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3/29/2006
07:14 PM
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn
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Justice Department Spreads Subpoenas

Search engines aren't the only companies being sent subpoenas. As part of its campaign to demonstrate the futility of Internet filtering, the U.S. Department of Justice has subpoenaed at least 34 Internet companies and software makers. The story is now posted on InformationWeek.com. I discovered this thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request I filed with the Department of Justice. The DOJ complied, though r

Search engines aren't the only companies being sent subpoenas. As part of its campaign to demonstrate the futility of Internet filtering, the U.S. Department of Justice has subpoenaed at least 34 Internet companies and software makers. The story is now posted on InformationWeek.com.

I discovered this thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request I filed with the Department of Justice. The DOJ complied, though rather selectively. I asked for records of government demands for information made to search engines or ISPs from January 2005 to the present.What I got was 54 files related to the Department of Justice's COPA litigation. I find it hard to believe the government hasn't approached search engines and ISPs on a broader range of topics than explicit content. Granted, I didn't ask the Criminal Division of the DOJ. That's mostly because I doubted I'd get anything about criminal cases.

I find it somewhat troubling how the government treats the private sector as its private research arm. I'm sure we've not heard the last of this issue.

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