Google told to reveal Web sites

By Derek Sooman on March 18, 2006, 9:50 AM
The US government's request for Google to hand over a sample of keywords customers use to search the Internet has been denied, but a federal judge has ordered that the company produce some Web addresses indexed in its system. Judge James Ware of the U.S. District for the Northern District of California has ruled that an order compelling Google to disclose search queries of its users the motion is denied, and that the privacy considerations of Google users led him to deny this.

"The court grants the government's motion to compel only as to the sample of 50,000 URLs (Uniform Resource Locators), from Google's search index," the judge ruled, referring to the searchable catalog of documents that form the core of Google's Web search service, the most widely used in the world.

"What his ruling means is that neither the government nor anyone else has carte blanche when demanding data from Internet companies," Nicole Wong, Google's associate general counsel, said in a statement on the company's Web site.

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