[funsec] Justice Department Subpoenas Reach Far Beyond Google
Richard M. Smith
rms at bsf-llc.com
Thu Mar 30 08:16:54 CST 2006
Justice Department Subpoenas Reach Far Beyond Google
In its effort to uphold the Child Online Protection Act, the U.S. Department
of Justice is leaving no stone unturned. In addition to America Online, MSN,
and Google, the government has demanded information from at least 34
Internet service providers, search companies, and security software firms,
InformationWeek learned through a Freedom of Information Act request.
By Thomas Claburn
Mar 29, 2006 06:00 PM
In its effort to uphold the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA), the
U.S. Department of Justice is leaving no stone unturned. Its widely reported
issuance of subpoenas to Internet search companies AOL, MSN, Google, and
Yahoo is just the tip of the iceberg: The government has demanded
information from at least 34 Internet service providers, search companies,
and security software firms.
Responding to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by InformationWeek,
the Department of Justice disclosed that it has issued to subpoenas to a
broad range of companies that includes AT&T, Comcast Cable, Cox
Communications, EarthLink, LookSmart, SBC Communications (then separate from
AT&T), Symantec, and Verizon.
Asked which companies objected to, or sought to limit, these subpoenas,
Department of Justice spokesperson Charles Miller declined to comment
because the litigation is ongoing. He also declined to comment on the
utility of the information gathered by the government.
The documents presented to InformationWeek reveal that some companies did
object to the government's demands. In an E-mail sent to the Department of
Justice last July, Fernando Laguarda, an attorney representing Cablevision
Systems Corp., characterized some of what the government was asking for as
"overly broad, vague, ambitious, and unduly burdensome."
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