Friday, March 17, 2006

Why sue Google when a bit of cash will do the trick?

Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad opens today with a spectacular-sounding story on how Google helps child porn surfers find the right keywords (in Dutch).

Searchers for child porn, it seems, have their own jargon, which is not always easy to follow for outsiders (which is what jargon is all about, of course). But don't panic, Google's here to help. Just use Google's Adwords Suggestion Tools, and for a few dollars you'll be handed the right synonyms on a golden platter.

Funny, that. The US Federal Government at this very moment is suing Google for precisely that kind of information. Did anyone tell them that all they need to do is log in on their Adwords accounts and pull their creditcards?

UPDATE: I went a bit off course here. The US DoJ are suing Google for information on 'innocent' searches, as they want to find out how many of these yield porn and other stuff you don't want your children (or the DoJ) to see. The AD report describes a method that would lead the DoJ to demanding searches from Google. It's quite a scoop, thanks to Dutch search expert and AD editor Henk van Ess.

Van Ess suggests that prosecutors in general and the DoJ in particular should make more use of this type of method, as it can lead them to many kinds of questionable activities, such as drugs and money laundering. An additional bonus is that Google's service also supplies translations in many languages, enabling the user to conduct his research across borders.

Although the service is of at least as much use to criminals as it is to those who hunt them, an idea would be to just remove the objectionable synonyms. This would make life decidedly more difficult for child porn surfers, drug users and the like. In a first reaction, however, Google Netherlands denied it's an issue for them, citing Google's neutrality. (Thanks Peter)

1 comment:

Liara Covert said...

Internet searches can bombard you with an overwhelming amount of information. Of course, some people (honest and dishonest ones) are more saavy about how to narrow a focus and use the system to get what they want. Where laws are typically localized and nation-based, cyberworlds can lead to problems with applying and enforcing regulations effectively.