Posts Tagged ‘Right to be Forgotten’

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Google logo Google has appealed to France’s highest court after the country’s internet censor ordered it to delete some of its search results globally.In 2015, the Commission on Informatics and Liberty (CNIL) said Google should respect French right to be forgotten rulings worldwide. Companies offering services to European citizens must comply with the ruling, even if their websites are not hosted in Europe.

But Google said the ruling could lead to abuse by less open and democratic countries. The company is now appealing against a 100,000-euro (£76,000) CNIL fine. Google says results can end up removed even when those links point to truthful and lawfully published information like newspaper articles or official government websites .

Google currently blocks all right to be forgotten content from all searches for users with a European IP address. Viewers from outside the EU and Europeans using non European proxies or VPNs can still access that links censored in Europe.

Google argues that a French authority such as the CNIL should not impose measures outside of the nation’s borders . Kent Walker, the company’s general counsel said:

For hundreds of years, it has been an accepted rule of law that one country should not have the right to impose its rules on the citizens of other countries,

In an open letter published in French newspaper Le Monde, Google said it had already received requests from countries to block content worldwide that was illegal locally. The letter said:

If French law applies globally, how long will it be until other countries – perhaps less open and democratic – start demanding that their laws regulating information likewise have global reach?

This order could lead to a global race to the bottom, harming access to information that is perfectly lawful to view in one’s own country.

This is not just a hypothetical concern. We have received demands from governments to remove content globally on various grounds.

We have resisted, even if that has sometimes led to the blocking of our services.

According to AFP, Google expects the Council of State, France’s highest court, will take at least a year to review its appeal.

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France flag Europe’s right to be forgotten is a nasty and arbitrary censorship power used to hide internet content such as past criminal history. Many think it tramples on the public’s right to know, as quite a few examples have born out.

It seems that France and the EU thinks that such content should be censored worldwide, and have fined Google 100,000 euro for allowing non EU internet viewers to see information censored in the EU.

Since EU laws don’t apply elsewhere, Google at first just deleted right to be forgotten requested results from its French domain. However, France pointed out that it would be easy to find the info on a different site and ordered the company to scrub results everywhere. In an attempted compromise, Google started omitting results worldwide as long as it determined, by geolocation, that the search was conducted from within France.

But now EU internet censors have rejected that idea (as it would be easy to get around with a VPN) and fined Google effectively for allowing Americans to see content censored in the EU. Google commented:

We disagree with the [regulator’s] assertion that it has the authority to control the content that people can access outside France.

In its ruling, France’s CNIL censor says that geolocalizing search results does not give people effective, full protection of their right to be delisted … accordingly, the CNIL restricted committee pronounced a 100,000 euro fine against Google.

Google plans to appeal the ruling.

Read more EU Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Google logo If you use Google in Europe, your search results will be censored under the EU’s’s disgraceful ‘right-to-be-forgotten’.Until now if you used Google.com rather than, say, Google.de, you could still find results that have been arbitrarily removed based on how loud people shout.

The censorship has been implemented as follows. Assume that someone in Germany files a Right To Be Forgotten request to have some listing censored for their name. If granted, the censorship will work like this for searches on that person’s name:

  • Listing censored for those in Germany, using ANY version of Google.
  • Listing censored for those in the EU, using a European version of Google.
  • Listing NOT censored for those outside Germany but within the EU, using non-European versions of Google.
  • Listing NOT censored for those outside the EU, using ANY version of Google.

Google’s Peter Fleischer explained the reasons for the censorship:

We’re changing our approach as a result of specific discussions that we’ve had with EU data protection regulators in recent months.

We believe that this additional layer of delisting enables us to provide the enhanced protections that European regulators ask us for, while also upholding the rights of people in other countries to access lawfully published information.

Read more EU Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

France flag The French internet censor has responded to a Google statement which explains why European internet censorship cannot be applied across the world.This summer, France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL) sent Google an order to not merely delist links from European Google searches but search results around the world, too. Google responded:

This is a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the web.

CNIL’s president did not find this persuasive, rejecting Google’s appeal of the order. In a statement released today, CNIL claimed that:

Once delisting is accepted by the search engine, it must be implemented on all extensions, because if this right was limited to some extensions, it could be easily circumvented: in order to find the delisted result, it would be sufficient to search on another extension and this would equate stripping away the efficiency of this right.

CNIL pointed out that delisted info remains directly accessible on the source website or through a search using other terms than an individual’s name and:

In addition, this right is not absolute: it has to be reconciled with the public’s right to information, in particular when the data subject is a public person, under the double supervision of the CNIL and of the court.

Google must now comply with the formal notice or face CNIL’s sanctions committee.

There’s no further opportunity to appeal the decision at this stage under French law. But if Google refuses to comply, it could later appeal any sanctions levied by CNIL. Fines would likely start at around 300,000 but could increase to between 2-5% of Google’s global operating costs. The search engine could then go to the Conseil d’Etat, the supreme court for administrative justice, to appeal the decision and fine.

Read more EU Censorship News at MelonFarmers.co.uk

Google logo Google has refused to comply with a French order that would apply the right to be forgotten to all worldwide domains, and not just European ones.Google had responded to a European Court decision that seems to have made a law that says people can arbitrarily demand that information that they do do not like should be hidden from Google Search.

Google applied this law by blocking searches on country specific URLs like google.fr in France and google.de in Germany, and not google.com.

Now Google has refused a court order demanding that the EU censorship be applied worldwide and appealed, calling the French court ruling a troubling development that risks serious chilling effects on the Web. Google explained, that complying with the court risks encouraging other countries to tighten their grip on what users can and cannot view, beginning a race to the bottom in which the Internet would only be as free as the world’s least free place.

Another legal argument is about proportionality. Some 97%, of French searches use google.fr, not google.com or other non-EU domains. In other words, forcing Google to apply this rule beyond European domains would accomplish very little, and potentially risk a great deal.

The Washington Examiner noted:

This is an important development in a critical case. The scrutinizing of Google isn’t an isolated phenomenon, and American firms (and politicians) concerned about legal and regulatory challenges abroad would do well to pay attention as Google navigates the implementation of the right to be forgotten.

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Russian Duma logo Lawmakers have passed a bill enabling further internet under Russia’s version of the ‘rightto be forgotten’. The billwas rushed through parliament after only being submitted on May 29.The new law, passed despite objections from Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine, will allow people to censor search links about them that they do not like. i

The legislation is reported to be broader than the European Union’s right to be forgotten initiative.

Yandex, after failing to get amendments incorporated, said it had major objections to the final version of the law said:

Our point has always been that a search engine cannot take on the role of a regulatory body and act as a court or law enforcement agency. We believe that information control should not limit access to information that serves the public interest. The private interest and the public interest should exist in balance.

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France flag Google has 15 days to comply with a demand from France’s internet censor to extend the right to be forgotten to all its search engines.Google has responded to European censorship under the right to be forgotten by only removing the required information for the copy of the search engine specific to the censoring country. And in particular leaves the links live in the global google.com version.

French censor CNIL said Google could face sanctions if it did not comply within the time limit.

In response, Google said in a statement:

We’ve been working hard to strike the right balance in implementing the European Court’s ruling, co-operating closely with data protection authorities.

The ruling focused on services directed to European users, and that’s the approach we are taking in complying with it.