Thanks for clarifying what I've been trying to say. I'm not saying that what Dash is doing is perfectly OK, I'm just saying that it's not "spyware".
That being said, while I am unlikely to ever use Dash (in spite of the fact that I do run Ubuntu, I use KDE not Unity), I don't see this as the end of the world that many people are making it out to be.
People are starting to expect that "search" doesn't just mean "search locally", it also means "search on the Internet". Many of the search tools that they interact with (Chrome and IE address bars for example) default to this already.
If I was doing the UI for Dash, I would have a toggle off to the side to switch between "local only" and "local + Internet" search modes (and I would be Ok with it defaulting to "Internet"). But I know from painful experience that I'm a lousy UI developer :-)