by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
censorship, china, search engines


Dear China: It's Not Google That Is Producing Or Hosting Porn

from the understanding-how-the-internet-works-is-useful dept

We've noted in the past that the Great Firewall of China basically works via a threat model. Basically, the government tells ISPs that if they fail to block "undesirable" content, then they'll get in trouble. Then, they may get notes about what type of content is "undesirable" but for the most part it's left up to them to figure it out, but if any "bad stuff" gets through, they know they can get in trouble, so they tend to overblock. Earlier this year, China warned various search engines that they too needed to comply with such rules, and that it was upset that people could find "bad stuff" via those search engines.

Apparently Google didn't pay enough attention, because the Chinese gov't has "disabled" parts of Google in China because (they claim) people can still access pornographic content (and other "undesirable" content, one imagines). However, what's interesting is the assumption that links on Google represent content Google has control over. As one of our readers, Ben, points out, it appears that the Chinese gov't regularly implies that Google "owns" the content that it links to:
The China Internet Illegal Information Reporting Center, had criticized the search engine for its erotic content and threatened punishment from the government. The group had said that Google had already been warned twice, in January and April, about its content.
And there you have the problem. The content isn't Google's and it makes no sense to claim that it is or to punish Google's spiders for finding and indexing it.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Poster, 19 Jun 2009 @ 4:54pm



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