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Google Begins Country-Specific Blog Censorship 250

bonch writes "Google will begin redirecting blogs to country-specific URLs. Blog visitors will be redirected to a URL specific to their location, with content subject to their country's censorship laws. A support post on Blogger explains the change: 'Over the coming weeks you might notice that the URL of a blog you're reading has been redirected to a country-code top level domain, or "ccTLD." For example, if you're in Australia and viewing [blogname].blogspot.com, you might be redirected to [blogname].blogspot.com.au. A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader's current location.'"
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Google Begins Country-Specific Blog Censorship

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  • by icebike ( 68054 ) * on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:41PM (#38896425)

    This only works toward reducing the trustworthiness of Blogger as a blogging platform.

    Blogs dealing with sensitive topics in certain countries will simply go elsewhere. Yes that elsewhere runs the risk of being blocked by that
    country, but at least it will be that county doing the blocking, not Google.

    • And what difference would that make to the people of that country? None, right? So what's better: having absolutely no access to blogger blogs in your country or having access to some of the blogs using that platform?

      • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @08:57PM (#38898385)
        Helping a totalitarian regime pretend like they allow free speech by allowing only speech they approve, furthers their goals. Google is playing the roll of Uncle Tom or the Jewish police in the Nazi ghettos. When they allow Syria to censor speech, what argument will they have when the US government asks them to censor speech? Do you really think that's not coming? The world is slipping into a very dark place right now, and every concession that providers like Google make, will be looked upon with shame by future generations.
    • Blogger only for now.

    • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @07:14PM (#38897453) Homepage Journal

      Google is doing the blocking so they can do business in the nations requesting the block.

      Despite American arrogance, all companies are required to abide by the laws of the customer's nation if they do business there.

      You can't blame Google for following the rules! Sorry, but that's just the FACTS OF LIFE.

      • So they should take a stand and stop selling Google Adwords in China or other repressive countries.

        It would be up to the authorities to try to block Google in China, and we all know that there are many ways around the Great Firewall.

        Doesn't Google make enough money already?

      • by Anthony Mouse ( 1927662 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @07:56PM (#38897851)

        You can't blame Google for following the rules!

        Sure you can. The Nuremberg defense is not a defense.

        Personally, I think the US needs an antitrust exemption for companies who want to collude strictly for the purpose of refusing to comply with, or otherwise opposing, foreign legislation that would violate the US First Amendment.

        • by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @08:37PM (#38898197)

          What about US legislation that would violate the US First Amendment?

          • That's a good point. My initial thought was that it wouldn't help anything because the US law couldn't be enforced against a company that chose to violate it unilaterally, but if you think about it there are probably a lot of laws that are unconstitutional but that nobody is willing to be the first to challenge because appealing all the way to the Supreme Court is very expensive (and in the meantime getting prosecuted for a crime is generally bad PR). Letting an industry put up a united front would go a lon

      • by jc42 ( 318812 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @08:22PM (#38898055) Homepage Journal

        Despite American arrogance, all companies are required to abide by the laws of the customer's nation if they do business there.

        Except, of course, in the US itself, where fines imposed on corporate "persons" for violating laws are typically much less than the corporation has earned from the violations.

        At the extreme, I've read a few studies that compared the fines for things (bad drugs, contaminated food, etc.) that killed people, and reported that the per-casualty fine was typically less than $500, often under $100. You and I would be jailed and/or executed for selling things that kill people; corporations usually just get what amounts to a slight surcharge on their taxes.

        Of course, you are free to believe whatever you like about how companies are required to follow laws. But being fined a few thousand bucks for a violation that raked in millions isn't much of an incentive to be law abiding.

      • by fightinfilipino ( 1449273 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @08:28PM (#38898091) Homepage

        as trite as it sounds, "i was just following the rules" and "i was just following orders" have often been lame excuses covering up horrible abuses against humanity. actively enabling the stifling of free speech is a horrible abuse.

        i recognize the issue is much more complex than that, but then, so should you.

      • by ohnocitizen ( 1951674 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @11:46PM (#38899455)
        You know that putting it in caps doesn't make it true, right? It isn't arrogance to expect human rights to be respected when you do business, its ethics. So yes, we can blame google for staying in a repressive country, and following the rules. If they want to enact country specific censorship, they could block out that country's access to the site with "your country does not support basic human rights like freedom of speech."
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by RevEngr ( 565050 )

        Despite American arrogance, all companies are required to abide by the laws of the customer's nation if they do business there.

        You can't blame Google for following the rules! Sorry, but that's just the FACTS OF LIFE.

        I think what you call arrogance is what a lot of people would see as idealism, or at least, being consistent with the ideals of an open internet. I, for one, don't understand why Blogger has any obligation whatsoever to any foreign government. I am probably unrealistically naive, but i still believe in an internet that transcends nationality, and I'm afraid I don't see the exchange of services or information over the Internet as the necessary equivalent of 'doing business' in any traditional sense.

        Some gove

        • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @04:21AM (#38900603) Homepage Journal

          The idealism only goes as far as lining American pockets.

          Witness SOPA, ACTA, etc.

          The fact that the media companies have the American government in it's pocket through lobbyists is irrelevant to the rest of the world. We don't care why your government is abusive; that's an internal problem for the US. What we care about is that you do not (as a government) act anywhere near the ideals you espouse on the international stage.

          And as soon as the American people wake up to the fact that the American government doesn't give a damn what they want, only what the lobbyists want, the sooner there might be change in that global perception of the US. Take back control of your OWN government before you try to tell anyone else how to run theirs.

          Take off those rose coloured glasses. You can't see shit with them on!

      • by dnaumov ( 453672 ) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @04:54AM (#38900721)

        The notion is ridiculous. If you have a website that's publically accessible from all over the world, then by your definition you "do business" in every single country of the world. The idea that this means you must now adhere to laws of every single country able to access the website is blantantly insane.

      • "American Arrogance"
        1. A slang term used outside of North America to refer to being opposed to dictatorial governments, censorship, anti-sex attitudes, genocide or oppression of women.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dunbal ( 464142 ) *
      No, it reduces the usefulness of google as a search engine. But people don't HAVE to use google.
  • So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by grub ( 11606 ) <slashdot@grub.net> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:43PM (#38896447) Homepage Journal

    So much for Do No Evil. I'm sure it will be spun into how this makes Blogger a better experience for everyone.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:47PM (#38896497)
      Well, it sounds like it might have the effect of eliminating a lot of blogs, so I'd say it has a good chance of improving the experience.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Android is open! Durrr!

      • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Interesting)

        by CharlyFoxtrot ( 1607527 ) on Thursday February 02, 2012 @12:08AM (#38899597)

        The Ministry of Search - Googleplex in leetspeak - was startlingly different from any other object in sight. It was an enormous outstretched structure of glittering steel and glass. From where Winston stood it was just possible to read, picked out on its white face in elegant lettering, the three slogans of the Corporation:

            CLOSED IS OPEN

    • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spidercoz ( 947220 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:55PM (#38896615) Journal
      They're not doing evil, they're just enabling it.
      • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by interval1066 ( 668936 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:05PM (#38896731) Homepage Journal
        I think the motto should "Do no evil, unless it interferes with our business model."
        • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by maxwell demon ( 590494 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:16PM (#38896865) Journal

          I think the motto should "Do no evil, unless it interferes with our business model."

          The second part is always implied in everything a company says.

          • by oxdas ( 2447598 )

            Corporations have a legal, fiducially responsibility to not violate their corporate charters, even if it means they make less money for shareholders. If Google has "Don't Be Evil" enshrined in their corporate charter, which I believe they do, then they must take that into consideration, even if it means lower profits. However, I think it would be difficult to objectively prove that Google is being evil (or rather that they are violating that provision of their charter).

            • If Google has "Don't Be Evil" enshrined in their corporate charter, which I believe they do, then they must take that into consideration, even if it means lower profits. However, I think it would be difficult to objectively prove that Google is being evil (or rather that they are violating that provision of their charter).

              I think you're misunderstanding what that provision is good for. Proving that something is evil is pretty hopeless unless they're committing mass murder or something like that, which seems pretty unlikely for an internet company. But now suppose Google's board would otherwise have a "duty" (for whatever inane legalistic reason) to screw over some honest people, and they don't want to. It lets them claim that doing that would be "evil" and if you (the soulless plaintiff's attorney) want to challenge it they

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          I think that is the implied motto for ANY business. Or are there companies that have as a motto "Do evil, unless it interferes with our business model"? Also, the definition of 'evil' might differ from company to company.

      • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Insightful)

        by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:54PM (#38897259) Journal

        They're not doing evil, they're just enabling it.

        "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

        Well, they're not doing nothing, but I think he had something in mind other than helping evil along the way.

        Also, if the metaphorical road to hell is paved with good intentions, then where do you think bad ones might lead?

        Bottom line is this action is evil since it serves no other purpose than to allow evil. That is in no way neutral.

        But this is not news. Google abandoned any pretense of sticking to their motto long ago.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Artraze ( 600366 )

      They are doing this to follow local laws. Now, I understand that what's moral and legal don't always align, but at what point did *obeying the law* become *evil*! Sure, you can come up with some contrived circumstances, but I highly any will be in play here. This is about blocking content that people and/or their leaders want blocked. Honestly, it seems closer to evil to go against their wishes by not blocking it.

      Companies aren't responsible for carrying out your civil disobedience campaign for you.


      • by Ossifer ( 703813 )

        So why are they following local laws, beyond those of Mountain View? Is this really how the internet should work? Either the lowest common denominator or having to follow a global patchwork of contradictory local laws?

        • Yes. Unless you want a one world government that has control over everyone or you want people to be able to ignore laws that are not enacted everywhere which amounts to the same thing. In that situation if you think that it'll result in the most amount of freedom you are dreadfully wrong.
      • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by GodInHell ( 258915 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:13PM (#38896821) Homepage
        When it includes censoring people who do not live in those countries so that the plebs who do cannot be told how much their nation sucks.

        Worse, this begins the process of actually fracturing the internet into sub-nets for national use. If I want to reach a global audience I'll have to make sure I don't do it in a way that will offend anyone in a country with bullshit over-pious litigators in government (looking at you Aussies) or a totalitarian regime bent on rewriting history (Hi China) or some asshole country with fucked up copyright and patent laws (hello U.S.A.).

        So -- you can have a global blog, so long as you only blog about how awesome consumerism and particular Chinese products are.

      • by sjames ( 1099 )

        When you start enforcing questionable laws in countries you're not actually in. If some country wants to expend a trillion dollars making sure nobody ever sees a disparaging remark about their king, that's their business, but that doesn't mean that people in other countries should help them out.

        • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Artraze ( 600366 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:44PM (#38897161)

          Define "not actually in", because after a quick search:
          http://www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/locations/ [google.com]

          We see they have an office in Australia, which was the domain used in the summary. And quite a few around the globe, of particular note is China, which is so often the center of discussions like these. Also, Thailand, which I believe was brought up with regards to Twitter and blocking posts critical of their king.

          Are you suggesting that because their corporate HQ isn't there that "they" aren't there? Or are you suggesting that they don't _need_ to be in those locations, and so could pull out?

          Finally, I'll note that you said "enforcing questionable laws". Don't you mean "evil laws"? I mean, if obeying the law is evil, then surely that law is evil, right? Or does it only become evil when enforced by Google because they aren't entire present where the law matters?

          I dunno. This always gets so confusing. Like, why isn't Google evil for taking down ads for Canadian pharmaceuticals at the request of the FDA? Actually, I seem to recall people were saying they were evil for allowing the ads in the first place. Maybe it's that HQ thing again... That "good" is upholding American (oh, like specifically the USofAmerican) laws and ideals and "evil" is upholding the laws of other countries in those countries because their HQ is in the USA?

          • by sjames ( 1099 )

            I'm suggesting they don't NEED to be in those locations.

            As for the Canadian pharmacy ads, I would prefer they leave them up unless/until they receive an actual court order. I would even prefer that they defy such an order, but I don't believe I could go so far as to call them evil for refusing to go to jail over it.

        • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Informative)

          by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:53PM (#38897249)

          "google: not dictators but #1 *with* dictators"

          (apologies to the simpsons for ref to their '#1 with racists' joke)

      • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by lee1 ( 219161 ) <lee@@@lee-phillips...org> on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:23PM (#38896941) Homepage
        Google censors results [lee-phillips.org] in the US in response to political pressure, and lies about it. No laws involved at all.
      • by tqk ( 413719 )

        ... at what point did *obeying the law* become *evil*!

        Invoking Godwin, in 3, 2, 1 ...

        Evil laws shouldn't be obeyed, period. Do you really trust politicians of today to not write evil laws? Sometimes, it seems like that's all they do these days. Since when was censorship not evil? Since when was freedom of speech evil?

        I hate this century.

      • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:50PM (#38897221)

        but at what point did *obeying the law* become *evil*

        when the law is wrong, that's when!

        do I really need to invoke a godwin, here? or cite US history from the civil war era?

        confusing 'law' with ethics, much?

        and no, we don't expect google to be ethical. we stopped believing that, what, five or more years ago? it did not take long for the google shine to wear off and for us to all realize they are a self-serving company, just like all the rest.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Funny because Slashdot heaped on tons of criticism to Microsoft and Yahoo for "complying with local laws" when it came to censorship yet the fanbois are out in full strength to once again defend Google for doing the same thing.

    • Re:So much for... (Score:4, Informative)

      by CowTipperGore ( 1081903 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:08PM (#38896763)

      If you had bothered to RTFA, you would see

      [M]igrating users to local domains will help promote the freedom of expression while allowing the flexibility to abide by local law.

      Anyone can use google.com/ncr (NCR stands for “no country redirect”) to see the original page without geographical redirection.

      • by tqk ( 413719 )

        If you had bothered to RTFA, ...

        Hah. Good one.

        Anyone can use google.com/ncr (NCR stands for "no country redirect") to see the original page without geographical redirection.

        So, you're saying the summary doesn't really summarize? Damn! So, the summary sensationalizes the situation? Damn again. Is that allowed, or expected?


    • by elrous0 ( 869638 ) * on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:17PM (#38896885)


      Or, as it's now called in North Korea, "Your Attempt To Access Imperialist Site Has Been Noted By Glorious Leader."

    • Re:So much for... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:28PM (#38897003)

      So much for Do No Evil. I'm sure it will be spun into how this makes Blogger a better experience for everyone.

      Actually, yes, yes it will. Instead of being forced by law to remove the content from everyone's view or be forceably blocked by that country (or sued), Google is allowing everyone else to see the censored content, and only blocking it where the law demands it.

      Respecting the law of a country is not "evil". It may not be the right thing to do (depends on the country and law at hand, certain laws/governments are unjust and should be protested), but it is also not evil.

      Oh, and you can still see the censored content anyways (www.google.com/ncr), so, there is that, also.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Solandri ( 704621 )
        If it works like google.com, you'll be able to circumvent it by plugging in the country code for the site you really want. e.g. When I was living in Canada and wanted Canadian search results I could just go to google.com, which would redirect to google.ca. But if I wanted U.S.-centric results, I could just search on google.us.

        So if the blog you want to read is on blogspot.com.au, and blogspot.com for your country redirects to blogspot.com.nk which has censored the blogspot.com.au article, you can still
  • Looks like Google is bending over to the powers that be along with Twitter; such a shame.

  • by RazzleFrog ( 537054 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:49PM (#38896523)

    If you read the article Google is doing this so when a blog is censored in one country it isn't censored everywhere and you can always access the blog by appending ncr (no country recognition). This means they found away AROUND the by country censorship. Talk about spinning a story.

    • by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:56PM (#38896621) Homepage

      Once censorship starts it doesn't ever stop. Next up ISP blocking. You are watching the creation of the new internet piece by rotting piece.

      • by Artraze ( 600366 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:21PM (#38896935)

        > Once censorship starts it doesn't ever stop.

        Sez you. Remember back when "Schweddy Balls" was pushing the limit of what was allowed on TV? Remember when McCarthyism made certain _ideas_ essentially illegal?

        Censorship is done at the behest of people or their leaders. It's something that comes and goes and people decide what should be visible or not. Sure _sometimes_ it's forced upon a society, but that's usually (and really by definition) the result of a totalitarian government. But really, isn't that the real problem?

        When a people decide they don't want guns, or drugs, or prostitution, or gambling, or certain forms of expression they pass laws against them. So you think "censorship" is stupid and wrong because it doesn't hurt anyone. Good for you. I think that most of the aforementioned laws are stupid and wrong and they hurt people more than they help. But you know what? Sometimes people get hurt by things, and they pass laws against them because they feel that the law hurts them less. Yeah, it sucks, but it's not Google's fault, nor is it their duty to change it. This censorship crap is no more "evil" and "slippery slope" than Google, say, not selling booze in Islamic countries or whatever. You don't agree, I don't agree, but if the Germans, for example, are made extremely uncomfortable by Nazi stuff, should Google tell them to piss off when asked to block it?

        That actually would be rather mean of them, I think...

        • by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:32PM (#38897047)

          You're citing absurd examples like selling booze in Islamic countries or banning Nazi content that makes Germans uncomfortable. Government censorship is far more sinister, silencing criticism of leaders and quieting stories of the government abuses or the punishment of political dissidents. It's also not something that "comes and goes" like a summer breeze. Overturning an all-powerful government structure is extremely difficult and often bloody. We're talking about people's lives here.

          If this wasn't Google, it might not be considered as huge an issue in relation to other companies' foreign censorship compliance, but there are two contributing factors: 1.) Google's dominant presence on the web, and 2.) Google's public embrace of concepts like openness and freedom, seemingly when it suits them. Their power and ideology give them a greater moral responsibility; that's the drawback of being #1 in a given industry.

          • by Artraze ( 600366 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @07:16PM (#38897477)

            Absurd how?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship_in_Germany [wikipedia.org]
            "Membership in a Nazi party, incitement of hatred against a segment of the population (Volksverhetzung) and Holocaust denial are illegal in Germany. Publishing, television, public correspondence (including lectures), and music are censored accordingly, with legal consequences that may include jail time."

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibition [wikipedia.org]
            "Saudi Arabia completely bans the production, importation or consumption of alcohol and imposes strict penalties on those violating the ban, including weeks to months of imprisonment, and possible lashes."

            So.... Wut? They're absurd because... they don't ruffle your ideological feathers?

            Are you honestly trying to say that Google should be part of a process that you admit is "extremely difficult and often bloody"? If we're talking about people lives here, why don't we talk about the lives of their employees in these countries, who could be arrested under some kind of 'conspiracy to undermine public welfare' or what have you?

            And the real question is, why Google? Why not you? You could run a tor node. You could host simple blogs; it's quite cheap. And you even have the advantage over Google because you don't have any connection to these countries and those don't have to worry about your employees being arrested.

            Or right, sorry, you said already:
            They're big and have the greater responsibility to enforce your morals.

            • I'd just like to point out that there's a giant difference between banning alcohol (or other physical objects) and banning speech or other expression. I don't know what the law is in Saudi Arabia, but if you're allowed to talk about alcohol, about how much you'd like to drink it, and how you think the ban on alcohol is stupid, then that isn't censorship. It's just a ban of a physical product. That isn't remotely as bad as censorship, because at least it allows people to discuss the law, express negative

        • by rtb61 ( 674572 )

          You are confusing stop with being stopped. A subtle difference in language but in social reality, one that is often drenched in blood. Censorship once started does not stop and always grows. Those outside the body that control censorship must use force to limit, reduce or eliminate censorship.

          Do you think the first amendment was a freeby, that those in power gave it away for free or did those that want it have to fight and die for it.

          Do you remember glasnost and the turmoil that caused. One leader at t

    • There is nothing in the article or in Google's support post about this being a workaround for government censorship. To the contrary, the intent is to make censorship more convenient for Google by enabling them to censor content on a per-country basis without affecting visitors from other countries. The NCR prefix will get blocked by censoring governments. The only spin here is your post.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 )

      That's because this story was submitted by bonch, real name Matt Deatheridge, a rabid Apple fanboy and pathological Google hater.

  • Alternative? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by JanneM ( 7445 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:49PM (#38896525) Homepage

    Anybody have a recommendation for an alternative blogging platform? Preferably one hosted in Europe by a non-US company, and one where it is reasonably easy to migrate from Blogger.

  • by bazmail ( 764941 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:49PM (#38896527)
    This is a very sinister move in my opinion, as the only way we used to get to know about posts being censored in foreign countries is when they disappear from our radars in more free countries. Now the only way we'll know is by running some sort of massively networked diff program, comparing views originating in censored countries with ours.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Aryden ( 1872756 )
      Or you could actually RTFA, or at the very least, Razzlefrog's post.
      • by bazmail ( 764941 )
        You really think people are going to /NCR? Good for you sparky.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @05:51PM (#38896551)

    TOA says:
    >> If you would like to see a non-affected page, you can direct to google.com/ncr (NCR stands for “no country redirect”),
    >> which places a short term cookie that temporarily prevents geographical redirection.

  • ... the end of the Internet as we have known it. The future will consist of, possibly inter-connected, networks that show different groups their own version of the world, or part there of, tailored, censored and controlled according to the whims of "those who know better". Different truths for everyone. Yes, that will help bring us all closer together as a planet and as a people. (sarcasm intended)
    • Different countries have different laws when it comes to freedom of speech and censorship. You aren't going to change that. This is basically a tricky way for google to tell the governments they are blocking what they want but at the same time letting the users have a back door around it. I think it's a brilliant move. I can see more companies going this way which in the long run makes the censorship useless.

      • Different countries have different laws when it comes to freedom of speech and censorship.

        If Google does not have operations in a particular country, why should they care about that country's censorship laws?

        • by afabbro ( 33948 )

          If Google does not have operations in a particular country, why should they care about that country's censorship laws?

          Good point, but it's still quite a lot of countries to care about [google.com].

        • by Surt ( 22457 )

          Not just operations, they only need to have sales in a country to care.
          (My current company has operations in 6 countries, but sales in something like 50 ... and we definitely have to care about the laws of all 50 if we want to continue to sell).

        • So they don't get blocked at the DNS.
          • by Mashiki ( 184564 )

            Because we know how effective DNS blocks are. Right around as effective as trying to milk a bull.

      • You falsely claimed this in another post as well. There is no backdoor here making censorship useless; NCR URLs will just get blocked by governments. Google has specifically made it more easy and convenient for them to comply with government censorship requests: The point of this move is so they can claim to be in compliance with a takedown request in one country while keeping the content up in others so they can retain advertising hits. The people in the censored country get fucked.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    There was a time when we could have really broken down all international boundaries through the internet, but now that even the most supposedly-benign corporate power is signing up for this state-based content, I think I'm going to flush that dream down the toilette.

    One thing I have loved for many years about the net was the access to other cultures, their art and entertainment, and their people. I've met so many friends throughout the world since the early 90's because of the web.

    As a related aside - can

    • As a related aside - can anyone tell me if there's a way to get google to recognize you as country-agnostic? I still get localized information when I go there, even not signed on. I'd love to know if there were a way to get around that, so I get all the search results from every part of the globe....

      Try Duck Duck Go, [duckduckgo.com] which is a very simple search engine along the lines of what Google used to be. They proudly proclaim the fact that they neither track you nor alter your search results based on your location or history.

    • We've had separation of Church and State for a long time. Maybe it's now time for separation of Business and State.

  • by RocketRabbit ( 830691 ) on Wednesday February 01, 2012 @06:08PM (#38896775)

    I wonder what Google is censoring in the USA? Could be that they have strict orders to keep whatever it is secret, so nobody will even know about it.

    And before anybody jumps down my throat and vaporishly wails "Oh but that COULDN'T happen in AMERICA!" please direct your attention to this post : http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/9/30/215-section-act-patriot/ [thecrimson.com] and senator Wyden's recent comments on secret interpretations of the Patriot act.

    We are really down the rabbit hole here folks.

    • by snookums ( 48954 )

      I wonder what Google is censoring in the USA

      To me this looks exactly like it is aimed at routing around censorship by or in the USA, and to increase global confidence in Google platforms.

      The MegaUpload affair has given the world a very swift kick in the pants. Strategy consultants are recommending that businesses not deal with any US-based service providers, nor rely on hosts using any US-controlled TLDs. Google are now telling us that, hey the FBI might make us take down your megawhatsit.blogspot.com site,

      • That's a really fucked up way of looking at things. Google has started to agree to censor what people can see overseas, and you suggest this increases confidence in Google?

        Are you naive enough to imagine that they will censor their platform based on something as simple as the top level domain? They will censor by IP range.

        Google has take a big step toward evil here. What's next? Should the New York Times that is sold in Hong Kong limit their coverage of corruption of Chinese food issues?

        You must be in P

    • I don't think google is censoring that, a simple search on "Wyden secret" will turn up all sorts of news about it.

      • They are not censoring the idea that there are secret laws. But how do we know what they MAY be censoring? We certainly do know now that Google is willing to censor stuff.

        Thanks for playing though.

  • Just one more reason for me to abandon my Gmail, Google+ and Youtube accounts.

  • So if Ihit a blog while in Canada, it will see me with a Canadian IP and thwart my access to anything the Canadian government doesn't like?

    And if I drive back home to the U.S., I can merrily go on and do what I like wiuth that same blog, and not be blocked?

    SO this works well... I wonder how it will work with cross-border proxies. Maybe I need to spin one up just to annoy them furringers.

  • Is Google anticipating the worldwide adoption of domain-blocking regulations in the style of SOPA, PIPA, and Homeland Security's domain name seizures? Google could do per-country blocking without redirecting requests, so I presume the intent is to allow for country-wide blocking of particular foreign domains while still allowing for country-specific links to censored content.

    I shudder to think this might someday become standard operating procedure for websites around the world.

  • Looks like Google needs a new slogan.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"