Don't Google Me

CNET News.com's Declan McCullagh has uncovered an interesting case in which a federal worker tried to claim that his "right to fundamental fairness" was violated when an official at his agency used Google to research his prior work history.

The search was instigated amidst accusations that Commerce Department employee David Mullins misused government property. The department eventually ruled that Mullins' misconduct cost the government more than $6,000.

Mullins argued that Valeria Capell, who was assigned to find out whether he had misused a government vehicle and travel card and falsified official travel documents, found prejudicial information about his previous service at the Air Force and the Smithsonian Institution after using Google to do a search on his name.

The appeals court didn't buy Mullins' argument, saying that his two previous federal job losses didn't affect Commerce's decision to remove him from his job.