Google-government deal to remain secret


Photo credit: Christian Wiediger/Unsplash 

The Administrative Court has upheld the ruling of the Administrative Tribunal that the memorandum of understanding between the state and Google should remain secret.

The document concerns plans to build a major data centre in Bissen, but it was ruled that this should not be communicated publicly because transparency legislation exempts such administrative documents.

This appears to be the end of the road for legal challenges against the plans brought by local activist group Mouvement écologique. They are concerned about the environmental impact of the plant’s water needs, but courts ruled that such information could be helpful to competitors.

The Bissen local authority approved Google’s planning application last October, a project estimated to cost around €1.2bn, which would result in the construction of two 30,000m2 data centres with a maximum height of 25 metres.