Image by Cee-Bee via FlickrI really think this will ring an alarm bell at 10 Downing Street. Not a large one; a small one... and it’ll probably only sound in the ritual PR room.
Google’s used their new but sharp edged European Policy Blog to attack the Digital Economy Bill proposed by the British government.
Google’s legal paper filers write;
The British Government's Digital Economy bill includes ideas that worry us - as well as other Internet companies such as Yahoo, Facebook and Ebay. In particular, we are concerned about the bill's Clause 17 which, in an effort to fight piracy, would allow the Secretary of State to amend the Copyright Act to "prevent or reduce the infringement of copyright by means of the Internet" without additional legislation. All of us have joined together and written the UK government to express our opposition.
It’s pretty clear why Google objects to this creepy clause. Google likes to protect the data it has. It will use courtroom battles to try and keep that data secure and the threat of courtroom battles to dissuade people from trying to get at it.
These British proposals could slice away at those protections. A Government would find itself in the position to easily order Google to reveal, X, Y or even X in relation to Y.