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January 20, 2006

MSN, AOL, Yahoo provide data for porn probe, Google refuses

Posted by David Hunter at 11:07 AM ET.

Michael Bazeley and Howard Mintz at the Mercury News:

Yahoo, Microsoft and America Online all complied with a government request for data on consumers’ Web searches, a Justice Department official said Thursday.

Court documents and sources maintain the information did not compromise users’ privacy.

But Google has refused to accede to government’s demand, and on Wednesday the Bush administration asked a San Jose federal judge to force the Mountain View search company to comply with the subpoena.

A source close to the case told the Mercury News that the government specifically asked that the companies not turn over information that could be traced back to the identities of the companies’ users. The source said the government was seeking information that would demonstrate what happens when people search for child pornography online.

More by following the link and Danny Sullivan at SearchEngineWatch has many more details.



Filed under AOL, Coopetition, General Business, Google, Governmental Relations, Legal, MSN, MSN Search, Privacy, Public Relations, Yahoo

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One Response to “MSN, AOL, Yahoo provide data for porn probe, Google refuses”

  1. Microsoft News Tracker » Microsoft defends response to porn probe Says:

    [...] After the furor last week about Microsoft, AOL and Yahoo providing search engine data in response to a Justice Department subpoena in a legal case related to Internet pornography, Ken Moss, Microsoft’s General Manager – MSN Web Search, defended the action at MSN Search’s WebLog. Excerpt: Over the summer we were subpoenaed by the DOJ regarding a lawsuit. The subpoena requested that we produce data from our search service. We worked hard to scope the request to something that would be consistent with this principle. The applicable parties to the case received this data, and the parties agreed that the information specific to this case would remain confidential. Specifically, we produced a random sample of pages from our index and some aggregated query logs that listed queries and how often they occurred. Absolutely no personal data was involved. [...]

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