2006/03/31

DoJ Muscles More Than Search Engines

At first it looked like the DoJ was just going after records from the major search engines--Yahoo, Google, MSN, AOL, et al--but Information Week reports that actually the list was much more extensive. In all 34 companies had their records subpoenaed -
...companies subpoenaed by the Department of Justice includes: 711Net (Mayberry USA), American Family Online, AOL, AT&T, Authentium, BellSouth, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable Company, Computer Associates, ContentWatch, Cox Communications, EarthLink, Google, Internet4Families, LookSmart, McAfee, MSN, Qwest, RuleSpace, S4F (Advance Internet Management), SafeBrowse, SBC Communications, Secure Computing Corp., Security Software Systems, SoftForYou, Solid Oak Software, SurfControl, Symantec, Time Warner, Tucows (Mayberry USA), United Online, Verizon, and Yahoo.
Notice anything interesting about that list? Like the presence of many of the major firewall and security software vendors, such as McAfee, S4F, SafeBrowse, Secure Computing Corp., SurfControl, and Symantec.

These companies don't provide search or connectivity and consequently shouldn't have logs that the DoJ could use to bolster their COPA defense. But personal firewall software does monitor Internet traffic and sometimes provides browser privacy protection. Virus software does scan the contents of your files. So here's the conundrum: If your security software isn't tattling on you--reporting back to the "mothership", so to speak--why is the DoJ muscling the vendors? What do they hope to find?

Looks to me like the DoJ is interested in more than the "anonymized" surfing habits of people looking for kiddie porn on the Internet.

8 Comments:

Big Brother is watching, and he's looking closer and closer. What's next?
Tom, not sure I've seen you here before. So...welcome! As for "What's next?" How about this.

(Thanks for the great segue. :-) )
Old fashioned paper and pencils will be making a comeback soon, along with two tin cans and a string!!
i'm shocked, SHOCKED! that this is the case!
Old fashioned paper and pencils will be making a comeback soon, along with two tin cans and a string!!

Nope, can't encrypt anything on a string, unless you're really...really dedicated. :-)
That is a great blog post.

I read a different summary article off the wire, and the trial on the case, assuming this doesn't drag it out, is for early october.

Think some enterprising Republican candidate is going to talk about how the out of control judiciary is keeping our children exposed to filth?

Mike
That is a great blog post.

I read a different summary article off the wire, and the trial on the case, assuming this doesn't drag it out, is for early october.


Thanks Mike. Actually Google, the only one to fight the subpeonas so far, has already been ordered to turn over information by the 9th Circuit.
I knew something stunk about that deal but couldn't quite figure out what. Somehow child porn just didn't to fit. I kept telling myself, there must be more. I knew I was not seeing the whole picture, but didn't know how. I didn't know how many companies they were after. Thanks for filling in the missing pieces.

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