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find it hard to believe any law in another country would hold Google liable for something that is beyond their control.
It may be hard to believe, but it can definitely happen, given the other things foreign companies have already filed suit for:
BBC are now running with this one all over their networks
Yes, I saw that a couple of times today. They are running a very Anti-Google stance and the presenter was openingly laughing at / mocking Google. There will be a letter written to 'Points of View' about yet another case of the BBC taking a personal political viewpoint and attaching it to a news report.
The US government want 1. a random list of 1 million websites indexed by google. AND 2.random list of searches perform on google within a certain time frame.
Therefor the information requested is not as such specific to anyone or to any IP.
Thus I must say that google are just doing it for the PR ( just think how much coverage on tv, web, press, radio,word of mouth etc google have had over the last few hours because of this issue).
In the end google will have to give up the info since they are a US company and located in the US.
Its a shame their stock price has dropped alittle over this issue.
So if it's not a privacy issue what does Google NOT want others to see? Google noted one reason for the refusal had something to do with their competition. I for one would love to see Google search totals. Even if it is for just one week.
Google's drop in stock price has nothing to do with this issue.
A few days ago Yahoo reported earnings that weren't up to some peoples' expectations - that caused yahoo and other net stocks to drop.
Today Citicorp and GE reported poor earnings which caused people to worry about Google's 4Q earnings which will be announced on the 31st. Google is already trading at a pretty high P/E ratio.
This is some of the best press Google has gotten for almost no cost to them. People seem to misunderstand the legal implications.
There are two possible outcomes:
1) Google looses in court and has to turn over data. They were the only ones that fought this - and google will be seen as heroic by many and will have gained much goodwill for very little cost. They amount the pay their lawyers will be pittance compared to the goodwill and great press they have been getting.
2) Google wins in court - same benefit - plus people will then wonder why the other search engines caved so easily.
Either way Google wins. Long term Google investors win.
There are no fines google will have to pay if they lose - they will only have to give what the others already have.
Google is overpriced by many measures. Almost everyone here when they went public said they were overpriced since they day they went public - including myself sometimes.
All of those people lost out on their almost 500% increase.
People are skittish about Google's value as an investment.
Google is being bit because of the doubt in the market, doubts they won't resolve.
If Google is going to fight the DOJ and stand up for privacy issues then FIGHT.
Right now this is a publicity stunt and a google spooge fest if you ask me
All the Best
Google should do its analytics and throw away the data nightly.
it's in the server logsfiles. it's in the large databases that most certainly log every web activity all over the world. throwing away the search statistics would make it harder to get the data, but not impossible.
And - I'm sure the SEs need huge amounts of raw query data (old and new) to fine tune the algs. Throwing them away would spoil results in the long run.