewhere in between (i.e. with a child incapable of truly giving "informed consent").
        I can't agree with that. A child of 12 simply does not posssess the judgement (nothing to do with intelligence) to understand and accept the consequences of being filmed having sex with someone else, or themselves for that matter. Participation in porn goes way beyond put that thing in here, no matter how it's done. And it's hard to avoid asking the question: why does an adult want to see a child in sexual poses, when the adult knows or should know that children simply don't understand sex? Have you ever hooked up with someone a good bit younger than you? You know how they interpret everything you do with meanings far different and greater than what you intended? If an adult goes specifically looking for that kind of reaction, a la child porn, it's hard not to conclude that the adult is looking for control/power/manipulation through a sexual lens.

        And as a 12-year-old-- a "child"-- I wanted sex and would have welcomed sex.
        I believe you felt/feel that way. But if you look at the people who did do that, it generally turned out much worse than they expected. Sex is potent stuff, and it takes a fair bit of self-knowledge to learn how to handle the physical, emotional, and relationship elements of it, and make it something good for you. People learn to use sex for all different kinds of purposes in their lives, and as adults, they're welcome to whatever they do, but at 12 or 13, once again, someone simply doesn't have the judgment to make those distinctions. It's a tricky balance - no parent I know wants to stop their 12 year old from checking out members of the opposite sex, making out, maybe taking a few halting steps forward from there, but none that I know wants to find out their kids have been sleeping around just to prove they can have sex (which IMO is almost universally what drives teenage sex).

        So yes, you can call the child pr0n scare a whipping boy, and a trojan horse for all kinds of government intrusion into people's privacy and expression, and I believe it is that. But that doesn't make child pornography itself a good thing.
        • by Caspian ( 99221 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @12:05PM (#14509845)
          Kindly explain why it is alright to restrict the sexual behavior of even highly intelligent people "for their own good" simply on the basis of their age, whilst even the dullest (non-retarded, non-brain-damaged) person over 18 is allowed to have sex.

          Most people look at the laws against sex between "adults" and "children" as protecting the "children" from rape and abuse by the "adults". As someone who finds it morally reprehensible to abandon the needs of intelligent youths deprived of rights solely on the basis of their age (having "been there" and "done that"-- or, rather, had that "done" to me!), I perceive the primary effect of these laws as the opposite: restricting the rights of the "children".

          Rape is rape, and rape should always be illegal. And, yes, it is worse to rape a child than to rape an adult. But not all sex between adults and children is rape! My God, if I had been approached by a comely 25-year-old as a 12-year-old, I would have accepted in a heartbeat. AND I would have used protection, so that old saw that goes "oh, kids aren't mature enough to have sex safely" is utter rubbish.

          Kindly peddle your ageism elsewhere. It is no more moral to restrict sexual behavior by age than it is by race. A FAR greater proportion of black males than white females are violent criminals; does that make it moral to restrict all black males from working?

          Of course not.

          Yes, a "higher" percentage of youth than adults are intellectually and emotionally incapable of handling sex. But, again, a "higher" percentage of blacks than whites are criminals. Why is it justifiable to pass laws restricting all youths on such logic, but not similar laws restricting all blacks? They are one and the same, and I do not accept that either is morally defensible.

          There are many, many millions of "children" whose intellectual and emotional capabilities exceed those of the "average" 18-year-old, or even the "average" 40-year-old. "Adults" far more unintelligent, immature, and reckless than I (or most other people on SlashDot) was at 12 (or even 10) are permitted rights based solely on their age. This is wrong. Drawing the line based solely (or nearly so) on age is like drawing the line based solely on race.
  • by coinreturn ( 617535 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:55AM (#14508695)
    I'm sure glad no one "protected" me from porno when I was a kid. Someone always has an older brother or father with porno mags and they make the rounds. I had a pretty good collection before I turned 18 and it was legal - from playboy to hardcore. What's so wrong with pornography? I'd be surprised if Bush didn't have some stashed away in the oval office.
    • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:04AM (#14508758)
      My beef is, classifying things as porn automatically shuts out educational value. What if you have a daughter in her young teens and she wants to know about mammograms, breastfeeding, AIDS prevention, ovary development, etc? I made it my business to learn all about sex I could when I was a pre-teen, and it paid off when my early partners were delighted that I knew more about their anatomy than they did. I intend extending the same liberties to learn to my children.
      • by M-G ( 44998 )
        Yes, and in this day of the Right's push for abstinence-only education, we're raising a generation of people who don't know a thing. Of course, even before this, sex ed was pretty lame.

        I remember as a pre-teen, my then nursing student sister bought my other sister a book called It's Your Body - A Woman's Guide to Gynecology. I frequently swiped it out of curiousity, and learned a great deal, as it thoroughly covered both male and female anatomy, birth control, STDs, etc. including many clinical pictures t
        • by AGMW ( 594303 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:48AM (#14509089) Homepage
          A quick look at Amazon shows the book is still out there, but the last revision is 1986, so it's certainly a bit dated in some information.

          Have women changed then? Granted, it's been a while since I saw one close up, but I was kinda hoping they'd be sufficiently similar next time so I'd know which bits to do what to, and stuff!

    • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:20AM (#14508880)
      and they make the rounds.

      How is this possible with the pages all stuck together?
    • by grasshoppa ( 657393 ) <skennedy@tpno-co.oLISPrg minus language> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:35AM (#14509530) Homepage
      This country has some pretty odd values, if you sit down and think about it. Next to survival, sex is the second strongest instinct. Kids are curious about it even BEFORE they hit puberty, afterwards it's all they can think about some days.

      Instead of telling them they are wrong for wanting to learn about it, how about we guide them as we are best able? We show them how to be safe, caution them against the dangers and pitfalls, but otherwise give them free access to any material they think they want ( after a certain age ) to learn?

      I have a strong belief that a great deal of the sexual crimes commited in this country is due to repressed sexual urges. A teen age boy is told he's not supposed to masterbait, it's shameful. He becomes ashamed of who he is, and it happens for so long that he needs to shame other people to have sexual release. Maybe that comes out as child molestation or rape, who knows?

      We don't need to protect our children from porn, we need to protect them from the politicians.
  • Wow (Score:5, Funny)

    by LoonyMike ( 917095 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:55AM (#14508696)
    He can't even figure out by himself what to search for???
  • by digitaldc ( 879047 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @09:56AM (#14508699)
    to track how often pornography is returned in results.

    Isn't this an invasion of privacy?
    What ever happened to parents and not the government being responsible for their kids?
    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:16AM (#14508850)
      Isn't this an invasion of privacy?

      Well, not if the president orders it, dummy. Thank God we here in the U.S. has a leader with the courage to come out and say "I am above the law as long as this war, which will never end, goes on."

      I only wish he would take the next logical step and declare that presidential elections in a time of war could make us vunerable, and therefore they must be indefinitely suspended until we defeat terrorism.


  • Porn for dummies (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jesterpilot ( 906386 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:00AM (#14508725) Homepage
    children seeing porn != child porn
    • by An Onerous Coward ( 222037 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:37AM (#14509012) Homepage
      That's the sort of naive, pre-September 11 talk that got three thousand American citizens killed. While you sniveling liberals are sitting up in your ivory towers, making all your pointless, academic distinctions, George Bush is plowing straight ahead, protecting our lives and our freedoms from pornographers and terrorists. This is why the reality-based community will never win; too much thinking, not enough doing.
  • by dptalia ( 804960 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:00AM (#14508734) Homepage Journal
    Is that the government is claiming other search engines have already given up the requested data. I'd rather search with Google who's trying to protect my privacy than some other engine that coughed up the goods without a fight!
  • by pmc ( 40532 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:01AM (#14508735) Homepage
    I thought the two salient points from the article were

    1) Google were resisting the subpoena


    2) Others (unnamed) had complied with the subpoena

    which is slightly worrying for those that use other search engines.

    • by TGK ( 262438 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:15AM (#14508839) Homepage Journal
      Has anyone else read "The Search?" In it, the author discusses how Google's search logs could be utilized as a kind of "database of intentions" if you could apply sufficiently sophisticated datamining techniqes to it. In other words - that based on a persons past search history you can construe not just what they searched for, but what they were really LOOKING for - and infer other things that such a person might want or do.

      • by xtracto ( 837672 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:29AM (#14509472) Journal
        That seems quite interesting. My PhD supervisor made an intesresting comment about google the other day. He said that people at google must have very interesting information concerning the trends of "common knowledge", this is, before September, 11, 2001 a query on google of "september wtc" would yield totally different results, which surely will show the most "common" of things that people was searching for.

        Likewise, if you searched "Katrina" in google before August, 2005, you maybe ended in the page of someone named like that.

        These are basic examples of informaiton that can be obtained with the "time" factor of the google logs. Remember that time gives another dimension to your data, which lets you extract more information from it. Something among tht lines of image-pattern recognition, it is easier to match patterns from a moving image than from a static image.
    • There's other search engines?!?
  • Welcome to... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ff1324 ( 783953 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:01AM (#14508741)
    Isn't there already a country that filters all the content that they allow within their borders on the internet? Hmmmm......oh yeah.

    Welcome to China!
  • Foot in the door (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:03AM (#14508754)
    The problem with this action is that if it passes, it will serve as a foot in the door so that it is possible for the Bush administration (and those who will follow it) to inspect and analyze the internet habits and actions of everyone who has an internet connection. Right now there are state agents questioning certan US citizens' because of their reading habits, there are databases ran with information on normal, law abiding citizens just because they have an oppinion different from the current administration and God knows what other things are being done behind closed doors. Doesn't this worry anyone?

    US: formerly known as land of the free, currently aquiring police state status and on the fast track to fascism.
  • by ianscot ( 591483 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:05AM (#14508760)
    The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.

    One imagines the dedicated team of talented evaluators at Justice combing the list of returned sites, carefully categorizing them as pRon or non-pRon. No waste of tax dollars there -- noooo. Glad to see we're spending our dollars on the big issues that face us as a society.

    The Supreme Court decision back in June 04 [cornell.edu] went back, again, to the first amendment. The series of decisions made over the Child Online Protection Act (COPA) and the earlier Communications Decency Act, came back to the laws not being "narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental interest" and to whether less restrictive alternatives were available.

    In response to those two reservations, Bush and company are apparently looking to prove how very compelling their government interest is -- by showing that kids are awash in the stuff on Google. Apparently the part where they get access to this enormous, open-ended source of information about searches doesn't set off any bells with them about the other half of that decision -- where the idea was to minimize the restrictiveness of the law and keep government intrusion to a minimum.

    These were the "small government" conservatives, right?

  • by StressGuy ( 472374 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:06AM (#14508774)
    First off, while there may be obvious pornographic search terms, the range of human fetishes is such that otherwise innocuous searches are actually searches for sexually oriented material (feet, smoking, chewing gum, darn near anything else I imagine). So, it would seem to me that it would be more productive to focus on which search results were actually followed.

    Also, just because a search term has a sexual/fetish connotation is not sufficient to imply a search for pornographic material. Even if it is, it does not explain the motive. Case in point, there is a registered sex offender in my neighborhood. From the local sex offender database, it appears he had either received or downloaded child pornagraphy. I have two young children. So, I'd like to know more about this particular type of fetish. However, if my understanding of the law is correct, an attempt to research this on the internet could put me in the position of violating the same law that required him to register as a sex offender.

    My purpose is not to obtain illicit material, but rather to get inside the head of someone who may be a danger to my children. How would Bush or anyone else know the difference based upon a Google search?
  • by Hosiah ( 849792 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:07AM (#14508780)
    Wait a minute, which "bush" were you talking about?
  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:07AM (#14508781)
    It was 1998, remember? Janet Reno was singing its praises, and Bill Clinton signed it into law.
  • Information (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Mr_Silver ( 213637 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:13AM (#14508827)
    Google is promising to fight the release of this information

    To be honest, I'd far rather they didn't have to fight this because they didn't actually keep the information in the first place.

  • by edmicman ( 830206 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:13AM (#14508831) Homepage Journal
    1. protecting children from pr0n is completely different from combatting child pr0n. keeping johnny from searching for free pr0n sites is not the same as preventing the sickos out there violating kids. 2. heaven forbid the PARENTS actually do something and pay attention to their kids of they're looking at things they shouldn't be online. It's not the gov'ts job to be a babysitter, parent, etc.
  • So...it has begun... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MindPrison ( 864299 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:15AM (#14508844) Journal
    As if they didnt already?

    Wake up people. While I am all for Google and Share the knowledge with everyone policy - I am less for the privacy issue that arises here. You all know it - Gooooooogle ADS are everywhere and you have a couple of cookies that identify you. Probably not the Slashdotters as we regularly clean our cache, but people with less knowledge will eventually suffer privacy issues.

    As far as I am concerned - Google is the smartest internet move in the world. CIA, FBI and NSA loves this stuff. Why do you think the "military" abandoned the internet to the public? Imagine if you create a system that everyone uses...and Imagine you have full access to it...given all of that...you dont really need that much imagination to imagine how bad this COULD be. You can monitor just about anyone and everyone - find out their habits, what do they like? Are Johnny-Pedo watching the "family-album" on a Gooooooogle ADS partner online-photo-album today? If so...is he also logging onto his GMAIL today? Maybe Alichk-WoludbeTerrorist is visiting the do-it-yourself-bombmaker site a bit too frequently and of course using his nice free big juicy google mailbox?

    While thats kind of obvious to most of us...there is something FAR more sinister at hand...something you might need to be a bit of a paranoid person to think of (like me!)

    Imagine that youre a worried "family dad" and want to educate yourself, finding out what "bad stuff" there is out there and what your family could be subjected to, or just curious in general. Imagine that you are subscribing to the same Goooooogle ADS partner sites and you are a man of your habits...you read certain news in online newspapers with great interest, you also give up what you prefer to eat, what people you hang with, which chat groups you visit, what products you prefer etc. All this can and WILL create a profile of you which Google easily can use for 2 things. 1) Direct their marketing at you with almost lethal accuracy and 2) Sell your information to the highest bidder...wether this is the government that make a "sweet trade-deal" with them...or the sinister business corporate that want to make sure that they only get "pure and clean" employees that fit the "corporate profile". This kind of information is worth more than Gold these days.

    All that I am saying guys...is...Honestly, if you didnt see this coming then youre simply to plain naive. Remember - Knowledge is YOUR power too.
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:19AM (#14508875)
    GWB was sppoked by his daughters' spring break videos.
  • by Paladin144 ( 676391 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:20AM (#14508886) Homepage
    From TFA:

    In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.

    Why should the government be able to access Google's privately-held database, which contains sensitive information about millions of users, just so the government can try to defend a poorly written law? I see this as nothing more than a fishing expedition. Lord knows half the searches on google are probably for porn-related stuff, which the government could use damned lies and statistics to "prove" is bad for children. But the government has no right to demand this information.

    You know what's really bad for children? A tyrannical government bent on taking away the rights and liberties of its citizens. Will a child born today even taste freedom after they reach age 18? The way things are going, I rather doubt it.

    I hope Google fights this all the way and wins.

    • This is the same administration that claimed it needed medical records of women who had abortions in order to defend an anti-abortion law in court. And of course one that feels it can tap phones in violation of federal law. The think tanks that define the current Republican agenda are scary as hell.
  • by dr. loser ( 238229 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:23AM (#14508903)
    So, we should believe that when the federal authorities are given access to something like 600 million Google searches per week indexed to specific IP addresses, they're only going to use that data for the specific purpose of fighting child pornography? That the NSA, for example, would decline to data mine that information?

    Given that the current administration has shown that they're willing to spy on US citizens domestically without warrants, even though warrants are easy to get retroactively, why should we trust anything they say regarding 4th amendment rights?
  • by Billosaur ( 927319 ) * <wgrotherNO@SPAMoptonline.net> on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:29AM (#14508944) Journal

    ...beat a dead horse. Is protecting minors from unwanted and unintended exposure to pornography a good thing? Yes! Can the government mandate it? No! It goes back to the problem of parenting. If parents are giving their kids unfettered access to the Internet, they're going to see this stuff. It's no different that parents not watching what programs their kids see on TV. The US Government is trying to parent the nation's kids, when it can't even govern the country effectively (NOTE: this is not Bush-bashing; the Democrats are just as ineffectual as the Republicans).

    It's good that Google has drawn the line. They aren't responsible for what their search engine turns up; the Internet is free territory and if you put up pornography or any other type of content someone finds objectionable, it may turn up. That doesn't make it Google's responsibility to police what its users are doing, anymore than it makes it the government's responsibility. At some point parents need to take back the power.

  • In Soviet Amerika (Score:3, Interesting)

    by CristalShandaLear ( 762536 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:30AM (#14508961) Homepage Journal
    Considering that Bush has already shown that he is more than willing to spy on American citizens in the "homeland", and that he feels the rights accorded to him by the Patriot Act afford him anything he demands in the way of National Security, we should be warned. How long will it be before there is connection made, however farfetched, between terrorism and pornography that makes Google complicit in "giving aid and comfort to the enemey". Remember, if you're not with Bush & Co., you're with the terrorists.

    I can't read the above without realizing how paranoid it sounds. Still doesn't make me any less apprehensive.
  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @10:33AM (#14508976) Homepage Journal
    I want it too. I want to see how many searches for pornography originated from White House and Congressional IPs my tax dollars are supporting.
  • by another_drone ( 929271 ) on Thursday January 19, 2006 @11:52AM (#14509705)
    With Judge Alito's confirmation, the Supreme court will certainly back the right of the Federal Government to request Google's data. You should expect to see a number of such cases resurface once Alito is confirmed.

    I doubt it is a coincidence that the Bush administration is bringing this up again.

    Funny thing... I do not hear any complaints from Microsoft and their search engine... Do you think the feds forgot to ask Bill for his data?

"You can have my Unix system when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers." -- Cal Keegan