This will give the conspiracy theorists something to sink their teeth into; Google is providing search technology to the nation’s intelligence agencies.
Now, before you pull the plug on your Google Toolbar, there’s no need to panic…yet. Google is simply selling the federal government its Google Search Appliance product.
In addition to the intelligence agencies, Google’s government customers include the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Coast Guard, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the state of Alabama and Washington, D.C.
Many of the contracts are for search appliances – servers for storing and searching internal documents. Agencies can use the devices to create their own mini-Googles on intranets made up entirely of government data.
Oh, and Google’s also selling the feds it’s Google Earth mapping tool.
Additionally, Google has had success licensing a souped-up version of its aerial mapping service, Google Earth…Spy agencies are using Google equipment as the backbone of Intellipedia, a network aimed at helping agents share intelligence….
Wait a minute! The same technology that Google uses to take photos of US citizens in the streets, driving their cars, and sipping lattes at coffee shops???
OK, now you can panic!