Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Reasons to love the huge media conglomerate that is Google

It's a hobby for librarians to bash Google. It's like construction workers visiting strip bars. It's just something we do.

Here's the rub. Librarians also like to howl furiously when the government tries to stick its nose into people's reading habits, library materials or search engine logs. And with good reason, as it seems that we are pretty out-numbered in the howling furiously for privacy department.

Google, read here for background, received a request from the Justice Department to see the records it keeps of users' searches. DOJ said the request was pursuant to enforcing the Child Online Protection Act. Google told Justice to take their subpoena and cram it where the Fourth Amendment still shines, forcing the Attorney General to move up the federal appelate ladder in order to get the records.

What we have here is a huge corporation, Google, using its clout, money and flesh-eating lawyers to rebuff the government's advances into our private lives. They are doing what ALA never could.

But librarians heap scorn on them for kowtowing to China and censoring search results. Fair enough.

But where is the praise for their defense of the freedom of Americans to read and think in peace and privacy?

I like google as a company, but they do scare me a bit. If our government ever wants to do bigtime snooping on its citizins google is definately where it will start.
Thanks for reading, Gary. Which is why I'm glad that Google decided to fight the subpoena. If they cave it will be huge.

I'm thinking that ALA could make some meaningful partnership with Google, around this issue and others.

Nah, that might be useful. Better stick to pointless outrage and back-patting.
I'm to the point where I feel like the people (collectively) in this country have allowed so much raping of our rights that if Google loses, I think it's time to pack it up, move away and start over. But where to go?
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