Only terrorists have something to hide, so from now on I suggest using Patriot Search! instead of Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, or Google. (I added the exclamation mark to their name.)
Regarding the previous entry "Feds want Google search data; got search data from other engines", the motion is in this PDF. Of more interest, the original subpoena, together with a letter from Google's lawyer, is in this PDF.
I wonder how much interesting data mining the government could do with all the web searches even for just a week. How many times, for instance, does the string 'george w bush illegal immigration' come up? What about, for instance, 'mike johanns' (our wonderful secretary of agriculture.
What about, say, 'alberto gonzalez raza'. Wouldn't it be interesting to know how many times people search for that?
What about searches for relationships that the searched names would like to remain secret? For instance, let's say an administration figure had a business (or personal) relationship with some shadowy figure (or sexy intern) thirty years ago. Let's say those two names do not appear together on any web page. In that case, if someone is searching for it, that means that someone else knows...
Oh, the wonderful massaging of the data that could ensue.
Note that AOL, Yahoo!, and MSN are the mystery search engines that complied.
"We are vigorous defenders of our users' privacy... We did not provide any personal information in response to the Justice Department's subpoena. In our opinion this is not a privacy issue."
As for MSN:
"We did comply with their request for data in regards to helping protect children, in a way that ensured we also protected the privacy of our customers... We were able to share aggregated query data (not search results) that did not include any personally identifiable information, at their request."
Privacy · Thu, 01/19/2006 - 22:45 · Importance: 1