Google has made a stand against the US government, formally rejecting the demands of that government to hand over a week’s worth of search records. Court documents Google filed in response to official demands for search data make a specific rejection of the request. Google claims that if it were to comply with the request, it would violate the privacy of its users and reveal trade secrets to its rivals. The company also claimed that handing over the data was impractical and would not accomplish what the government is seeking to achieve anyway.

The American Civil Liberties Union also filed court documents supporting Google's stance.

Lawyers for the ACLU wrote: "This subpoena is the latest example of government overreaching, in which the government apparently believes it can demand that private entities turn over all sorts of information about their customers just because the government asserts that it needs the information."

A court hearing to decide the row is scheduled for 13 March.