Google's resistance more about trade secrets than privacy

John Battelle ponders Google's resistance to DOJ subpoena and finds more than a slick PR move.

When all your competitors hand over their customer's search data to the government, it doesn't take a Ph.D. in PR to figure out there's a certain publicity value in standing tall. After all, the blogosphere was knocking itself over trying to sing the praises of Google as Marshall Will Kane.

That's not what it's all about, says John Battelle, professional Google watcher.

Remember this whole goat rodeo (on the size of indexes)? Remember how slippery both Yahoo and Google got when we tried to figure out exactly how many documents were in their indexes? Well, turns out, that's pretty much what the DOJ is trying to do as well. Hence, Google's defense on a "trade secrets" basis.

Apparently, the subpoena originally asked for a lot more than just a million addresses, as reported Thursday. From the motion the DOJ filed to force Google to comply with the subpoena:

"The subpoena asks Google to produce an electronic file containing '[a]ll URL's that rea available to be located through a query on your company's search engine as of July 31 2005."

and

"all queries that have been entered on your company' search engine between June 1, 2005 and July 31, 2005."

HELLO. You think Google is going to give that over? Me no think so.

 

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