Pandering to Censors…So what will Google do about the increasing pressure from courts to impose local censorship orders to worldwide versions of the search engine

Posted: 23 June, 2015 in Internet, Internet Blocking
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Google logo Google has been getting more aggressive about redirecting users from Google.com to the the national versions of the sites.

According to a person close to Google, this move to redirect users is part of the company’s attempts to persuade judges and lawmakers that applying any censorship orders on a national level is sufficient. This person, who spoke on condition of anonymity, suggested the company is hoping to demonstrate that, in countries like France and Germany, relatively few people now go to Google.com in the first place — which obviates the need for broader orders.

Given the recent decree in France, however, this strategy appears to be coming up short. The fallback strategy, then, is to employ a more technical solution: Using IP addresses (which reveal a person’s location) to censor Google.com on a country-by-country basis. This would entail Google configuring its search results to detect that a person is in France — and blocking any offending search results accordingly on Google.com — while at the same time displaying the missing results to Google.com visitors in Norway, the United States, and elsewhere.

Google is not employing such measures yet, but comments by the company’s top lawyer, David Drummond, suggest it is willing and able to do so.

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