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Government Responds To Google Filing In Anti-Pornography Case

The Justice Department denied requesting information that violates the privacy of Google's users, as the company contended in a recent court filing. Google said the government's request for one million pages from its massive search index could be harmful to the company in numerous ways, particularly by disclosing important trade secrets. Google's refusal is holding up the government's efforts to defend a 1998 act protecting children from pornography. The Justice Department, seeking to highlight flaws in Web filtering technology, said the data, which is being used to conduct a survey in aggregate, would in no way compromise user privacy, and added that Google has failed to link the information to "any supposed trade secrets." Moreover, the government argued that the need for Google's data for the benefit of consumers far outweighed the harm that could be done by disclosing "any alleged trade secrets."

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