Many have wondered whether or not the First Amendment of the United States Constitution protects search engine results. Well, in a white paper titled First Amendment Protection for Search Engine Search Results, this question is examined. At the very beginning of the white paper, it is clearly stated that the First Amendment protects search results of search engines such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.
In the white paper, the writers argue that content published online is similar to content published in newspapers, magazines and over the broadcast airwaves. This is why search engine results are protected by the First Amendment.
This white paper is an excellent and very interesting read. In the conclusion, the writers state that the First Amendment protects search engine search results because they speak to users of the internet, so to speak. The conclusion states:
“In this respect, they are analogous to newspapers and book publishers that convey a wide range of information from news stories and selected columns by outside contributors to stock listings, movie listings, bestseller lists, and restaurant guides. And all of these speakers are shielded by the First Amendment, which blocks the government from dictating what is presented by the speakers or the manner in which it is presented.”