Want to know something cool?

One point of view, taking note of sundry "cool" things that affect-- or could affect-- the education business.


Monday, March 20, 2006

Federal Judge Reads WTSC ... ?

Want to know something cool? The federal judge presiding over the DOJ/Google suit, US District Judge James Ware, must be reading this blog, and specifically, the post about the case. Witness his ruling, handed down late Friday, in the case.

Ware did not force Google to give up search data that could encroach on user privacy. Instead, the judge decided that Google would hand over 50,000 websites that have been "crawled" (or indexed) by the search giant's systems.

In an attempt to ameliorate privacy concerns, DOJ had altered their original request. Rather than a full week's worth of search terms and results, the plaintiffs sought just 5,000. Instead, the judge decided to block the government from gaining access to search terms, and instead ordered Google to hand over records that should serve the DOJ's original intent ... which is to gain a statistical understanding of the frequency with which adult content sites are returned in ostensibly innocuous searches.

This is a win-win-win solution, whereby DOJ can pursue its' aim to shield users from unsolicited pr0n content, Google can claim victory in the never-ending debate over user privacy, and consumers and their search terms remain anonymous to the government. Judge Ware's ruling establishes a solid precedent in favor of privacy, and everyone walks away happy. Clearly Ware was moved to careful consideration after reading the earlier post on this topic in WTKSC. Cool, huh?

Source ...

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