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Feds: Google Request Doesn't Harm Privacy

Here's the latest from the people who brought you massive, illegal wiretapping and the Patriot Act: Trust us when it comes to privacy. The Justice Department has filed papers in federal court contending that Google should comply with a subpoena to turn over massive amounts of information because it's not an invasion of privacy. reports that in an 18-page legal brief, the Justice Department denies that its request for a million pages from Google's index and a week's worth of search terms will endanger anyone's privacy, or will delve into Google's trade secrets.

Google, so far, has been the only company courageous enough to stand up to the feds on this. MSN, Yahoo, and AOL have all already turned over whatever the feds have asked for. Google has refused, and is fighting the government in court.

The feds want the data as part of its attempt to defend the ill-thought-out 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA). I'll leave all the flaws in that law for another blog. But the government's request for massive amounts of data for the trial is just one more frightening example of its intrusions into personal data and business information.

Google deserves kudos for standing up in this one --- if only MSN, AOL, and Yahoo had the same courage.