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Google Government The Courts

Spanish Court Orders Google To Delete App Used For Catalan Independence Vote (reuters.com) 118

From a report: Catalonia's High Court on Friday ordered Google to delete an application that it said Catalan separatists were using to spread information about a disputed independence vote this Sunday. The court said the "On Votar 1-Oct" application on the Google Play smartphone app store opposed an order in September from Spain's Constitutional Court to suspend the referendum while it determined its legality. The court also ordered Google to block any future applications developed by the gmail address "Onvotar1oct@gmail.com', according to a written ruling. Nobody at Google in Spain was immediately available to comment.
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Spanish Court Orders Google To Delete App Used For Catalan Independence Vote

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  • 125 Bday (Score:5, Insightful)

    by GNious ( 953874 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @04:28PM (#55279691)

    Gotta love how Spain is celebrating Franco's 125th BDay.

    • by ccguy ( 1116865 )

      Gotta love how Spain is celebrating Franco's 125th BDay.

      How how the rest of Europe are having fun watching the show instead of saying something...

      • What should Europe say? Butt in on the local problems of a country? Nothing here is happening that is against any EU laws, and I'm not sure the rest of Europe really gives too much of a damn.

        • I thought the EU required basic protections of things like free speech, in addition to granting Brussels the power to regulate eggplant purpleness!

          • I thought the EU required basic protections of things like free speech

            They do. No one is being arrested or impeded from speaking in any way they want. The EU also places restrictions on things like the rule of law. e.g. the Spanish Constitution which with a ruling from the high court upholds the fact that a local referendum on a national government issue is illegal. The only people who are being arrested are Catalan officials and people attempting to hold the poll, something that would probably come with the EU's blessing in upholding the law.

            in addition to granting Brussels the power to regulate eggplant purpleness!

            The EU never regulated any eggpl

        • by ccguy ( 1116865 )

          What should Europe say? Butt in on the local problems of a country? Nothing here is happening that is against any EU laws, and I'm not sure the rest of Europe really gives too much of a damn.

          This is not a local problem. Not at all. Lots of what's happening here is against what the EU is supposed to stand for, by the way.

          • Lots of what is happening here is exactly what the EU stands for. e.g. Upholding of court decisions and the local constitution.

            Did you have some actual examples in mind or were you hoping I'd just buy the word "lots" and change my mind?

        • It is not much discussed in the media, but people watch it eagerly like they watched the Scotland vote for secession from the UK a few years back.

      • How how the rest of Europe are having fun watching the show instead of saying something...

        Excuse me, the UK said something. It was along the lines of "This is just one of the reasons why you can't have Gibraltar back, you noon-napping bunch of dago cow-torturers".

        When I say the UK, I mean Boris.

  • by PolygamousRanchKid ( 1290638 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @04:28PM (#55279701)

    . . . the Spanish Inquisition!

    Their main weapons are fear, surprise, and a Catalonia's High Court order for Google to delete an application!

    Yes, "High" Court, indeed.

    • by ccguy ( 1116865 )

      . . . the Spanish Inquisition!

      They definitely know as much about internet as Torquemada...

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Why an app? Just make a web site.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The App was done after the government closed more than a 100 mirrors of the website.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    One of the unavoidable pitfalls of being a global company is that you have to follow the laws of each and every country you do business in. In the end, you have to follow the most restrictive rules in order to avoid sanctions in any part of the globe.

    Once Google gave into one countries demands (say like China), they no longer have a leg to stand on when the next country comes along with it's demands. Just the latest round for Google and just the next round for other global tech companies like Facebook and T

  • by TheZeitgeist ( 5083373 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @05:02PM (#55279923)
    Namely, that whenever news comes out of Europe about anything tech-internet, it almost always is about court actions, fines, and the like. Hardly ever does something appear about a European startup, or how such-and-such out of Europe is transforming an industry, or how the Europeans are taking over something. I saw article this morning about a French company that was apparently pretty good at machine vision...and how Apple was buying them.
    • by CannonballHead ( 842625 ) on Friday September 29, 2017 @05:15PM (#55279999)

      Or maybe the US-centric news site, Slashdot, just doesn't pay attention to European startups as much? Notice, too, that this particular court action was about essentially a US based company. In other words, it may affect the US, too. Same with how Apple was buying a company; didn't make the news until Apple came into play. ;)

    • Hardly ever does something appear about a European startup, or how such-and-such out of Europe is transforming an industry, or how the Europeans are taking over something.

      Yeah... not being in English causes a real disconnect for the US-centric crowd.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        As someone from Germany: he's not wrong. There are no big startups here. They simply cannot compete.

        High taxes, tons of reguations, etc. make sure our startups never get big. We don't have the benefit of making a shitton of money in easier markets like the US and then tackling regulatory nightmares like EU countries.

    • Getting acquired by Apple is a legit exit that happens to many American companies. So, it seems that your French machine vision company is an example of how the Europeans did out-compete some Americans in tech. I'll also point out that the entire AI fad was driven by DeepMind (in London) and based on research at Canadian universities (for MS's latest AI breakthroughs).

      Long story short, Europe seems to have fewer "I'll ignore the law because it's on the Internet" companies (Uber, AirBnB), but still some pr

    • by Hentes ( 2461350 )

      Because once a company becomes succesful enough to gain news recognition they are no longer a European company but a global one. The same is true for "American" megacorps, but the patriotism of the editors here prevents them from realising that. They think of IBM as an American company, but T-Mobile as a 'global' one. It's not like there weren't recent stories about apps used by some colonials with a certain ideology getting banned from app stores, it just wasn't specifically pointed out that it happened in

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        They think of IBM as an American company, but T-Mobile as a 'global' one.

        T-Mobile is a publicly traded American company. They are headquartered in Bellevue, Washington. Deutsche Telekom is the majority shareholder, but that doesn't make it a German company. I'm not disagreeing with your point, but your example is pretty poor.

    • Namely, that whenever news comes out of Europe about anything tech-internet, it almost always is about court actions, fines, and the like. Hardly ever does something appear about a European startup, or how such-and-such out of Europe is transforming an industry, or how the Europeans are taking over something. I saw article this morning about a French company that was apparently pretty good at machine vision...and how Apple was buying them.

      That's something called observation bias. There are plenty of positive stories from Europe, in some cases even about startups, AND covered on Slashdot [slashdot.org] Mind you we don't expect the USA to get too much coverage of European startups and innovations. Your culture is so fundamentally different than many startups in Europe work their way down to Australia before they even bother trying the USA market which is fundamentally different from the rest of the western world. Plus with double the population here there r

      • ...and this stinging criticism, this look-down-the-nose sneering is why America is drawing back from the world. Why bother to help a bunch of ungrateful assholes? Better to take care of our own people for a couple of generations, let the world take care of itself for a while.
      • And ... we learn our relaxed views because we start sipping wine with 14 to 16, and can have a beer at the evening, too!

    • by Anonymous Coward

      There is something to what you say, although there are many factors at work, and others have rightly pointed out the home focus of US news as one element. Other relevant elements include:

      • The US is a market about 75% as large as the EU with a single common language (more or less - I know there are some immigrants who don't have a high level of English). Localising your product to 20 languages takes time and money, so it's slower to gather a critical mass.
      • Continuing on the fragmentation theme, have you notice
    • Isn't Apple based in Ireland now?
    • That is more to do with US reporting than anything else. The US is very ego-centric/self focused, news that does not relate to the US or a US country will not even rate a mention unless it is of epic proportions, blame the press or the average US persons attitude towards the rest of the world.
    • by Zumbs ( 1241138 )

      Hardly ever does something appear about a European startup, or how such-and-such out of Europe is transforming an industry

      Spotify and Deezer as music steaming. SoundCloud for music sharing. Skype for communications. MineCraft in computer games. A fast duckduckgo search found this [tech.eu] if you are interested in more examples of European tech (the article is from 2013). I suspect that the reason that you do not hear so much about European tech companies is that slashdot is US based and, surprise, surprise, also US centric in its reporting.

    • ... to a very extreme extent.

      Just to mention one recent example: There's an online translator that dwarfs the likes of Google's or Microsoft's translators [deepl.com] made by a relatively small German company - and even though EU press covered this comprehensively, a site like Slashdot did not even mention this.
    • Have you seen how little the euro capitalists pay programmers? It's no surprise at all that their software industry is puny and worthless, despite having a well educated workforce and a huge internal market.

  • Am I the only one that thinks the timing of part of Spain wanting to break away and become a (tiny little) independent country is rather.. susupicious? Especially considering how much chaos Russia has been covertly fomenting pretty much everywhere it can, to try to destabilize NATO countries? They influenced the U.S. election, they influenced the BREXIT vote, who's to say they aren't influencing Catalonians as well?
    • by ag0ny ( 59629 ) <[javi] [at] [lavandeira.net]> on Friday September 29, 2017 @05:45PM (#55280143) Homepage

      Am I the only one that thinks the timing of part of Spain wanting to break away and become a (tiny little) independent country is rather.. susupicious?

      Yes, you're probably the only one. The movement for Catalonia's independence isn't something new. It's been going on for three centuries. There has always been a certain proportion of the Catalan population who wanted independence from Spain, but in the last 10 years the Spanish government has been restricting our autonomy, attempting to take over our institutions and instigating a wave of hate against Catalans and Catalonia in order to gain votes in the rest of Spain.

      This is what has fueled the pro-independence sentiment in so many of us. Russia has nothing to do with it.

      • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

        My understanding is that three centuries ago the movement was for the restoration of the furs. I would characterise that goal as a return to federalism rather than a bid for independence. Is that a disagreement in interpretation or were there two separate movements with different goals?

    • by pjt33 ( 739471 )

      At least one Spanish newspaper claimed a few days ago that this was happening [elpais.com]. But as to the timing, this has been brewing for a few years. I think it's better explained by a comment I saw yesterday (and I wish I could remember where to credit it properly) that as a universal rule of thumb, nationalisms get a big popularity boost in times of economic difficulty.

    • Yes, it's just you and your sick mind.

      No, so far has not been a proof of Russian _influence_ in the US election, no proof that Russians broke into DNC server or podesta's email account, and no proof that Russians leaked anything to wikileaks. All we have is a bunch of allegations by highly politicized heads of our dear three letter agencies. Funny how CIA/NSA/etc were caught red handed doing nasty shit like a million times, and how they were always the least trusted US agencies, but as soon as they make sta

    • You're seeing TEH ROOSHINS under your bed, boy. Here, with zero evidence, pure conjecture, nothing but confirmation bias in play, a person finds it must have been TEH ROOSHINS despite the existence of Catalan separatism for centuries. I used to think intelligent people couldn't be duped by such obvious canards, but the last 10 months of mass media attention proves you really can implant ideas in people's heads. The dolchstoss-legende planted by Podesta the day after the election has taken root and borne
      • Oh for fuck's sake. Putin is having his people do whatever they can to destabilize NATO and the U.S. and any other country that would stand in the way of him building a new Russian empire because he misses the days of the USSR and the KGB, and I'm far from the only person who sees these things going on. How can you be so goddamned blind?
    • There are plenty of regions in Europe that sooner or later will separate from their current country and become independent, hopefully staying in the E.U.
      Catalonia, Basque, probably Mallorca (under catalan reign, but they hate that even more than the catalonians hate the rest of spain, because Catalonia forbids teaching of the native language in Mallorca, but insists they can teach their own native language in Catalonia).
      Probably Bavaria, most likely Scottland.
      Belgium might split into two, but a recent refer

  • For anyone else who may have been confused by the wording in "(the app) opposed an order in September from Spain's Constitutional Court to suspend the referendum while it determined its legality," the legality in question is in regards to the referendum, not the app. The fight over the app is just an extension over the fight in Spain over whether Catalonia is legally allowed to have a referendum for a vote of independence from Spain.

  • A big splash screen for Spain reading

    Dear Spain,
    Google services have to be suspended due to the Catalan vote for independence. Please check in again on (voteday+1), the day after it's held.

    Yours,
    Google

  • by jcr ( 53032 ) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Friday September 29, 2017 @06:02PM (#55280247) Journal

    ...and I was on the fence about secession, this shit would make me 100% for it.

    -jcr

  • So...are you a good corporate citizen, or a corporate tool?

    Are you about freedom and open expression? Or are you going to toe the line when it might cost you some of your $billion$?

    • While Spanish government are being gigantic cocks and I hate google too. Google can only do so much, it won't be billions that it costs you when you disobey direct court orders it is executives in jail and as much as I hate google I don't think it is reasonable to expect them to put their staff in that position no matter the greater good.
  • Imagine how ape-shit US citizens would be, if California was engaging in an Independence vote right now?

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