My friend, lawyer and law professor James Grimmelmann, has written a short interesting article called The Google Dilemma about why people should care very much about how search engines work and what regulations and laws guide them. Using a few examples which may be familiar to many librarians he makes a great case for why corporate policy at Google matters and why people shoudl understand how Google works generally.
If the Internet is a gigantic library, and search engines are its card catalog, then Google has let the Chinese government throw out the cards corresponding to books it doesn’t like. There may be sites with full and honest discussion of the June 4, 1989 crackdown accessible on the Internet from China. But when those sites aren’t visible in search engines, we’re back to our ﬁeld full of haystacks.