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Back in March of 2004 we reported on a man arrested for trying to extort Google. Last month, in order to protect its trade secrets Google has dropped its case against Michael Anthony Bradley. Bradley had attempted to extort $150,000 from Google by threatening the generation of millions of fraudulent clicks by using his ‘Google Clique’ software.

The case would result in the exposure of Google trade secrets and the risk of this information finding its way into the hands of potential future fraudsters. These “anti-fraud” secrets being exposed could cause a decline in advertiser confidence in Google’s system and has caused Google to reconsider the case.

This decision does mean that Bradley will get away with his extortion attempt, but may also be the best move for Google’s future with paid search. Not only would revealing their secrets open things up for future fraud attempts, but it would also expose their system to competitors.