Home > News > Google Must Turn Over URLs; Search Queries Private • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


Google Must Turn Over URLs; Search Queries Private

Google Must Turn Over URLs; Search Queries Private
Get XBIZ News
Mar 20, 2006 10:27 AM PST    Text size: 
SAN JOSE, Calif. – Federal Judge James Ware ordered Google to deliver 50,000 random website addresses to the U.S. Department of Justice, but declined to order the search engine to submit 5,000 Internet queries for government inspection.

The case, which was part of the Justice’s broader effort to resurrect the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA), raised concerns among privacy advocates. While Yahoo and AOL complied with the government’s request, Google went to court to protect what it viewed as private information.

The queries are distinct from the URLs because queries, though not specifically linked to a user’s identity, impact Google’s ability to assure user privacy.

“Overall, we’re pleased that the court saw that queries were private,” Rebecca Jeschke, spokeswoman for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said. “URLs are an end result of a search, but the search terms themselves are what implicate the identity and the privacy of the user.”

Google, which does not plan to appeal the decision, felt confident in calling the ruling a win.

“This is a clear victory for our users and for our company,” Nicole Wong, associate general counsel for Google, wrote on the company’s website. “The fact that the judge sent a clear message about privacy is reassuring. [The] ruling means that neither the government nor anyone else has carte blanche when demanding data from Internet companies.”

According to Jeschke, while the EFF shares Google’s enthusiasm for the victory, privacy advocates should continue to remain concerned.

“Even though Google won this one, they still keep the data, which means that anyone can try again at a later date,” Jeschke told XBiz.

According to the ruling, Google will have to work with the government to set search protocol to select the 50,000 random URLs. However, Google does not have to disclose proprietary information to the government about its search engine. The information generated from the government inquiry will be sealed by court order. The government plans to use this information to prove that COPA is more effective than filtering software in the fight to protect minors from viewing pornographic material online.

More ways to get XBIZ News:  RSS Feeds  |  E-Newsletters  |  Desktop Widget  |  Mobile
Looking for porn star news and behind-the-scene videos? Check out XFANZ.com !


Data Privacy Is Tightening Up in the E.U.

Have you begun preparing for GDPR? If you are like most, you haven’t even heard of GDPR, but also if you are like most, it is going to affect your business, starting May 25, 2018. The GDPR, or General... More »

Could Adult Content Be Banned?

Earlier this month, I met with the Free Speech Coalition’s board of directors for our annual review. Despite the headwinds our industry faces, politically and economically, we are, as an organization,... More »

Cutting Costs in the Spirit of Entrepreneurship

Adult website owners are comprised of two groups: One is comfortable giving up 30-50 percent of their site’s gross sales revenue (aka profit) in exchange for software, hosting and services despite... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ Premiere magazine, the industry's leading adult retail trade publications, delivering the most timely and comprehensive business news and information to producers and retailers of adult products.


XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida

XShow 18+ 2017

Jun 01 - Jun 03
Moscow, Russia

Cam Summit

Jun 02 - Jun 04
Lloret de Mar, Spain
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!