Google, U.S. Clash Over Online Searches

Posted on January 20, 2006 

Google, U.S. Clash Over Online Searches

Google Inc. is rebuffing the Bush administration’s demand for a peek at what millions of people have been looking up on the Internet’s leading search engine — a request that underscores the potential for online databases to become tools of the government.

Mountain View-based Google has refused to comply with a White House subpoena first issued last summer, prompting U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales this week to ask a federal judge in San Jose for an order to force a handover of the requested records.

The government wants a list all requests entered into Google’s search engine during an unspecified single week — a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks 1 million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases.

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