Feuds

Google v. Justice Department

Alright, conspiracy theorists. Now you get to find out who really calls the shots. Spurred by complaints from privacy advocates, book publishers, and authors, the Justice Department has officially opened its inquiry into Google Books, the company's ambitious project to digitize literature. Meanwhile, perhaps in an effort to get good press (or to fire a shot back at the government), the company has unveiled a new tool, Google Public Data, which will sort out government information in a more easily accessible manner. Currently, information from the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics can be searched with the tool. If it works well, Google Public Data will surely delight countless journalists who have spent hours trying to find that one nugget of information on baffling government Web sites.