Google’s Defence against DOJ is Self-Serving
I picked this story up from Blog Bloke’s News. This is one that we should all be watching closely. The implications over the long term could have seriously deleterious effects on our privacy, and Google knows it.
With the recent Google bashing over its capitulation to China, my first impression was to applaud Google for fighting this one. However after reading the materials more closely it seems that Google’s motives may be a little less idealistic and more self-serving than first appears:
An Excuse for Surveilance?
The case has attracted widespread attention because the Justice Department’s demand to peek under the hood of the Internet’s most popular search engine has underscored the potential for online databases becoming tools for government surveillance.
In one particularly scathing section, Google’s lawyers ridiculed the government’s belief that a list of search requests would help it understand the behavior of Web surfers.
Google’s lawyers go on the Offensive:
“This statement is so uninformed as to be nonsensical”, said Google’s lawyers.
Although the Justice Department says it doesn’t want any of the personal information, Google contends its cooperation would set off privacy alarms and scare away some of the traffic that has driven its success.
The truth will set you free. Google admits that capitulation means less traffic:
If users believe that the text of their search queries into Google’s search engine may become public knowledge, it only logically follows that they will be less likely to use the service,” says Google’s lawyers.
As always when it comes to big business, that’s the bottom line. Read the whole story.