Re: Hoist on own petard
"No, quite the opposite"
Quite the opposite?! Really?
You do not seem to be aware that the US and its States have laws against Stalking.
Here is California's :
Section (e) is subjective to the opinions of the victims --- note that the article clearly states that the victims felt "scared or unsafe", thus meeting this requirement (it would also be a huge clue that they had already been visiting lawyers).
Section (e) also states "no legitimate purpose" (being self-righteous is not a legitimate purpose)
Section (h) addresses methods (i.e. use of computers).
Whether it is "PUBLIC" or not is orthogonal to the issue of stalking.
Therefore, the stalking gang forced Google's hand - if Google did nothing, the victims might choose to file a criminal complaint giving them leverage in a civil suit. (And, possibly dragging some of its management into the criminal complaint as well for not acting when warned).
Even if the victims chose not to file a criminal complaint, a civil lawsuit would still be possible and the bad press would be widespread.
So, to keep this problem from exploding out of control, Google got rid of the source of the problem : the stalkers.