Google Subpoena Just Tip Of the Iceberg
The US Department of Justice harassed more than the major search engines for information to support its case for the Child Online Protection Act. A Freedom of Information Act request by Information Week revealed that the DOJ also sought evidence from nearly three dozen ISPs, search engines, and security companies.
Until last week’s report, it was only known by most that Google, MSN, Yahoo!, and AOL were subpoenaed by the DOJ to release searcher information. And then, it may not have been known if Google hadn’t denied that request.
It turns out that a total of 34 companies received governmental inquiries. Among them were EarthLink, LookSmart, AT&T, Comcast, Symantec, Verizon, Bell South, Cox Communication, and Time Warner.
According to the article, at least two companies objected to the request: Cable Systems Corp., who said the request was “overly broad, vague, ambitious, and unduly burdensome;” and Verizon Online, who was concerned about documents being revealed to parties already suing the company like the DOJ and the ACLU.
Google was successful originally in persuading the government to pare down its initial request, but refused to deliver any information until the matter reached the courts. Last month, a federal judge forced Google to release some of the requested information.