Feds, Google Battle Over Customer Info

By Ben Charny  |  Posted 2006-01-19

Internet search giant Google Inc. confirmed Thursday it's fighting a Bush administration request to review Google customers' search habits.The administration, via the U.S. Department of Justice, has asked Google for several days' worth of activity at Google's main search site.

The million or so queries the government seeks will serve as the raw material for testing the effectiveness of Web content filters, according to legal documents seen by eWeek.

The test results, plus an examination of the number of times a typical Google user encounters porn, are to be used as evidence in an upcoming trial that could breath new life into a child online privacy law.

A court struck down the law, known as COPA, in 2004 because of concerns over how far-reaching it was.

"Google had lengthy discussions to try to resolve this, but were not able to and we intend to resist vigorously," Google associate general counsel Nicole Wong said, in a statement.

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