Today is the day that Google goes to court to defend itself from the intrusion of the American government. The US Department of Justice had requested that the search engines provide information regarding search patterns and the like, in an effort to weed out pornography that children could access. As I understand it Yahoo and MSN, among some other search engines, had complied but not Google. Understandably, Google is interested in keeping their search technology secret as the release of the requested information could expose their trade secrets to the competition.
I am of mixed feelings on this one as Google has a right to secure the information that separates them from their competitors but, if the release of these search patterns is going to make the Internet a better, safer place for children to explore; then let them have the info.
I suppose that if the US government really wanted to access Google’s information for any other reason than the one that they stated, couldn’t the US government just have said they were looking for search pattern information in an effort to root out terrorists? Wouldn’t that then become a matter of Home Land Security with no recourse for Google other than compliance?
I for one will be watching and waiting for the outcome. If you are interested in this case you can learn more at Matt Cutts Blog.