Reno - 12:58 am on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
we don't really have a way to use that power to bring Google to the bargaining table. At this point, only the govt does.
The benefits going to intelligence sources that are derived from a cozy relationship with Google cannot be overstated. Google is doing for the gov what they simply could not do for themselves ~ the people would not allow it. But having deeply personal profiles assembled by Google into a digital database is ok, because 1] hardly anyone knows about it; 2] those who know about it have no influence; 3] many of the rest don't care one way or the other; and 4] everybody knows Google does no evil.
So don't look for any serious intervention anytime soon ~ there is too much at stake and too much to lose if the status quo were to change. On the iritation scale, from the government POV, the unhappiness generated by Panda is about the same as a flea on the back of a bull elephant, which is to say, less than zero.