Google-peona Ropes In Enterprise?

By Ben Charny  |  Posted 2006-01-23

Enterprises could be hurt by the recently-disclosed fact that search engines turned over users' key words to the feds. Those firms where Internet search is an integral part of the work flow are particularly at risk.

Here's the logic:

The search engines' new level of cooperation makes Internet search terms a routine part of federal or state investigations and prosecutions.

Theoretically, 'Net-focused enterprises will have to keep track of all that search activity just in case the feds come calling for it.

Should corporations do a bad job, it's not hard to imagine another corporate governance law mandating each of these firms saves all its search terms.

The keyword data that Yahoo, AOL and MSN gave the U.S. Department of Justice could be potent evidence for its legal battle to revive an anti-Internet porn law, which also may ensnare corporations.

All that data will, the government believes, show that Web filters and other technologies can't keep Internet-using minors from seeing "harmful" material.

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