And it would be different if I thought that law enforcement would consider that the people searching for "Islamic militant web forums" might simply be trying to understand the world. But I don't. This data will be used to "prove" that the Internet is crawling with child pornographers and terrorists.
Someday AOL's information should be put into the public domain for anthropologists and cultural researchers of the future. That future, however, is probably decades if not a century away. The data is too close to us now — too easily weaponized. Nevertheless, I hold out hope that one day our search queries will illuminate us and provide for another generation a digital outline of our daily desires. SFBG