The DOJ has restricted public access to pivotal documents, including emails, charts, and internal presentations from Google which had emerged as crucial evidence in the ongoing landmark antitrust lawsuit against the tech behemoth.
Bloomberg reports that the monumental Google antitrust trial, anticipated to span 10 weeks, is the tech industry’s most significant legal confrontation since the renowned Microsoft case in the 1990s. It offers a rare glimpse into the internal mechanisms of one of the most influential businesses of our time, revealing the intricacies of its operations and strategies. However, the removal of online access to these exhibits has raised questions about transparency and public understanding of such high-profile legal battles.
Google had vehemently opposed the government’s decision to post the documents online, expressing concerns over the exposure of sensitive information. The court, showing sympathy to Google’s apprehensions, has made the trial notably more challenging for the public to follow. This development contrasts starkly with the Microsoft trial, where every major news organization covered the hearings daily, and the proceedings received extensive public scrutiny.
Previously, the Justice Department had published exhibits used in court, which were not accessible to the public apart from in-person attendance. These exhibits included links to documents that have since been removed. Google, too, had been making trial materials public after several days of court hearings, allowing insights into its opening statements and other key aspects of the trial. However, the current status leaves the public in the dark, with no clear indication of when or whether the exhibits will be reposted.
Judge Amit Mehta, presiding over the trial, had mentioned making a ruling on the public’s access to evidence presented in court. However, the exhibits continue to remain offline, and there has been no official communication on their potential reposting. Google’s contention with making court exhibits part of the public record stems from concerns over the revelation of employees’ email addresses or phone numbers.
Read more at Bloomberg here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship.