OT: Google subpoenaed

Coursedesign wrote on 1/19/2006, 12:35 PM
The Bush administration has subpoenaed Google Inc. records of "all Google searches from any one-week period" [my emphasis], and more.

Google has refused to comply with the subpoena so far, but many are still concerned not only about their searches but also about their requests for driving directions, etc.

God forbid you should search for "the meaning of islam", "breast" (for breast cancer research which has been denied access in many library filters), or ask for directions to a business you need to visit, and miss one digit of the street address so it points to a mosque, Chinese travel agency, a meth lab, or whatever else some bureaucrat decides is the threat du jour. This could lead to your phone calls being tapped, your mail opened, and/or worse (as has already happened to a few innocent people who were released after several months with minimal apologies).

Land of the free? It's more like we've become the land with the successors to NKVD, KGB, Stasi and other Iron Curtain totalitarian "security agencies."

So, the stated purpose in the Google subpoena must be the so called "war on terror," right?


It is for Google to give up their customer's privacy for the purpose of helping the Bush administration try to prove that reviving COPA would be more effective than using filtering software.

(The Child Online Protection Act said adults have to register for an access code to prove they're adults (duh!), this for "porn" sites, defined as what somebody might find offensive after the fact. The latter is a novel legal concept that spits and worse on the U.S. constitution.)

Full article


Bob Greaves wrote on 1/19/2006, 1:05 PM
I doubt I will ever be a Democrat but seeing George Bush in Binghamton NY when he ran the first time was the start of my two year process of discovering I am no longer a life-long Republican. I found it beyond belief that Republicans who had actually met him would support him.
mjroddy wrote on 1/19/2006, 1:46 PM
This really isn't the right forum to chat about this kind of thing, so I usually avoid it. But I love that prople are tollerent of this exact thing here.
That being said, I have to agree about our liberties and freedoms being no-so-slowly taken away. It's my belief that living in a Free World is a dangerous thing. Anyone who wants to make it perfectly safe is planning on taking away a fraction of basic freedom. It bothers me. If I didn't love America so much, it would bother me as much as it does.
Coursedesign wrote on 1/19/2006, 1:50 PM
I remember from long-ago history classes that several European kings over the last 800 years or so were in a similar situation.

Affable guys who were severely manipulated by advisors with their own agendas.

The advisors wanted to get drunk on power over other people, but realized they couldn't do it without "a nice guy to carry the flag" walking in front of them.

I think Bush understands this, but is feeling powerless to do anything about it.

It was most likely his father who set up the current cabinet for him, conceivably with an eye towards getting even with an old adversary (perhaps a 60-70% likelyhood, but I don't expect we'll ever know).

craftech wrote on 1/19/2006, 1:50 PM
I found it beyond belief that Republicans who had actually met him would support him.
You don't have much of a choice. The media never discussed the Oath of Loyalty Republicans had to sign during the campaign in order to stand before and listen to our president. The audacity of his campaign in doing it in the first place and the secrecy by the media regarding the entire situation is sickening. Now you know why he never had any hecklers when he spoke (or attempted to).

Republican Party meetings are interesting these days as the number of rabble rousers (myself included) has increased dramatically in the past year.

farss wrote on 1/19/2006, 2:11 PM
Simple fix I would think, Google et al stop keeping any records and the problem is solved.
Coursedesign wrote on 1/19/2006, 2:22 PM
That Oath of Loyalty will go down in history for sure, it really stinks to high heaven.

The wording is really priceless, and it makes me think of a Danziger editorial cartoon in the L.A. Times today:

Entrance to Oval Office with open door. Sign on wall "Wipe feet before entering". Floor mat text "The Law". In the oval office we see a desk with a sneering Cheney, and a smiling Bush at his side with a sideways Napoleon hat with a big "W".

The L.A. Times has mentioned that only screened cheerers were admitted to see Bush appearances here, but I didn't see any mention of an Oath.

Did you know that laugh tracks were invented not by American television producers, but by the French, centuries ago?

Theaters hired paid laughers, applauders, and "Bravo!" criers to boost sales, and I think English Music Halls picked it up a variation of this soon afterwards.

And now we know why Bush thinks the whole country agrees with him, wherever he goes.

Contrary to popular opinion, I don't think Bush is that stupid, and I have a lot of compassion for him.

It's definitely time for the Republican Elephant to sit down on the miscreants who have destroyed the party.

Ditto for the Democratic Ass, er, Donkey who needs to use a hoof or two to give a bum's rush to the wackos in that party.

vitalforce2 wrote on 1/19/2006, 3:18 PM
Maybe the Republican elephant should be replaced by the ostrich with its head in the sand....

Just wait till someone tries to discredit a candidate for office by leaking information about a Google search for porn.

But in the long run don't worry all. The Constitution works. Three branches, set up to battle each other ad infinitum. It's a rough balance and it takes time, but it will work.
FrigidNDEditing wrote on 1/19/2006, 3:24 PM
"and the secrecy by the media regarding the entire situation is sickening"

I couldn't agree more - but it goes both ways - the media is crap - they have been for years, and I don't take much of anything they say at face value - Polls are hacked apart to show what they want - they take half truths and wrap them up and sell them to the public as the way the world is. They are useless - and I don't care which side you're on. That's just the truth - not a single one, NOT ONE, of these lame news programs are ever completely reliable, and usually they're not even half reliable to tell an unbaised opinion, and I don't care who you listen to, or where they are. I've had it with them, and I don't watch TV news anymore for the most part. I go to blogs, and news websites. Mix and match and try and get the whole story as close as I can. NEWS? - Propaganda is more like it. Propaganda to line executive pockets with money, by getting ratings etc...

The news has been liberal for a long time, and if you think they're not - you're fooling yourselves. Not that they will not cover anyone's butt. I've seen so much bull crap come out of those reporters "mouths" (crap holes in their heads spewing dung all over the place) that I can't stand to watch that garbage any more. I don't care who they're covering for - I don't care what Bias they have - I have no use for them anymore.

The funny thing is, that they know it - Blogs, and the internet - have rangled them in considerably more than what it could be right now, but they're so full of BS that I don't know how anyone can trust them at all.

(BTW - in order to not let this degrade (as it always does) I will not respond to any posts in this thread anymore, and more than likely will not even read it beyond this point).

That's all I have to say on the subject
winrockpost wrote on 1/19/2006, 3:31 PM
................BTW - in order to not let this degrade (as it always does) I will not respond to any posts in this thread anymore, and more than likely will not even read it beyond this point).

Soooo, why did you bother at all,, come on man , havent had a good politics post in , well since Katrina i think. republicans are moral idiots after control, democrats are tree hugging morons taxing us to death ,, have some fun,, solve all the worlds problems on an editing forum !!! Take a stand and then run,, geeze. :)
busterkeaton wrote on 1/19/2006, 3:50 PM
But in the long run don't worry all. The Constitution works. Three branches, set up to battle each other ad infinitum. It's a rough balance and it takes time, but it will work.

However it's not working right now, all three branches of government are currently controlled by the same party. They have colluded to expand the governement and expand Presidential power. The President has not vetoed a single bill, the Congress has not checked expanding presidential powers or exercised rigorous oversight of the executive branch. The whole shebang was set up when the Supreme Court issued a ruling that they said was wholely unique and it never should be used as precedent.

The first time the Congress stood up to the President's wishes was on Social Security which was the President's #1 priority in the second term, but was immensely unpopular with the voters. Remember when we were told the second investigation into Pre-war intelligence was going to happen? I remember about ten years ago, multiple overlapping Senate, House and Independent Counsel investigations into Whitewater which happened in the mid-80's.

Think of what happens when you play ball. We have a bad situation in Iraq where all our options look terrible and three men who helped contribute to that Tommy Franks, Paul Bremer and George Tenet were given The Presidential Medal of Freedom. What about when you stand up and try to right the situation, you can fill in the many instances of smears and attacks that have happened in the past few year. It makes it a lot more attractive to play ball.

I think the other posters are right to wonder what happened to the Republican party. The crowd that is running things in the White House, particulary on foreign policy were the junior varsity team in prior Republican administrations. They were kept in check by the "grownups" who used to refer to these people as "the crazies in the basement." In Gulf War 1, Schwarzkopf used 500,000 troops to kick Iraq out of Kuwait and he wouldn't let Defense Secretary Cheney monkey with the war plan. This war we used 1/3 the number of troops invade and occupy Iraq, a much more complicated act. Cheney, who brought Rumsfeld into this administration, has had his fingerprints all over this war and it's been terrible. Douglas Feith, perhaps the craziest member of the basement, when he was hiring people to run postwar specifically would not pick someone if they spoke Arabic! We ended up with probably the youngest and most inexpercience staff of any reconstruction effort the US has ever tried. Language problems is right up there with insufficient number of troops as our number one problem in Iraq.
Coursedesign wrote on 1/19/2006, 4:10 PM
At least now more and more states are opting out of the huge new federal Medicare Part D prescription drug program, even Texas!

They are doing it because it is possibly the most mismanaged federal program in the last 100 years, and because they were getting billed by the Feds through what is actually called "claw-back". It's almost funny.

A recent Roper poll, quoted in the L.A. Times, showed that the American public "trusted PBS more than the courts." (I don't think it was sponsored by PBS either, but I haven't verified this.)

RalphM wrote on 1/19/2006, 4:17 PM
Oops Coursedesign,

You've hijacked your own thread?

I helped my mother-in-law decipher the new med plan. Not a problem if you have internet skills. I urge all to volunteer at a local center which helps seniors figure out the costs for them.

without the ability to compare several plans on-line it would be difficult to figure out which is better.

I guess this thread is now OT squared?
Coursedesign wrote on 1/19/2006, 4:32 PM

No, it was in response to the pessimism expressed about the media and the three branches of government. Currently, the states are coming on strong as a "fourth branch." This is not the first time either. In the 1980s especially, the states were quite active in making sure that the feds were not messing up stuff they shouldn't.

If you truly understand Plan D, you should definitely volunteer your services.

Pharmacists say they don't understand it. MDs say they don't understand it. People who have been working in the medical insurance field for more than 20 years say they don't understand it even for themselves, never mind anybody else.

The web site with plan comparisons has been deemed incomprensible by the many seniors it's meant for, because they are not used to this "newfangled web thing." The site had a couple of long false starts also with it not working properly.

What makes it truly impossible to feel confident that you have chosen the best plan provider is the lack of structure in the Plan D regs as currenlty written.

The different plans are so different that they can't be intelligently compared without making a lot of assumptions about things you know little or nothing about. On top of that, it is painful to change plan providers.

RalphM wrote on 1/19/2006, 4:46 PM
Your last statement is probably the biggest problem with the initiative. I have seen this problem with family members, and I'm beginning to recognize it in myself. Change itself is very uncomfortable as we age...

Many states have put forth much effort to counsel seniors. I was shocked when my mother-in-law contacted the state (KS) for information and received unsolicited follow up twice to make sure she understood the options.

p@mast3rs wrote on 1/19/2006, 6:10 PM
You all just knew I was going to post on this thread now didnt you? My indepth response to come later if this doesnt end up locked before then. :)
TheHappyFriar wrote on 1/19/2006, 7:07 PM
quick two questions....

a) is it even legal to ask for a subpoena before you need it?

b) why do they even need to ask? If it's belived a national emergency the president can eigther tell google to give them the info or just have the NSA take care of it.

Does this lead us to belive that Google has bigger, more powerfull computers then the US Govt? I seriously thought that pretty much everything on the net was stored there (hey, it's out there, it's unencrypted, anyone can look, right?). Besides, search's are considered priviate info. If it was then why would they be stored in the history & cookies kept on them?
Coursedesign wrote on 1/19/2006, 7:37 PM

See my initial post for the explanation.

If Bush was to ask for somebody else's information that was not at the
"gasp, nuclear-missiles-are-going-to-land-here-in-5-hours" level
without a court order, I think he would probably be nixed.
Coursedesign wrote on 1/19/2006, 9:01 PM
This just in.

Yahoo said they have already complied with a similar subpoena, and MSN (#3 in web search) said the company "works closely with law enforcement officials worldwide to assist them when requested."

So, Google is the hero here for a change, and MSN and Yahoo are the weasels.

Recently, Yahoo surrendered the personal address of a Chinese man who had posted a protest against a particularly totalitarian government action, probably to not risk their business in China. The poor guy was immediately hauled off to prison and he is likely still being tortured (very common in China for just allegations of some crime).
Wes C. Attle wrote on 1/20/2006, 3:17 AM
It gives me a (nearly) unrivaled deep personal satisfaction when I get to see Republicans complain about Junior (Bush). :-)

On a side note, since the post 9/11 mentality began, American corporate ISP's and Internet portal/search companies have been providing user tracking data on-demand to law enforcement authorities (even in other countries) without questioning the reason for the request. In some internal company business review meetings, these actions have been reported on PowerPoint slides as "highlights".

In fact, new procedures have been implemented within these companies to increase the amount of tracking and the time which this tracking data is archived. This has been well reported in the less-than-main-stream media and experienced by those who happen to work for such companies. Failure to comply with these government requests in the post 9/11 era can result in all sorts of costs, investigations/audits, and other sudden "problems" for any company.

On the bright side, local law enforcement agencies have also used this data to track down kidnapers, drug dealers and other evil wrong-doers...
farss wrote on 1/20/2006, 3:56 AM
So far all I'm feeling is that the bad guys have won, we've let our leaders convince us that they're something to be terrorfied of when in fact the only rational approach to their actions should be no different to a natural disaster. We have no control over nature or determined terrorists, sure we can exercise common sense, don't stand under trees during a storm, question bags left in public places etc.
By showing them we are indifferent to their evil we rob them of power, we can use the most potent weapon we all posses, ourselves, when they see that they cannot change who we are and how we behave they are powerless, they have no way to win.
Spending a trillion dollars on a pointless war and depriving us of our civil liberties accords them a status they do not deserve. Quite literaly, if we ignore them they'll probably go away.
Jay Gladwell wrote on 1/20/2006, 5:13 AM

Bob, ignoring such things was never a solution. Remember the quote: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." That's exactly what's been happening, too many have ignored too much for too long, and evil has triumphed.

Are the Republicans perfect? No! They are far from it. Are the Democrats perfect? No! They are far from it. The fact is both parties are so corrupt and disfunctional that they both are worthless. Both parties have lost sight of who the boss is. The tail truly is wagging the dog.

All of the problems the United States of America (which, by the way, is a Republic, not a democracy) has accumulated over the past 100+ years--each and every single one--can be laid at the door step of the Republican and Democratic parties. Each has promised change. Each has promised a better this or that. And what do we have to show today? Nothing gets better, there is no improvement, and things are getting worse because the People have done nothing. They continue to ignore the problem, hoping that 1) it will go away, or 2) that it will get better. We have no one to blame but ourselves for the "state of the Union."

The government is too big, neither party has fixed it.

Taxes are too high, neither party has fixed it.

Health care is too expensive, neither party has fixed it.

There are too many laws impeding our liberties, neither party has fixed it.

The National debt is too high, neither party has fixed it.

Education and literacy are at an all-time low, neither party has fixed it.

Jobs are leaving the country at an alarming rate, neither party has fixed it.

Illegal aliens are entering the country at an alarming rate, neither party has fixed it.

The value of the dollar continues to diminish, neither party has fixed it.

The corruption of our leaders (both parties) is rampant, neither party has fixed it.

I could go on, but do I need to?

John Jay, one of America's Founding Fathers, said "Those who own the country ought to govern it." We were told we shall have the government we deserve.

Laurence wrote on 1/20/2006, 5:28 AM
I'm a moderate _________. The word "moderate" is more important than the name of whatever party might follow it. Right now the moderates don't have the control of either party.
Orcatek wrote on 1/20/2006, 5:38 AM
Heck all the goverment needs is a few packet sniffers placed just outside google and they can collect all the data themselves. Surprised they even bothered to ask.

PumiceT wrote on 1/20/2006, 6:18 AM
As our civil liberties are being slowly taken away in a supposed effort towards safety, it makes me feel that a civil war isn't so unthinkable.

Predictions made by John Titor may have seemed completely ridiculous back in 2001, but who knows now? Sure, nearly all of his timelines have come and gone, but it still could make you wonder.

The cities versus the farmlands? Those who accept random searches as part of an effort towards security, against those who will not allow their privacy to be invaded at any cost.

I have nothing to hide if the government thinks there's some terror-cell in my neighborhood. They can check my basement, my garage, etc. I'd rather not be unknowingly harboring terrorists. One would imagine a reply of "no, no one is living here except me and my dog," would be sufficient, but on the other hand, what reply would you expect from someone who, in fact, was hiding people?