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Google Forced to Bend User Privacy!
A U.S. district judge has ordered Google, the Search Engine, to release information about users that use their YouTube service. The major entertainment corporation Viacom won the legal battle against Google, resulting in access for Viacom to information about YouTube users and their "tubing" behavior, i.e. which videos they watch on the YouTube site. The verdict will also give Viacom access to the login-names and IP-addresses of the YouTube users, even though Viacom says that they will not use the information to frame individuals. Viacom may instead use the information in a potential billion dollar copyright lawsuit against Google. Google, the owners of YouTube, defend themselves by stating that they are not liable for the video snippets uploaded by their users, and that there is a U.S. law from 1998 backing them up on that fact. Google does not, however, see the verdict as a total defeat, as Viacom had also demanded access to their YouTube search source code. As if this was not enough, Viacom also requested total access to all YouTube video snippets that are stored by the users in their private locations at YouTube. This request was denied by the judge. According to the judge, it will still be relatively "difficult" for Viacom to identify individuals using only their login names and IP addresses. The Verdict could be regarded as a severe setback when it comes to user privacy, but sadly it's becoming reality, sprung from the Land Of The Free. Happy Independence Day!