I just came across a great primer on internet privacy as well as some other great articles at Adam Fields’ blog. If you are wondering what the big hubub about Google, Yahoo, and MSN Search being asked for their search logs was all about, give Adam’s blog a read. It is chock full of good info and he writes so that my mother can understand what he is talking about. While what the government was asking for may not be traceable to you by itself, it could easily be traceable by overlaying that data on top of other data. Just like TRW and the other big boys of information do every day (you would be amazed at what kind of lists you can buy from these companies after they cross-reference a few lists), the government could easily do this by asking for the same types of log files from ISPs (if they don’t have access to them already via their “black boxes” or whatever they are called). I don’t want to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but there is a reason the burden is on the government to make their case in front of a judge to get access to these types of things. My 2 cents.
*Update* I just found this thread over at Boing Boing and it sounds like a good idea. I would like to see what AOL, Microsoft and Yahoo released as well. Let’s all take a peek at what they gave Uncle Sam.