GOOGLE’S RECORDS….Since the Department of Justice has previously gained access to search records from Yahoo and Microsoft, shouldn’t they already have plenty of data to help them make their case about porn searches on the internet? Why then are they still going after Google? Dan Drezner suggests an ulterior motive:

They don’t care about the data for this case as much as they do about establishing a legal precedent and/or intimidating Google into compliance.

That sounds plausible, and it somehow sounded more plausible because I read Dan’s post about two minutes after reading Eszter Hargittai’s valentine to Flickr over at Crooked Timber. The two posts have nothing to do with each other except that they set up the following association in my mind: “Hmmm….porn….images….Flickr….sites that host images….Hmmm….”

I have nothing more profound to say on the subject at the moment, so draw your own conclusions. But I will say one other thing: given the fact that the NSA scandal has put everyone on edge over government spying, DOJ sure picked a lousy time to force this issue, didn’t they? Do you think Congress will be (a) more likely or (b) less likely to vote for expansion of the Patriot Act after their constituents start to understand that it’s not just used for terrorism investigations?

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