Dear Sir, We See From Your Files . . .

By Andrew Postman
Sunday, January 29, 2006

Dear Ms. Stanhope,

Once again (the fifth time since last week's subpoena!), we must respectfully decline your request to turn over to the Justice Department "one million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period." While we hear your claim that the data are needed to satisfy a Supreme Court demand that you establish a factual record regarding a 1998 federal law -- and not for the purpose of invading the privacy of our customers -- how can we not find this argument disingenuous when you yourself have been lying to us all along? In fact, Ms. Stanhope, though your name has appeared at the bottom of each of the previous e-mails, you are not technically the person who crafted them, now are you? The repeated use of such phrases as "woefully negligent" and "patriotically correct" is characteristic not of you (who rarely employs adjectival phrases in your home Google searches) but rather of your boss, deputy assistant attorney general Bernard Tutley.

Thank you for your inquiry.

David Miller

Associate counsel, Google

Dear Mr. Miller,

And your repeated claim that you cannot release random data because compliance "could endanger [Google's] crown-jewel trade secrets" isn't disingenuous? When, as we speak, Google is trying to get its hands on the trade secrets of three startup search engine competitors, whose search algorithms may ultimately turn out to be nimbler than yours? There are multiple phone records and (legal) wiretap recordings.

Once again, we implore you to turn over the data.

Bernard Tutley

Deputy assistant attorney general

Department of Justice

Mr. Tutley,

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