It's official: no zeitgeist to be found at Google

21 January 2006

SearchEngineWatch dug out a bunch of documents to do with the attempt by the US Justice Department to obtain a million random URLs generated during the course of a day to try to demonstrate the constitutionality of the Children's Online Protection Act. In the post, Gary Price quotes a sentence from Google's declaration in which the search engine company's counsel argues why Google should not co-operate: "It is against Google's competitive interest to be viewed as completely reflecting the world-wide web."

Think about that sentence for a minute. Not only does Google not reflect the state of the web, it's not even in the company's competitive interest, according to one of its lawyers. It's an interesting position for a search engine with a massive catalogue of websites and which was, until recently, working through a process to digitise and index every book on the planet. Or maybe Google is just concentrating on reflecting the world.

There is plenty more to read over there and the documents show that the "Google backs privacy" meme that is clogging up the blogosphere has less to do with this case than trade-secret protection.