Feds After Google Records

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — Google is promising a fight after the federal government unveiled Thursday that it wants the search engine records that detail what users are searching for online, marking a bold move on the part of the Bush administration to revive the spirit of the infamous Child Online Protection Act shot down by the Supreme Court more than two years ago.

According to the subpoena, which was filed last year, Federal prosecutors embattled in a case with the American Civil Liberties Union over the Child Online Protection Act want Google to cough up more than a million records.

“The production of those materials would be of significant assistance to the government's preparation of its defense of the constitutionality of this important statue,” prosecutors said in the filing.

Google has so far “failed to comply” with the request, which asks for a million “random web addresses,” as well as the freedom to acquire records of all Google searches conduced during any one-week time frame.

Ashok Ramani, commercial litigation counsel for Google, responded to the request in a letter sent to the Justice Department in August, in which he calls the subpoena “defective.”

“[This subpoena] is overbroad, vague, unduly burdensome and intended to harass,” Ramani wrote.

Google attorney Nicole Wong has promised Google will “vigorously” oppose the government's efforts.

“Google is not a party to this lawsuit, and the demand for the information is overreaching,” she told reporters in San Jose Thursday.

The full text of the subpoena and corresponding letters can be read here.