A Florida lawyer plans to use Google search data to argue that explicit material doesn’t violate community standards, the New York Times reports. Judges and jurors who must decide whether sexually explicit material is obscene are asked to use a local yardstick: Does the material violate community standards? That’s often a tricky question, because there is no simple, concrete way to gauge a community’s tastes and values. Now, the internet might be changing that. In a novel approach, the defense in an obscenity trial in Florida plans to use publicly accessible Google search data to try to persuade jurors that their neighbors have broader interests than they might have thought. In the trial of a pornographic web site operator, the defense plans to show that residents of Pensacola are more likely to use Google to search for terms like "orgy" than for "apple pie" or "watermelon." It is not clear that the approach will succeed. But the tactic is another example of the value of data collected by internet companies such as Google, both from a commercial standpoint and as a window into the thoughts, interests, and desires of internet users…

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