Google Behind The Curtain
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Now you can search, comfortable in the knowledge that you are doing so anonymously. Google will no longer indefinitely maintain a database of user queries, IP addresses and cookie details.
In 2006, Google made a stand for privacy against the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ), which sought an index of millions of URLs and a week's worth of search data from the search engine.
The DoJ said it would use the information to measure the effectiveness of filtering software in screening material that is harmful to minors. While America Online, Yahoo and Microsoft complied with the DoJ request, Google challenged the government's request in court.
In a March 2005 ruling, the U.S. District Court in San Jose, Calif., said Google would have to turn over the log of 50,000 URLs to the DoJ, but not any of the data on 5,000 search queries the DoJ requested.
Though Google did not comply with the DoJ, it did comply with 20th Century Fox, responding to a subpoena issued by the U.S. District Court in Northern California. The company disclosed to Fox the identities of two individuals who illegally uploaded entire episodes of "24" prior to its broadcast and DVD release to Google's YouTube.