Google ordered to give Web sites, not search terms

Filed under: — By Galit @ 9:09 pm

A federal judge on Friday denied a request by the U.S. Justice Department for specific terms customers used to search Google Inc.’s Web database but will require Google to turn over 50,000 Web addresses.

In a widely anticipated, 21-page ruling that has implications for the privacy of Internet users, Judge James Ware of the U.S. District for the Northern District of California said privacy considerations led him to deny the government demand in part.

“To the extent the motion seeks an order compelling Google to disclose search queries of its users the motion is denied,” Ware wrote.

He ruled that the 50,000 Web addresses, was a relevant request by the government for use in a statistical study it is doing to defend the constitutionality of a federal online child antipornography law that is at issue in a separate case, ACLU v. Gonzales.

“The expectation of privacy by some Google users may not be reasonable, but may nonetheless have an appreciable impact on the way in which Google is perceived, and consequently the frequency with which users use Google,” Ware said.

Source: Reuters (via Yahoo)


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