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DOJ, Google to spar over search data in federal court

[JURIST] Google goes to federal court on Tuesday - backed by online privacy advocate groups - to fight a Bush administration subpoena [PDF text] that seeks to force the search engine giant to hand over an enormous amount of its user data, including one week's worth of query searches and up to 1 million web addresses. US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales ordered Google to hand over the information as part of a Department of Justice (DOJ) [official website] campaign to re-write and constitutionalize the federal Child Online Protection Act (COPA) [text of 1998 law], overturned by the Supreme Court's 2004 ruling in Ashcroft v. ACLU [text] as a violation of First Amendment free speech protections.

Although the DOJ is refusing to comment on the case, in court briefs it asserted [JURIST report] that the information request was not as widespread as suggested by Google. But Google maintains [JURIST report] that the government's request is unnecessary and will provide absolutely no useful information. US District Judge James Ware will hear opening motions in the case on Tuesday in San Jose. The San Jose Mercury News has local coverage.

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