Google Controversy – Child Porn Ads, Data Retention Laws, and What Congress Plans to Do About It

With questionably-qualified self-interested politicians in charge of all three branches of government, how can we possibly expect the government to make reasonable decisions? We know how foolishly they deal with illegal immigration policies — making decisions for political, rather than practical or just reasons — yet we still respect their opinions on the stories when it comes to cracking down on issues that are seemingly one-sided like the current Google controversy. Thanks to Google news sources, we know that politicians are quick to criticize companies which are trying to do the right thing, but neglect taking action against those who are actually committing the crimes.

The latest Google news is the whole hubbub about predators viewing child pornography on the Internet, which was initiated by congressmen who figured it would be necessary to engage in IP tracking and data retention. While those who follow Google news already know that there is nothing secret about what you do online, long term data retention is a completely new idea and is utterly ridiculous.

Google news shows that granting such power to law enforcement gives them a blank check to look into your data at any time – even after you have terminated your contract with a DSL or cable internet provider and even if you have never done anything wrong. Sure, according to Google news, the law was designed to protect victims of child pornography and aid the cops in apprehending those who actively view and propagate child porn, but why should the rest of the Internet users need to have their website views scrutinized by some FBI agent with nothing but time on his hands.

This leads us to the Google controversy – Google’s supposed, yet largely unproven, profiteering from child pornography websites. According to some SE news sources, these child porn sites have run ads on Google’s AdWords program (potentially without Google’s knowing it). As you can most likely guess, it wasn’t long until it was brought to the attention of a few congressmen who decided to sue Google because the search engine giant apparently “acted negligently and inflicted emotional distress on the public” according to various Google news outlets. Furthermore, as reported by SE news, if Google loses, they will have to pay significant amounts of money to those who filed the lawsuit.

Ultimately, certain congressmen and countless New York lawyers want nothing more out of Google than a couple of hundred million dollars. Now don’t get me wrong here — those who view child porn rightly deserve to be apprehended and do not deserve to be defended – but when it comes to protecting children, the United States Congress only appears to be interested if they can use it to levy a few fines or earn a few more votes. What happened to holding those who actively view the child porn responsible for their actions? Shouldn’t they be the ones having to pay for their crimes instead of the search engine they happened to use at the time?

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Mary Murtha

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