Google won't play ball

It's good to hear that Google is refusing to allow the US government access to its search records for a week, on the basis that it represents an invasion of privacy for the search engine's zillions of users worldwide.

Apparently Dubya and his Capitol Hill cret ^H^H onies - in the shape of the US Justice Department - claim that the information is vital in the US government's plan to restore online child protection laws struck down by the US Supreme Court.

Yeah, right.

The US Justice Department says that the records it wants from Google will be totally anonymous, and that it only wants the data to assess search engine usage.

Not unexpectedly, civil liberties groups are up in arms about the request, as they - like yours truly - consider it to be the thin end of the wedge.

The solution to the possibility that your Google searches may be tapped into by government agencies is quite easy - use one of the many multiple search engine sites and software available, like the rather useful Copernic software.

Copernic is good as it's (a) free and (b) routes all search engine requests via its own portal, minimising the chance that your IP address can easily be traced.

Of course, The DoJ could sub-poena Copernic for its data, but that is several steps beyond simply tapping Google directly for the data...