The End Of The Global Internet? Google's Blogger Starts Using Country-Specific Domains To Permit Local Censorship

from the it-was-good-while-it-lasted dept

Twitter has taken quite a lot of heat for putting in place the capability to block tweets on a geographical basis. This begins to look a little unfair in light of the fact that Google quietly adopted a similar policy before Twitter. That's shown by the answer to a question on Google's Blogger site about blogs being redirected to country-specific URLs, which at the time of writing was last updated on 9 January 2012. Here's what it says:

Q: Why am I seeing a URL change?
A: 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 [blogname].blogspot.com.au. A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader’s current location.
Google is quite frank about why it is doing this:
Q: Why is this happening?
A: Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law. By utilizing ccTLDs, content removals can be managed on a per country basis, which will limit their impact to the smallest number of readers. Content removed due to a specific country’s law will only be removed from the relevant ccTLD.
This is not only what Twitter is doing, but employs exactly the same topsy-turvy logic: by enabling local censorship, we are promoting free expression. That in itself is obviously troubling, not least because Google may be setting off down a slippery slope that sees all of its services segmented by geography to avoid local problems. But there's an even deeper issue.

If more and more companies follow the lead of Google and Twitter, as seems quite likely, it could represent the beginning of the end of the truly global Internet. In its place will be an increasingly balkanized online world subject to a patchwork of local laws. Looks like geography just made a comeback.

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Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:47pm

    It isn't the end of the truly global internet. You can reach any site on any country tld without issue.

    What it is more likely to be the end of is people doing things online that is either illegal in their countries, or that would get them sued in their countries. It's another step towards the reality that the internet isn't all that different from the real world.

    If being responsible for your actions somehow hurts the internet, then it's probably a good thing.

     

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    DH's Love Child (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    I'm sure glad I live in the United States

    Where censorship never happens...oops

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:52pm

    soo besides google and bing (yahoo is included)
    what other sercher we have that doesn't censore search ?

     

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    A Guy (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:56pm

    The global internet isn't threatened by this. If anything, it makes it easier for companies like Twitter and Google to spread out into other cultures.

    If someone wants a .com or .eu address, they can just ask someone to set it up for them, or use a proxy. If that makes it easier for the users to bypass their governments regulations and allow the companies to wash their hands of it, it will only strengthen the internet.

     

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  5.  
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    Tim K (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Re:

    Except that this can and will be used for censorship. It doesn't have to be illegal for it to be censored, the people in charge just don't have to like the message

     

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    Yakko Warner (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:01pm

    Publishing is global, viewing is local?

    A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader’s current location.

    So you can publish whatever you want, but the reader may not be able to see it depending on where they are. It's still censorship, but it's not as bad as I first thought (that content is actually removed from ever being seen).

    I wonder if/how this will work with custom domains (like my own). Surely they won't try to take all custom domains pointing to Blogger and register the ccTLD version...?

     

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  7.  
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    Tim K (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:02pm

    Re:

    Except if a website wants to be accessible to all these different countries they'll have to pay for each country specific domain, and that'll get rather pricey. Bigger companies might be able to afford that, but not smaller companies, or individuals with a single blog or site.

     

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  8.  
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    jupiterkansas (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:03pm

    You honestly didn't think the governments of the world were just going to let people freely associate, communicate, and share ideas and information with people in other countries did you?

    I'm really surprised it's taken this long.

     

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  9.  
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    Machin Shin (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:05pm

    Re:

    I would now like to take a moment to point out there is a BIG difference between morally wrong and illegal. What made the internet so great was that it was free of laws and restrictions dictating what is allowed or not. Just because it is illegal to speak out against the (insert unjust rulers) does not make it wrong.

     

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  10.  
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    Gwiz (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    YaCy - The Peer to Peer Search Engine

    It can't be censored. The trade off is speed and you "donate" disk space, bandwidth and CPU cycles.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:06pm

    Re:

    Huh?

    What makes you think that countries were just ignoring "illegal activities" committed by their own citizens because they were taking place on blogspot.com instead of blogspot.ccTLD?

    Your logic is absurd.

     

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  12.  
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    Nick Taylor, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    The EFF say that the twitter move will actually decrease censorship - and if the EFF say that, then that's probably what's true.

    My take:

    The threat isn't censorship of our blog posts or tweets, because we are human and massively adaptive and can easily route around censorship, or talk in code or whatever.

    The threat is: twitter or google being sued to death or shut down completely or corrupted at a higher level. The treat is us is the treat to the conduit.

    Twitter and google appearing to play to the rules of dictatorships as a self-protection measure, probably makes our communication channels more secure.

    --

    Longer term, we need to replace centralised "cloud" apps with P2P versions. Moves towards this are afoot... and I think there might even be working versions out there... but getting people to migrate is extremely difficult. It's almost like a parallel system that can pull/feed into twitter is needed.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:07pm

    Re:

    "What it is more likely to be the end of is people doing things online that is either illegal in their countries, or that would get them sued in their countries."

    If enough people are willing to do it then maybe the people don't think it's something that should be illegal in the first place and perhaps what that means is that representative governments shouldn't ban it.

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:11pm

    Re:

    You missed the point by a long shot. The point of the internet is for communication. By limiting that to what your government approves you are removing the real opinions of the people. Government lives and dies at the hand of the people. The legality of something is subject to the will of the people. You can only beat some one so much before they retaliate and destroy you. Enforcing the most restrictive laws on the net because some people don't like it is the same as striking an animal. It will only take so much before it decides that it has had enough and turn on you.

    So be wary of your position of power. The masses have found out that they once again control the tide. You can start a protest to millions of people in seconds on the internet. That is what governments fear, destruction by the people. Legality is just the mask they use to try and keep the tide at bay.

     

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  15.  
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    Chris Rhodes (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:14pm

    Worse Than The Alternative?

    Scenario 1: Google continues like they are. Either they will be forced by corrupt government to censor posts entirely, or those governments will block Blogger entirely. End Result: The information cannot escape.

    Scenario 2: Google blocks content from inside those countries, but allows access to that content from outside the country. Information escapes.

    Scenario 2 seems better to me, at first glance.

     

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  16.  
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    Lord Binky, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:16pm

    Time to start hosting in international waters

     

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    Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Publishing is global, viewing is local?

    So you can publish whatever you want, but the reader may not be able to see it depending on where they are.

    Possibly, but it may be easy to get around.

    Say something is censored in Australia, so when you get directed to whatever.blogspot.com.au you can't read it. Is there anything stopping you from then manually going to whatever.blogspot.com.uk and seeing the content (assuming it also isn't censored in the UK)?

     

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    rubberpants, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:23pm

    Re:

    It isn't the end of the truly global internet. You can reach any site on any country tld without issue.

    Unless it's blocked by DNS of course.

    What it is more likely to be the end of is people doing things online that is either illegal in their countries or that would get them sued in their countries.

    I doubt that, and even if it were true that isn't always a good thing. What's illegal in some countries is a sacred human right in others.

    It's another step towards the reality that the internet isn't all that different from the real world.

    I think it's obvious that the Internet is very different from the "real" world. (And by real I'm guessing you mean physical. The Internet is very real.) Do you mean to say that the Internet shouldn't be different from the rest of the world?

    If being responsible for your actions somehow hurts the internet, then it's probably a good thing.

    What do you mean "being responsible for your actions?" Absolute enforcement of all laws? We don't even do that in the "real" world. It's not practical or desirable.

    Are you saying that it would be good if the Internet gets hurt?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Poster, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re:

    What's illegal in some countries is a sacred human right in others.

    The free and open exchange of ideas and speech, for example.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:28pm

    This isn't censorship, not even remotely censorship. This is directing users to a country specific site (only when a country specific version of the site exists). If the viewer's country censors something that is different than Google censoring something.

    Old school analogy - think of Google as a phonebook, there are different versions of phonebooks for every city. Instead of looking up phone numbers you are looking up web site addresses (URLs), now instead of getting generic addresses you are getting addresses that are specific to your location (only when a country specific version exists).

    This isn't enabling censorship, it's actually preventing it - some countries block entire sites and only allow access to their country specific site for any given domain. Think China blocking YouTube for example. Now people who live under the control of repressive regimes will at least see some of the content that would otherwise be unavailable.

     

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  21.  
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    Blatant Coward (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:29pm

    Msr. Pot, Mme Kettle

    "If being responsible for your actions somehow hurts the internet, then it's probably a good thing."

    Coming from an Anonymous Coward?

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    When huge companies who owe so much to the internet start going against the very nature of the internet, you know we are in trouble

    Good thing for us, that internet companies tend to rely on internet users, as much as i like google and their free service philosophy, this aint right, so i dont say this lightly, but, i would'nt be oposed to boycoting google until they reverse this and start mending their backbone, i cant fathom why they've done this, considering it would be so easy for us to delete accounts and spam their services in protest

    Why do we need RIAA, when companies like google and twitter are doing their jobs for them

    As long standing and loyal customer of google, this aint good man, this aint good at all

    if it aint broke, dont fix it

    I need more info on this, and a google response, before i go against a company i thought would fight for us, thin ice google, thin ice

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:33pm

    When huge companies who owe so much to the internet start going against the very nature of the internet, you know we are in trouble

    Good thing for us, that internet companies tend to rely on internet users, as much as i like google and their free service philosophy, this aint right, so i dont say this lightly, but, i would'nt be oposed to boycoting google until they reverse this and start mending their backbone, i cant fathom why they've done this, considering it would be so easy for us to delete accounts and spam their services in protest

    Why do we need RIAA, when companies like google and twitter are doing their jobs for them

    As long standing and loyal customer of google, this aint good man, this aint good at all

    if it aint broke, dont fix it

    I need more info on this, and a google response, before i go against a company i thought would fight for us, thin ice google, thin ice

     

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  24. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re:

    "All I want to do is rob this store. Why are the police trying to censor me from doing that?"

     

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  25. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:38pm

    Re:

    Google removes things from their engine all the time if they feel like it.

    They just don't feel like removing things that make them money.

     

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  26.  
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    Paul (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:42pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Are you familiar with the concept of prior restraint?

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:44pm

    Re:

    sorry double post

     

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  28.  
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    Wil, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:52pm

    Applies to DMCA?

    So does this apply to DMCA takedown notices? i.e. will Twitter and Google leave content up everywhere *except* in the US?

     

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  29.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:53pm

    Re: ANALogy

    "If the viewer's country censors something that is different than Google censoring something."
    Right!
    Let's take this to the extremes...

    If somebody makes you kill somebody else, it's not like you're responsible--somebody made you do it.

    That might be a bad example, I'll try again.

    If somebody makes you steal from somebody else, it's not like you're responsible--somebody made you do it.

    Maybe not, let's try a third one.

    If somebody makes you rape somebody else, it's not like you're responsible--somebody made you do it.

    Screw it, never mind.

     

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  30.  
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    Suja (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 2:57pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    what part of
    It doesn't have to be illegal for it to be censored, the people in charge just don't have to like the message

    did you not understand?

     

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  31.  
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    timtim, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    no country redirect.

    will not the global internet still live on through hyperlinks with a "/ncr" suffix?

     

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  32.  
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    TimothyAWiseman (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:00pm

    This is their best option

    While I may not like the fact that Google feels the need to do this, I think their reasoning is logical and this is probably the best way to approach the situation.

    Google, for all that it does a great deal of good for the world, remains a corporation, and a for-profit one at that. Google must obey the laws, at least so far is it operates locally, of every jurisdiction in which it does business. This includes censoring content when there is a valid law or court order requiring it to do so.

    Google already removes content in the US when ordered by a court for reasons such as Copyright Infringement, slander, etc. Many other countries apply censorship much more broadly. Google must comply with the laws of these other countries at least so long as it wishes to operate within them.

    By applying the censorship only to the version of the site seen by that country, they are taking the absolute lightest touch to censorship that they can while still complying with their legal obligations.

    While we may not like the fact that some of these requirements exist at all, they do and Google must comply. I am glad they are doing it with the lightest touch that they are permitted to use.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    ok i would try to explain you if you live in france and go to wiki you will be forced to go to wiki.fr, don't know where you are from but some times the wiki.com is the wiki that is most updated so you would be with outdate or incomplete information sometimes

     

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  34.  
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    Suja (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:02pm

    Re:

    i wouldn't be surprised, "frog in boiling water" tactics take ages for a reason, can't be too fast or people will find out like they did with SOPA

     

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  35.  
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    Suja (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Re:

    i think i actually meant "go nuts about it" instead of just finding out about it 'cause generally when they find out the temperature has risen 1 degree it's too late

     

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  36.  
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    duane (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:04pm

    see you on the flipside...

    where a country just blocks everything without the right designation. Google isn't censoring, but it is enabling censoring. Twitter too, and as long as the big boys are doing it, then everyone else will have to too. Hello higher barrier to entry. Works out kinda nicely for Google and Twitter that way huh?

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Re:

    if i remember correctly they did remove ad payment to megaupload so your point ?

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:07pm

    This is not only what Twitter is doing, but employs exactly the same topsy-turvy logic: by enabling local censorship, we are promoting free expression. That in itself is obviously troubling, not least because Google may be setting off down a slippery slope that sees all of its services segmented by geography to avoid local problems.

    Sounds like a great tool to use against countries whose weak IP laws promote wholesale infringement. Thanks Google, see you next Congress!!

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:16pm

    Volksempfänger

    Volksempfänger: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The Volksempfänger (German for "people's receiver") was a range of radio receivers developed by engineer Otto Griessing at the request of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels.

    The purpose of the Volksempfänger-program was to make radio reception technology affordable to the general public....

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:17pm

    Re: This is their best option

    the only way i could even begin to support this is if google swears under the god of busines, that certain things would never be censored, unless under very extreme circumstances and in a very non vagues way

    as to what, should never be censored? i can think of one or two, but ill leave the rest to those a hell of alot more cleverer then me

     

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  41.  
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    fb39ca4, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:32pm

    fuck geography imma trex

     

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  42.  
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    Adrian Lopez, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    DNS-level website blocking

    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.

     

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  43.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    "Longer term, we need to replace centralised "cloud" apps with P2P versions. Moves towards this are afoot... and I think there might even be working versions out there... but getting people to migrate is extremely difficult."

    What you need is the killer app. That would be the backbone of this system.

     

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  44.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:42pm

    Re: Applies to DMCA?

    Would that be funny or what.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 3:50pm

    google it, can very easily become Bing-ing it, and i dont like microsoft very much

     

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  46.  
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    Yakko Warner (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Re: Publishing is global, viewing is local?

    Depends. If Google identifies your IP as Australian, it may 304 you from whatever.blogspot.com.uk back to whatever.blogspot.com.au. I would expect them to do this.

    Of course, there will always be ways around that to mask your IP's location (proxies and VPNs).

     

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  47.  
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    Violated (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 4:02pm

    Them pesky French

    I would say this is more welcome than troubling. We should keep in mind that Censorship is already happening and this is just their response on how to deal with it.

    In one example I have seen Google received a French court order to block links to a French infringing website. The only problem was Google did not just block France when they blocked many other countries as well including here in the UK.

    So it is a good question of why google.co.uk is blocking UK people from seeing links to a French website? No British court has has made such a ruling and where I am sure French court orders do not apply outside the borders of France.

    This then all comes down to the question of when next they receive a Censorship order from a French court then should they remove those links for France, Europe or Global?

    This is exactly why Google, Twitter and others need to split their service by country so that all the Global community do not suffer from local Censorship.

    As to their google.co.uk domain then that has been UK site focused for years but they are still quite happy to return more Global results if the search demands it.

     

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  48.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 4:14pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Blocking a website is the equivalent of robbing a store in that it deprives people of that website and it deprives the website of distribution.

     

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  49.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 4:15pm

    Re:

    "is people doing things online that is either illegal in their countries, or that would get them sued in their countries."

    You act as if people should have little say in what constitutes illegal or liable behavior in their country.

     

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  50.  
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    simple simon (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 4:16pm

    In The Spirit Of Sharing Knowledge...

    This is a somewhat outdated program, but it seems to work for me. It is a very small community right now, but I have a feeling it is going to grow...
    http://mute-net.sourceforge.net/

     

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  51.  
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    abc gum, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 4:39pm

    They are simply setting up region codes for the inevitable time when the net is turned into just another broadcast medium. No longer will you be allowed to communicate freely with the world, you will be held within the walled garden chosen for you by those who think they are in control - LOL.

     

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  52.  
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    Glenn, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 5:09pm

    It's really pitiful...

    when "tech" companies founded on the concept of "the web" (a subset of "the Internet") begin to display a basic LACK of understanding as to what the web is, was, and needs to continue to be.

    No freedom of speech -> no freedom of thought -> no web (no one will need it)

    When the presses stopped printing... what happened? (Well, those who fail to learn the lessons of history...)

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 6:34pm

    Re: Worse Than The Alternative?

    Nope.

    I seems that if a blogger blogs about something in that country that the governement doesn't like, they can request the post be removed or the whole domain got shutdown.

    That's at least how the tldcc thing in China works. All websites with *.cn domain are require to register themselves to the province's IT department in additional to CNNIC. If there are post the government found doesn't like, they'll issue takedown to the website's registant. If no action is taken, the domain will be taken down (0.0.0.0 on query) and if the server is hosted in China too, the server will be taken down (power off) too.

    I doubt Google is going to take that challenge given they backed down on the search engine issue 2 years ago.

     

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  54.  
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    bongo houzi (profile), Feb 1st, 2012 @ 6:41pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    not really, if you really listen to what the pols say.

     

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  55.  
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    Viatcheslav I Sobol, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 7:38pm

    The end of the global internet? More like business as usual

    The internet has never been global due to the linguistic and cultural differences. Furthermore, Chinese in spite of being one of the largest internet user base have been living behind the wall of technological censorship with the assistance of western corporations which gladly sell various technological innovations to implement such limited information access availability. Therefore, nothing in a sense changes other than another large corporation publicly complying with local laws of places where it chooses to do business.

     

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  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re:

    Your rant is amusing, but rather incredibly wrong - because many people in the world do not have (or even really desire) the type of "freedom" you have in America (which is where you are most certainly from, based on the rhetoric).

    Freedom for people online isn't any different from their freedoms in everyday life. If they live in a country with strict government control, say China, Iran, North Korea, etc... then you should not be surprised that their online freedoms will be similarly "limited".

    Some people live in countries such as Thailand, where certain things (like bitching about the monarchy) are illegal.

    We as the grandly free may not agree with these restrictions, but you need to understand them. If there is a restriction in speech, it's at the level of the country, and not the internet. It isn't the internet's fault, that is the law of the country, not anything else.

    We are not talking about imposing the most restrictive laws on the planet to all users. We are talking about the laws of a given country being respected in that country. Isn't that just logical? If you don't like the laws of the country, fight them on it. Don't blame the internet for it.

     

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  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 9:23pm

    Re: Re:

    "ou act as if people should have little say in what constitutes illegal or liable behavior in their country."

    No, they should have plenty of say - if that is permitted within the law. I am saying only that nobody should expect the internet (or any other communication medium) to be more or less open than everything else in a given country.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    monkyyy, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 9:57pm

    Re:

    bing will follow soon they just wont tell anyone

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I love how the following was censored here on Techdirt:

    "Google removes things from their engine all the time if they feel like it.

    They just don't feel like removing things that make them money."

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Rekrul, Feb 1st, 2012 @ 10:36pm

    War is Peace, Ignorance is Strength, and Freedom is Slavery!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 1:21am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "We are not talking about imposing the most restrictive laws on the planet to all users"

    No, you're talking about removing access to freedom of speech for people who are otherwise repressed. You're saying "you might be jailed or put to death for saying or doing certain things in real life? Tough shit, you just lost the freedom to do those things online, as well as a way of alerting people in other countries to your plight". A pretty stupid attitude, typical of your kind, though.

    "If you don't like the laws of the country, fight them on it."

    Aren't you one of the people who tries to pretend Google are paying people offer if they do just that in your country?

    The internet is one way of people expressing their opposition to their laws. How does removing their access to doing so help them?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 1:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "No, they should have plenty of say"

    Spoken like someone who's never been on the wrong end of this kind of this. Good for you.

    "I am saying only that nobody should expect the internet (or any other communication medium) to be more or less open than everything else in a given country."

    So, you support despots, tyrants and dictators who wish to kill the freedoms of the people in their country, even though these freedoms may be partially returned to them via an unfettered internet?

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 2:18am

    Time to go back to using IP addresses in the browser rather than URLs. Start doing Nslookups on your favorite out of country sites so you can get there when they make this change.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 4:07am

    Re: Worse Than The Alternative?

    Maybe you should take more than a glance.

    When a two option post gets marked insightful, it is time to quit reading comments.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re: Re:

    >No, they should have plenty of say - if that is permitted within the law.

    And if they're not permitted, sucks to be them, and because they're not permitted to change the law, it should always be assumed that nothing's wrong. What a fantastic world you live in.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 4:22am

    Re: Re: Worse Than The Alternative?

    "it is time to quit reading comments."

    Be my guest...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 4:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    How is it censored if I can still click on the comment and read it?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 4:25am

    Re: Re: Worse Than The Alternative?

    Awwww... are you sad that Chris Dodd, the RIAA, or any other industry you shill for (and their two options of "pass this law" or "we'll sue the shit out of you") never get marked insightful?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 5:14am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I love how you don't know what censorship is. I also love how you apparently haven't worked out why a button that is used to hide trolling comments so often applies to you...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  70.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 5:15am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Funny, I asked the same question about search engine de-listing. The site's still there, you just have to work harder to find it. Glad to see you agree.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  71.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 5:18am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "I am saying only that nobody should expect the internet (or any other communication medium) to be more or less open than everything else in a given country."

    So in other words, you're saying that everyone should expect the internet to be as non-open as the most restrictive or censorious country, instead of the most open or laissez-faire?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  72.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Yes because search engines hide the results and tell you where to click to show them... oh wait they don't.

    ooh, those nasty sites like Slashdot that hide comments that get downvoted too much... they so censoring!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  73.  
    icon
    The Groove Tiger (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 6:22am

    Re: Re: Worse Than The Alternative?

    Ow! Options make AC head hurt! AC smash!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  74.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 8:44am

    Re:

    anonymous the new nwo

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  75.  
    icon
    A Guy (profile), Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 1:08pm

    Re: Re:

    Nothing is forcing a small company to institute this policy, at least not here in the United States.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  76.  
    identicon
    Scott, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 5:44pm

    don't fear these efforts to control people

    They just want to push people around and I don't accept any of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  77.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 9:26pm

    Re:

    Startpage.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  78.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 2nd, 2012 @ 11:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Right, because a single mouse click takes as much effort as typing in a URL you're not aware exists.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  79.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Worse Than The Alternative?

    I have, but I was curious as to why I wasn't getting e-mails regarding this post.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  80.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:41am

    Re: Re: Re: Worse Than The Alternative?

    Maybe you can tell me who I shill for.

    Then we'll both have a clue.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  81.  
    icon
    btrussell (profile), Feb 3rd, 2012 @ 4:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Worse Than The Alternative?

    Only two options? That would be called a false dichotomy if you didn't agree.

    Do more than two options make your head hurt?

    Look at the insults. Helps re-enforce my original comment.



    Good points made! You guys have changed my mind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  82.  
    icon
    Ryan Diederich (profile), Apr 7th, 2012 @ 4:11am

    Full Circle

    And in the last inning humanity decides to put back up all the walls it knocked down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  83.  
    identicon
    hotel in yanbu, Jun 2nd, 2012 @ 1:41pm

    hjzcom

    good post

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  84.  
    icon
    lrobbo (profile), Jun 7th, 2012 @ 9:29am

    The internet is not the level playing field it once was and it'll only get worse as the restrictions grow over time till we can barely recall the days of free sharing unrestricted information . . .

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  85.  
    identicon
    chaz, Dec 10th, 2012 @ 8:30pm

    Re: what other browser

    duckduckgo.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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