The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) handed down subpoenas to a number of Internet service providers and technology companies along with the one it issued to Google that eventually led to the search company’s partially successfully court case defending itself against the request for information, the Associated Press reports via the New York Post.
The DoJ issued the subpoenas in hopes of obtaining records that will help it in another court case defending a controversial law meant to protect children from harmful online materials.
The finding was first reported by InformationWeek after it obtained the subpoenas under the Freedom of Information Act, according to the AP.
The government subpoenaed at least 34 additional firms, including popular ISPs Comcast and EarthLink, the AP reports.
So far, it’s unknown which companies have complied, and to what extent, according to the AP.
Dan Jude, president of Security Software Systems, a producer of filtering software, said his company received a subpoena, and his 12-person staff devoted more than 40 hours to compliance efforts, according to the AP. Security Software Systems did not hand over all requested records for proprietary reasons, the AP reports.
Regarding the legal costs associated with the case, Jude told the AP, “That money could be spent so much more wisely on giving software away to parents that are having these problems” with inappropriate Web content.
Verizon Communications, AT&T and Symantec also received subpoenas, the AP reports.
The child protection law the government is attempting to defend would criminalize any online material that is found to be “harmful to children,” with the definition of “harmful” to be based on “contemporary community standards,” according to the AP. Critics of the law say that definition is too broad and is open to interpretation.
For related news coverage, read Judge: Google Must Hand Over Index Data and Google Subpoena Debated in Court.
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