Court Ducks, Google Triumphs

The Google Blog has the latest news regarding their legal dispute with the government. Google has successfully limited the scope of this specific request. The federal government is monolithic and moves at a ponderous pace. The legal decision appears to have hinged on the governments failure to describe the value of the information and why it is necessary. Well I’m guessing their next request won’t be as vague. This is the first round in a long battle and the best thing you can say about the dispute is that it is being conducted in broad daylight. I’m no legal pundit but it really feels like the court in this particular case did not extend themselves. So many politicians complain that the courts legislate but this is clearly not one of those cases. The judge ducked the decision indicating that the government can’t support their claims.

The posts closing paragraph is one we’ll be quoting from in the future:

We will always be subject to government subpoenas, but the fact that the judge sent a clear message about privacy is reassuring. What his ruling means is that neither the government nor anyone else has carte blanche when demanding data from Internet companies. When a party resists an overbroad subpoena, our legal process can be an effective check on such demands and be a protector of our users.

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