Someone who prefers to remains anonymous writes "Email Battles has noted in the past that some searches are blocked by Google. Now, they've uncovered another selection of terms that are verboten at both MSN and Google. Of course Google/MSN have their reasons for blocking these searches, but perhaps a bit of transparency is in order. It would be nice to know what searches the Gatekeepers prevent, and why." Last month we mentioned the fact that Google was blocking certain searches, though we thought it was a bit odd (and perhaps a tad on the evil side) that they were misleading people into thinking they had a virus for doing a "bad" search. Google employees, however, shrugged it off. The second link is a little more worrisome. The first issue was mostly about Google trying to stop overzealous search engine optimizers (or, in some cases, search engine spammers). It's understandable that they would want to do that, though it's questionable as to why they feel the need to erroneously tell perfectly innocent people that they have a virus. The second link from Email Battles suggests that both MSN and Google are blocking specific searches to protect information about certain hacks from getting out. Obviously, that's silly. It's a weak attempt at security by obscurity. It won't stop those who really want to know the hacks from getting the info, but could frustrate plenty of legitimate researchers who may get confused as to why Google and MSN know better than they do what they should be able to search for.
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