Saturday, May 21, 2022

US court sets date for Google hearing

Google Inc. attorneys will square off against the U.S. Departmentof Justice (DOJ) at a Feb. 27 hearing over the issue of providingthe government with information about searches for pornography onthe company’s site.

U.S. District Court Judge James Ware on Thursday set that hearingdate in the case, which will be heard in the U.S. District Courtfor the Northern District of California in San Jose. U.S. AttorneyGeneral Alberto Gonzales filed a motion in that court to compelGoogle to comply with a subpoena for search records. The DOJ claimsthat it needs the records to bolster its argument that a federallaw is more effective than filtering software when it comes torestricting access by children under the age of 18 to pornographiccontent on the Internet.

Google has refused to provide the records, which the governmentsays it requires for its defense of a lawsuit brought in 1998 bythe American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) challenging the ChildOnline Protection Act, which is meant to keep minors from accessingWeb sites with sexually explicit content. The ACLU contends thatthe act violates the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment right tofreedom of speech.

A Pennsylvania district court granted a motion for a preliminaryinjunction, which was affirmed in 2000 by an appeals court.However, the case then went to the U.S. Supreme Court, whichvacated the appellate ruling and sent it back to the appeals court.The appeals court again affirmed the preliminary injunction. Afteranother Supreme Court review, the case was sent back for trial,leading the DOJ to subpoena Google, America Online Inc., MicrosoftCorp.’s MSN and Yahoo Inc. for search records. All of the companiesbesides Google complied, to some degree or other, with thesubpoenas.

Privacy advocates and search-engine users are among those watchingthe case with keen interest.

The Feb. 27 hearing will begin at 9 a.m. Besides setting that date,Ware also set a Feb. 6 date for Google to file its response inopposition to the DOJ’s motion to compel and a Feb. 13 date for theDOJ to file its reply to whatever Google has to say.

Would you recommend this article?

Share

Thanks for taking the time to let us know what you think of this article!
We'd love to hear your opinion about this or any other story you read in our publication. Click this link to send me a note →

Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

Related Tech News

Our experienced team of journalists and bloggers bring you engaging in-depth interviews, videos and content targeted to IT professionals and line-of-business executives.