The Guardian has a report on Google's refusal to hand over personal data to the White House. The Bush administration are trying to revive the 1998 Child Online Protection Act (COPA) which has been effectively thrown out of every court in the land. I'm rusty on the details (seems like an Internet lifetime since COPA was an issue) but as far as I remember COPA makes it a crime to send any communication that might be "harmful to minors" via the Web, unless the person sending the message has retricted access to minors by requiring credit card details.
This has been considered twice by the US Supreme Court and they decided that the law placed excessive restrictions on adult access to material they had a right to see on the Net. The Supreme Court sent it back down the lower courts for a trial on whether changes in technology should affect the constitutionality of the law.
The request for Google data appears to be a fishing expedition to collect and analyse patterns of Web use to see it that provides further evidence of the need for such a law. MSN and Yahoo! have handed over the required data without a challenge.
Update - The text of COPA reads:
SEC. 231. RESTRICTION OF ACCESS BY MINORS TO MATERIALS COMMERCIALLY DISTRIBUTED BY MEANS OF WORLD WIDE WEB THAT ARE HARMFUL TO MINORS.
"(a) REQUIREMENT TO RESTRICT ACCESS.—
"(1) PROHIBITED CONDUCT.—Whoever knowingly and with knowledge of the character of the material, in interstate or foreign commerce by means of the World Wide Web, makes any communication for commercial purposes that is available to any minor and that includes any material that is harmful to minors shall be fined not more than $50,000, imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both...
"(c) AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE.—
"(1) DEFENSE.—It is an affirmative defense to prosecution under this section that the defendant, in good faith, has restricted access by minors to material that is harmful to minors—
"(A) by requiring use of a credit card, debit account, adult access code, or adult personal identification number;
"(B) by accepting a digital certificate that verifies age; or
"(C) by any other reasonable measures that are feasible under available technology."