Big brother is alive and well and up to some new tricks. W and friends are now demanding that Google give them free reign to rummage through their databases.

The government wants a list all requests entered into Google’s search engine during an unspecified single week – a breakdown that could conceivably span tens of millions of queries. In addition, it seeks 1 million randomly selected Web addresses from various Google databases.

The feds, of course, claims the “request” is no big deal.

Although the government says it isn’t seeking any data that ties personal information to search requests, the subpoena still raises serious privacy concerns, experts said, especially considering recent revelations that the White House authorized eavesdropping on domestic civilian communications after the Sept. 11 attacks without obtaining court approval.

To Google’s credit, they are telling the feds to buzz off. Unfortunately, other unnamed search engines have already caved.

So, where does it end? At what point has a government collected enough information about its citizens? If history is any indication, people in power have a pretty open-ended appetite for this kind of data.

privacy rights, google