While we’re fans of Google’s auto-complete and instant features, this is something that we’re going to have a hard time dealing with. Google, in a move that can only be seen as pandering to copyright agencies, has started censoring what it sees to be “piracy-related” searches from instant and auto-complete search results.
According to an article at TorrentFreak, Google had announced the change a few weeks ago, but has now rolled out the feature without public notice. Granted, it’s not at all surprising that the company has not given public notice to a change in how it chooses to provide search results, but we do expect to see a blog post from Google related to the change at some point in the future.
The problem, as we see it, is that BitTorrent is a protocol that does have a wide variety of legitimate, fully-legal uses. However, the term BitTorrent is included in the terms that will no longer appear underneath the new rules. Sadly, other terms such as a search for the uTorrent client or even a search for a torrent of the Linux distribution of Ubuntu will fall victim to this new rule:
The ultimate question at hand is what happens when pressure is put onto Google by other industries? Chances are, this is far from the last of the terms and far from the last of the industries that will want a piece of your search preferences.