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Today's Google Index: One thumb up, one thumb sideways

One step forward for open source, one step sideways for information.

UPDATE at 9:37 am. November 28: My intrepid editor here at CNET pointed me to a post by's Declan McCullagh on what appears to be Google's involuntary request for information.

On the positive side Google announced a new effort the "Highly Open Participation Contest" to get young people involved in open source development. They've teamed with a bunch of open source projects to get kids involved early. Big thumbs up!

Less good...
Google has provided the IP address of an anonymous blogger to an Israeli court voluntarily as part of a defamation case.

The defamation case centers on allegations against three members of the Shaarei Tikva council posted on Blogger, including posts that suggested the council members took bribes, pretended to be disabled to gain tax advantages, and that the councilmen have links to organized crime. The councilmen asked the court to order Google to hand over the IP address details of the anonymous blogger but the court did not order Google to do so. Instead Google entered into an arrangement where by they would contact the blogger and give him or her 3 days to respond anonymously to the allegations. There was no response from the blogger so Google handed over the IP address to the court and plantiffs despite there being no legal requirement for them to do so.

But Google says:

In terms of this case, we handed over the IP address of the Blogger after an Israeli court order required us to do so. Google has not blocked the blog or taken it down. Google gave the IP address to the court (the court handed it over to the complainant).
This isn't going to get any easier as time goes on. Queue up the lawyers.