The Bush administration on Wednesday asked a federal judge to order Google to turn over a broad range of material from its closely guarded databases.
The move is part of a government effort to revive an Internet child protection law struck down two years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court. The law was meant to punish online pornography sites that make their content accessible to minors. The government contends it needs the Google data to determine how often pornography shows up in online searches.
In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in San Jose, Justice Department lawyers revealed that Google has refused to comply with a subpoena issued last year for the records, which include a request for 1 million random Web addresses and records of all Google searches from any one-week period.
"We are trying to gather up information in order to help the enforcement of a federal law to ensure the protection, quite frankly, of our nation's children against pornography," Gonzales said in Washington on Friday.
"We are not asking for the identity of Americans."
The Justice Department has not asked for names or computer addresses. But the search-engine subpoenas reinforced concerns about how much personal information the government should be entitled to.