Internet Privacy in China and the US

Citizens in China and the US can no longer depend on their Internet searches remaining private. Last week the US Justice requested information from four major US search engines on users’ search results. The request, ostensibly to assess the frequency of searches for child pornography and to prevent children from viewing harmful material, raises questions about personal freedom and the right to privacy in the US. But the sweeping nature of the request suggests that the government would not desist from using information to monitor US citizens for other reasons as well. Notably, the request follows allegations that the Bush administration recently overstepped the law in its surveillance of US citizens for anti-terrorism purposes. Out of the four companies, only Google has resisted the demand and has since suffered a drop in stock price. Critics emphasize that, regardless of the outcome of Google’s battle, the dimensions of personal freedom have been significantly altered. – YaleGlobal

Internet Privacy in China and the US

John Shinal
Tuesday, January 24, 2006

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John Shinal is a technology editor for MarketWatch in San Francisco.

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