"After reading an article[fr] (English language version) presenting a new Google initiative to map deforestation, I encountered a surprise when globalforestwatch.org opened with a Terms Of Service page! Not a small two-line 'we're in beta' terms of service page, a full multi-page lawyer-dream EULA. And when clicked on agree, I got a pop-up asking me to agree again!
Since we all know that all information has to be proven 100% correct and safe before being published on the web, have you noticed EULAs in other no-login sites? Why are Google's lawyers getting in the way when it's about important scientific data?"
By clicking "I agree", you are bound by the terms of this Agreement. If you choose not to click on "I agree" you will be redirected from this website ("Site"). Your use of any portion of the Site, any information or data provided on the Site, or any services made available through the Site (the "Services") is subject to the terms and conditions set forth herein.
Not true. Clicking on "I do not agree" creates an infuriating refresh loop.
On a more global perspective, this type of lawyery situation often arises from government regulation. Some jurisdictions, the UK for instance [silktide.com], require websites to inform their users about their uses of cookies, to explain the nature of cookies, and to ask their users to assent to it. This, however, seems to me to be simply CYA:
You must fully comply with all applicable export laws, including U.S. law, and must not directly or indirectly export, any computer hardware, software, technical data or derivatives of such hardware, software or technical data ("HSoTD"), or re-export, or permit the shipment or transfer of same: (i) into (or to a national or resident of) Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria or any other country, destination or person to which HSoTD would be prohibited by the United States, such as, but not limited to, anyone on the U.S. Treasury Department's List of Specially Designated Nationals, List of Specially Designated Terrorists or List of Specially Designated Narcotics Traffickers, or the U.S. Commerce Department's Denied Parties List; or (ii) to any country or destination for which the United States requires an export license or other approval for export without first having obtained such license or other approva.
Just imagine the havoc that a determined terrorist can cause using deforestation data. The horror!