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DOJ seeks Google compliance with subpoena for search records

[JURIST] The US Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] has filed a motion [PDF text] in federal court seeking to compel Internet search giant Google [corporate website] to comply with a subpoena issued last summer. The subpoena requests that Google provide a "multi-stage random sample of one million URLs" and the text of search strings entered into Google databases over a one week period. Google has refused to comply, citing its privacy policy [text]. The DOJ wants the data in order to prepare a defense of the constitutionality of the Child Online Protection Act [text], which has been blocked from enforcement since 1998 as too broad. In its 2004 decision in Ashcroft v. ACLU [text; JURIST report], the US Supreme Court ruled that the law, which seeks to limit children's access to "material deemed harmful to minors", is likely an unconstitutional violation of free speech and remanded the case for findings on what technology would allow adults to see and buy the material while keeping it out of the hands of children. The DOJ has requested similar information from other search engines, and those engines, including Yahoo!, have complied with the subpoenas. AP has more.

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