Sensible decision by Canonical. Will Cooke, the Ubuntu Desktop engineering manager, writes that "we’ve taken the decision to gracefully retire some aspects of the Unity 7 online search features."
Here's what Cooke says is changing (see "Online searches in the dash to be off by default."):
First of all online search will be off by default. This means that out-of-the-box none of your search terms will leave your computer. You can toggle this back on through the Security & Privacy option in System Settings. Additionally, if you do toggle this back on then results from Amazon & Skimlinks will remain off by default. You can toggle them back on if you wish. Further, the following scopes will be retired from the default install and moved to the Universe repository for 16.04 LTS onwards:
The Music Store will be removed completely for 16.04 LTS onwards.
I've griped a few times before about the Unity Online Search being on by default -- see "shopping crap", and see "canonical: make it opt-in!", where I wrote, "I find it hard to believe that Canonical can't see the sense in reversing course on this issue. Keep complaining, people."
Canonical could have spared itself a lot of criticism if, from the beginning, they'd left it up to the user to turn on the online search stuff. Water under the bridge; good news.