Odd Google searching

I was listening to NPR yesterday and they were talking about the federal government trying to get google to turn over their search records. If you haven't heard this story, the federal government is trying to get google, and other search engines, to turn over their records on what things people have searched for. They want the information to support their approach to fighting online porn. Google is refusing.

At first I was like ok, I don't do anything wrong, so what's the big deal to me? Then they mentioned something that got me thinking. They talked about how the last story was about a lady who wrote a musical about the long term affects of child abuse. They said I wonder what her searches looked like while she was researching. That got me thinking, sure, I and other may not be doing anything wrong, but there are many searches that when taken out of context, send up red flags. I thought about the same thing tonight in my Sunday School class. One of the other people was doing some research for us and one of the things he searched for was "biblical prostitutes." Searches like that could easily send up red flags.

They also talked about how different the medium of the internet is. Many use the internet to just wander. Clicking on one thing leads to another and another and again without the background info, it could send up red flags. It is also easy to click on the wrong thing. It is easy to click on something labeled very normal, and end up somewhere you don't want to be. Or to accidentally click on a pop up add that pops up just as you are clicking on something else. How would the government be able to deal if a search or click is deliberately or accidentally? The government could easily spend an awful lot of time chasing down the wrong people.

Sure, online porn is something that needs to be dealt with, but can't we find a better way to do so?

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