If you want to murder a friend or foe, I suggest you wait a year or so until Google has ensured that its users' searches are properly anonymous.
A woman from New Jersey is currently on trial for murdering her husband, and Google evidence is circumstantial but damning.
In April 2004, ten days before she is alleged to have shot her husband to death, Melanie McGuire, 33, Google searched the phrase "how to commit murder," according to a digital technology expert working for the New Jersey State Police - says a story on Computerworld.
McGuire also did searches on Google and MSN for "undetectable poisons," "fatal digoxin levels," "instant poisons," "toxic insulin levels," "how to purchase guns illegally," how to find chloroform," "fatal insulin doses," "poisoning deaths," "where to purchase guns illegally," "gun laws in Pa.," "how to purchase guns in Pa.," and "where to purchase guns without a permit," according to court testimony from Jennifer Seymour, who had examined the hard drives of PCs seized by police from McGuire's attorney's office, her home and the home of her parents.
Google recently announced that it is to start making its logs of users' searches anonymous. The records will be initially retained as now, but then adjusted after 18-to-24 months.
Up to now Google has retained a record of every search, with a log that can associate it with an individual PC. The policy announced yesterday will be implemented within the next year. It's intended to protect searchers' privacy, according to a Google Blog entry.
The fertility nurse is on trial for first degree murder for allegedly shooting her husband William McGuire, 39, with a .38 caliber gun on April 28, 2004. At the time of his death, McGuire was employed by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
In May 2004, William McGuire's severed remains were found in three suitcases off the Virginia coast. His wife faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.
The state grand jury indictment alleges that McGuire killed her husband inside their home, dismembered his body, placed the remains in black plastic trash bags inside three suitcases and dumped the remains in the Chesapeake Bay.