Google — whose motto when it went public in 2004 was “do no evil” — contends that submitting to the subpoena would represent a betrayal to its users, even if all personal information is stripped from the search terms sought by the government.
“Google’s acceding to the request would suggest that it is willing to reveal information about those who use its services. This is not a perception that Google can accept,” company attorney Ashok Ramani wrote in a letter included in the government’s filing.
In contrast to Google, other search engine companies such as Yahoo complied with the subpoenas without putting up a fight. Google is to be applauded for taking the effort to rebuff the government’s request.