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3/30/2006
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FOIA Request: DOJ Subpoena Highlights

A Freedom of Information Act request reveals that the DOJ actually subpoenaed at least 34 companies in its bid to collect data in support of the Child Online Protection Act.

The U.S. Department of Justice has gone far beyond Google, MSN, and AOL in its quest to justify the anti-pornography Child Online Protection Act: The DOJ actually subpoenaed at least 34 Internet service providers, search companies, and security software firms.

InformationWeek obtained copies of the subpoenas, replies, and other supporting documents through a Freedom of Information Act request. Here are some highlights:

* Letter from a Verizon Online attorney to the Justice Department. This is an interesting elaboration of Verizon's objections to the subpoena. Recall that Verizon also fought turning over information about its subscribers to the RIAA.

* Google subpoena. Widely available online, this subpoena is noteworthy because of its scope. The Justice Department asks for all the URLs in Google index and two months of queries.

* Symantec subpoena. The Symantec subpoena contains the same boilerplate found in most of the other subpoenas directed at companies with filtering software. Consider how long it would take you to produce the 29 categories of information demanded by the DOJ.

* Comcast subpoena. A typical subpoena.

* Download all the documents. Download all 54 documents into a Zip archive.

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