I’d Like a Retraction: Should Google Be Censored by the Government?

Jim Vacey
Jim Vacey Manager, fishbat: An Online Marketing Firm

Posted on June 19th 2012

I’d Like a Retraction: Should Google Be Censored by the Government?

In a report released by Google, the United States government asked Google to remove 6,192 individual pieces of content from its search results, blog posts or archives of online videos. Overall, Google received 187 requests from United States law enforcement agencies and courts to remove content from its Web properties from July to December of 2011.  A U.S. law enforcement agency asked Google to take down a blog that "allegedly defamed a law enforcement official in a personal capacity." Google did not comply with that request.

ImageShould the government be allowed to retract information from Google’s database? Users of the internet have always believed that the internet is fair game and that there is a no holds bar rule to what you can say and do. With last year’s SOPA fiasco, millions of people were up in arms over the censorship of the internet. While the government is not censoring millions at once, they are putting the hush-hush on those who speak ill of particular people. What is truly interesting is that information requested from Google by the government is frequently done on top of the censorship.

With millions of American citizen’s on the internet and surfing social media platforms, our lives are an application away from our government’s prying eyes. I am not a Conspiracy Theorist or some nut on the street corner declaring Armageddon but is there any reason why the government has the right to pry into my business? This goes way beyond the social media marketing strategies of Facebook. Should a company know what kind of cereal I want to eat jut because of my likes on Facebook? It is not going to kill me either way so I don’t really care but, I have a problem with Uncle Sam looking into my past history and creeping over my shoulder at all times.

Should the actions of the government spying on its citizens be attached to the resume of the Homeland Security Agents? Is our freedom really in such jeopardy that my government has to know everything that I am doing? Maybe they are not spying on me. Maybe they have absolutely no interest in me. But they have an interest in my neighbor; your neighbor; you. Is it ok then? How free is my freedom when all you have to do is Google me?



Jim Vacey

Jim Vacey

Manager, fishbat: An Online Marketing Firm


Jim Vacey is Assistant Marketing Director for Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor NY. Jim is a graduate from Dowling College with a BA in English and History and looks to pursue an MBA in Creative Writing. Jim is now the proud father of his first child, Harley Quinn Vacey. 



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Posted on June 19th 2012 at 4:12PM

In general terms, everything posted on the internet is public information. Google, Facebook, blog platforms, twitter, etc, are only tools to push that information out there. Any company can engage in monitoring and harvesting information they deem to be useful to them one way or another. Why would the Government be different? We can address the reasons behind such endevors, I agree, but not the legality of the process. Scavaging information on the internet is not the same things as tapping phones. The latter process requires legal steps to be taken (this is another controversial story, though). Insurance companies have already started harvesting information about people to help them maximize their profits in relationship with the coverage offered and the level of risk assumed.

It's funny how the conversation about scavaging information on the public domain on the internet slides always toward the "Big Brother Syndrome" while leaving the corporate interest and practices in a comfortable shadow.

Jim Vacey
Posted on June 19th 2012 at 6:17PM

You are absolutley right. Why should the government be any different than the rest of us harvesting information? My thought is really this: does it really matter if my information is kept a secret? Does Goole have that much information in its vaults that everyone on this planet should be concerned for their privacy? I am only a small piece to the universal puzzle but like everyone else I want to believe that I matter. Will I ever be someone who moves the world? Probably not. I would like to believe that even though I don't have much, I should have the right to remain private and watch and read whatever i choose without there being someone able to look over my shoulder.

Posted on June 19th 2012 at 5:29PM

definitively  not. We have enought with the Chinese experience or Ley Sinde in Spain. All internet content, databases, all of them are public. Of course there are bad guys and bad practices, but with all the risk interntet, (google, yahoo, facebook, all platforms and search engines) have to be free.