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Scroogle v. The Patriot Search

I have a new blog-crush: Jonathan B. Wilson, who has performed a terrific roundup of the past week's blawgging on Google's decision to resist federal subpoenas to identify users of Google's online search services. In roundup #41 for Blawg Review, he writes:

"Professor Solove argued in Google, Privacy and Business Records, that the "third party doctrine" in Fourth Amendment jurisprudence -- in combination with Internet technologies -- tends to open the door to privacy far more widely than in the past.  The third party doctrine claims that personal information that is in the hands of a third party is not subject to a reasonable expectation of privacy.  In the Internet world, however, we all have substantial amounts of private data (credit card numbers, social security number, transaction data, search results, e-mail) that are maintained in the hands of third parties (web merchants, banks, transaction processors, search engines, ISPs, etc.

"The issue was quickly dissected by Orin Kerr, writing at The Volokh Conspiracy.   

Professor Geoffrey Manne went one step further, suggesting that Google's refusal to comply with the subpoenas may be financially motivated,   with Google perceiving that consumers would prefer a service that would protect their privacy.

"Alas for Google, its stock dropped about 10% over the past week on the news of its legal troubles.   

"John Walkenbach gives three cheers for Google, but humorously suggests that users who wish to participate more fully in the government's war on terrorism should start using the Patriot Search

"The Patriot Search works just like any other commercial search engine, except that the user's identity and search parameters are immediately transmitted directly to the government for instant analysis. " More here.

I'm much more of a mind to use Scroogle, an anonymous search recommended by Bob Ambrogi. Ambrogi explains that "Its search proxy sends your queries through Google and returns the results free of ads and cookies, circumventing Google's tracking."

But I can't live by Scroogle forever. Which is why I'm with Future Lawyer's recommendation: Time to read news updates from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Start here: EFF Applauds Google Resistance to Government Subpoena.

Posted by Laurel Newby on January 23, 2006 at 03:29 PM | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)


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