Reno - 5:14 am on Oct 23, 2011 (gmt 0)
I don't believe Google is quite as cozy with the govt as you do.
I'm getting a little off topic here, for which I apologize, but just to make the point:
I totally agree that ONLY the gov has the power to reign in the 1000 pound gorilla that has become Google. And yes, I'm sure we've all read about various federal agencies looking into Google business activities.
The problem is that the intelligence agencies work outside of much of the official government supervision. For example, the pentagon / intelligence agencies "black budget" is in the multiple tens of billions, and they don't have to report one penny of it to the public.
So other governmental agencies can bluster all they want, it will make no real difference on what happens behind closed doors. If anything, it helps Google because it makes it appear that they are being "chastised" and thus the issue is settled, when in fact, the relationship only deepens.
Read the... Full Article [networkworld.com]
Consumer Watchdog published a report, "Lost in the Cloud: Google and the US Government" [PDF], that highlights Google's relationship with NSA and claims the search giant has also 'inappropriately benefited' from close and secretive relationships with other government agencies.
From the referenced pdf above... PDF [insidegoogle.com]
"...as a repository and a funnel for vast reservoirs of private data on Americans, Google also has clear social and legal responsibilities for protecting the private data of its users from unwarranted intrusion by government agencies. How well Google manages this obvious and profound conflict is largely a mystery: the company's relationship with US intelligence and law enforcement agencies in key areas — including government surveillance and cybersecurity — remains shrouded in official secrecy and beyond review by citizens and watchdog groups, most members of Congress, and other policymakers..."
Conclusion: Google and the spooks are in bed, and the love affair will not be ending anytime soon.