French Regulating Body Says Google Must Honor Right To Be Forgotten Across All Of Its Domains

from the CNIL:-WE-ARE-THE-WORLD dept

France's privacy regulator thinks it should be able to control what the world sees in Google's search results. Back in June, the regulator said Google must apply the "right to be forgotten" ruling across all of its domains, not just Google.fr, etc.

Google rightly responded, "Go fuck forget yourself" (but in appeal form), as Jennifer Baker of The Register reports.

Google had argued that around 97 per cent of French users use Google.fr rather than Google.com, that CNIL was trying to apply French law extra-territorially and that applying the RTBF on its global domains would impede the public’s right to information and would be a form of censorship.
But France seems intent on standing up for the 3%. The regulating body has rejected Google's appeal and declared its intent on bending the world to its interpretation of the RTBF ruling. As it sees it, what's good for France is good for the rest of the connected world. And since all roads lead through Google, a deletion honored at Google.fr must also be delisted at Google.com

From the ruling:
Geographical extensions are only paths giving access to the processing operation. Once delisting is accepted by the search engine, it must be implemented on all extensions, in accordance with the judgment of the ECJ.

If this right was limited to some extensions, it could be easily circumvented: in order to find the delisted result, it would be sufficient to search on another extension (e.g. searching in France using google.com) , namely to use another form of access to the processing. This would equate stripping away the efficiency of this right, and applying variable rights to individuals depending on the internet user who queries the search engine and not on the data subject.

In any case, the right to delisting never leads to deletion of the information on the internet; it merely prevents some results to be displayed following a search made on the sole basis of a person’s name. Thus, the information remains directly accessible on the source website or through a search using other terms. For instance, it is impossible to delist an event.
Yes, delisting at one domain means it's still accessible at others. That's the way these things are supposed to work. Perhaps the government bodies involved in this decision might have considered the unintended side effects before deciding RTBF was a great idea with minimal flaws.

The general tone of the regulator's response is that Google is being deliberately obtuse when it claims compliance at Google.fr (for example) is following the letter of the law. The French governing body wants Google to follow the spirit of the law, which means basically anticipating various governments' next moves after another hole in their "forget me now" plan presents itself.

CNIL then makes this disingenuous statements about its decision.
Finally, contrary to what Google has stated, this decision does not show any willingness on the part of the CNIL to apply French law extraterritorially. It simply requests full observance of European legislation by non European players offering their services in Europe.
If this is what it's actually requesting, complying at French domains would be all that was required of Google. But it isn't. It's asking for "full observance" and then leaving it up to Google to comply with requests in countries where the Right to Be Forgotten isn't recognized as an actual "right."

Those behind the push for a right to be forgotten should have seen this coming. They also should have recognized the limits of their desires. Pushing Google to delist any RTBF request across all domains allows Europe to decide what can and can't be seen (at least through Google's search engine) by the rest of the world. And yet, the regulating body calling for this ridiculous "solution" has the gall to claim it's not actually applying its decision extra-territorially, but that Google's global reach somehow obliges it to do this "voluntarily," if only to maintain the consistency regulators had in mind when they started enforcing the "right to be forgotten."

The deflectionary reminder that the content isn't actually deleted from the web is a cheap dodge. What's never acknowledged in these rulings is that removing links from search engine results is pretty much the same thing as removing it from the original websites. If search engines can't "find" it, it ceases to exist for all intents and purposes. Giving people the power to selectively edit the web without even acquiring a court order was -- and is -- a bad idea. The EU continues to assert the general public has the right to rewrite their own history, and now, with decisions like these, it's forcing the rest of the world to play along with these edited narratives.


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  • icon
    cerda (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:32am

    Why only Google?

    I wonder how the other search engines are doing -- Wikipedia, Yahoo, Bing, etc.

    Are they compliant to the French interpretation of international law? Not? Never been asked to?

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:52am

      Take out the leader and the rest will follow

      I imagine the various governments pushing for this rot are focusing primarily on Google, with the idea that if they can get Google to cave, the others will follow, not having nearly as much clout or money to fight back with.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:16am

        Re: Take out the leader and the rest will follow

        To win a battle/war the first thing to do is take out the strongest player.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:33am

    And Google blocks all of France and walks away.

    See, see what you did there you political idiots?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:36am

    It simply requests full observance of European legislation by non European players offering their services in Europe.

    So when the US uses the third party doctrine to insist that Microsoft 365 documents, emails etc. are passed to the NSA unencrypted, France cannot complain that this includes documents created by its citizens.

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 2:51pm

      Re:

      Holocaust denial is a crime in France. But it's protected speech in the United States.

      If the French viewpoint on the right to be forgotten is accurate, that a court can order something globally even if such a thing violates the laws of another nation, then someone ought to sue Google.fr to stop them from complying with French laws that violate the US Constitution.

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

  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:39am

    Google is doing it wrong...

    This is a case where Google is truly missing the concept, and as a result, the French courts are (wrongly in my opinion) going to make them pay for it.

    All Google needs to do is geo force all french people to google.fr. If they try to access any other Google site (including google.com) they should be sent back to google.fr.

    The issue for Google is that you can access almost any of their regional sites from anywhere - and that means that yes, there are Google results available in France which are not compliant with the (stupid, but apparently legal) law.

    Google is making a real mess of this one.

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

    • icon
      techflaws (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:14am

      Re: Google is doing it wrong...

      Google doesn't miss anything. It simply points out that the concept is totally bonkers. And I'm again no the least bit surprised that you see it differently.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:17am

      Re: Google is doing it wrong...

      Wouldn't work. The court doesn't want the info de-listed just in france, it wants it de-listed globally.

      Either that or they're freaking out about the 3% of french users who don't use google.fr, which while possible, I personally think is less likely than wanting global de-listing, meaning they're most likely just using the 3% as an excuse, and would find another if google did geo-restrict their services.

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

      • icon
        Bergman (profile), 26 Sep 2015 @ 2:53pm

        Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

        Simple solution: Sue Google.fr in a US court for obeying a French law that violates the US Constitution and demand they comply with the resulting court order globally.

        Watch France lose their collective minds (again).

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

    • icon
      Mason Wheeler (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:17am

      Re: Google is doing it wrong...

      Sounds simple enough. Now just define "french person," from the perspective of Google's server.

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

    • icon
      Chris-Mouse (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:27am

      Re: Google is doing it wrong...

      Region blocking for internet services like Google would work about as well as region blocking for any ther content. As the French have already discovered with their attempt to block filesharing, the block simply won't be very effective. There are just too many ways around it.

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

      • icon
        Ninja (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:35am

        Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

        That. And there are plenty of options that are outside France jurisdiction where people can go for the info.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

          Like I said someone should start a business, outside of the any right to be forgotten jurisdiction, intent on allowing for searches of only those that have requested to be forgotten. It can also have a directory (if the list is small enough) to make it easier to just see a list of everyone that's been forgotten. Or at least a recent directory of those that have been most recently added to the list.

          Those that would like info on anyone that may have requested to be forgotten can simply search that site. For international companies that may have the site blocked in their area they can get info from computers in other countries. This also serves the purpose of highlighting those that wish to use this right to be forgotten privilege by creating a search engine that removes the distractions of all other content.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:51am

          Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

          Yup, the internet sees censorship (global right to be forgotton) as damage and routes around it (Proxy, VPN, etc.).

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

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:42am

        Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

        I think you miss the point. If someone wants to obtain something, they can and will. Legally, Google should make the good faith effort to restrict residence of France to using the filtered google.fr site, and make every normal effort to keep them away from other, non .FR versions of Google. It would not be perfect, but it would create a situation where the French courts would have to find Google liable for people using VPNs and proxies, which is beyond their control.

        Moreover, Google France should be it's own stand alone company, and Alphabet does not fall under the French courts jurisdiction. If they want to enforce their order, they can come to the US and file suit - and good luck getting past that pesky first amendment issue.

        Google is just doing it all wrong by basically capitulating and not taking clear steps to isolate France from the rest of their system.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 10:11am

          Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

          Legally, Google should make the good faith effort to restrict residence of France to using the filtered google.fr site,

          What about all the holiday makers and expats in France who might like to use their own countries version of Google?

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

          • icon
            btr1701 (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 2:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

            > What about all the holiday makers and expats in
            > France who might like to use their own countries
            > version of Google?

            Sucks to be them, I suppose.

            They should direct their complaints to the French government, which is the cause of all this mess.

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

          • icon
            Lalo Martins (profile), 24 Sep 2015 @ 12:11am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

            When one is visiting a foreign country, one is supposed to obey local law.

            Caveat: I'm strongly opposed to the “‘right‘ to be forgotten”. But it's technically feasible, yes.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 10:29am

          Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

          Legally, Google should make the good faith effort to restrict residence of France to using the filtered google.fr site, and make every normal effort to keep them away from other, non .FR versions of Google.

          This IS what Google's doing.

          It would not be perfect, but it would create a situation where the French courts would have to find Google liable for people using VPNs and proxies, which is beyond their control.

          This IS what the French courts are trying to do.



          This IS what Google's doing

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 10:51am

          Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

          When you're defending your castle, you don't ask your enemies to build your walls and dig your moat.

          If France wants to be safe from unsanctioned history, it's France's job to kick Google out and build its own Great Firewall.

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

        • icon
          nasch (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 12:33pm

          Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

          Legally, Google should make the good faith effort to restrict residence of France to using the filtered google.fr site, and make every normal effort to keep them away from other, non .FR versions of Google.

          Why? Does French law state they must do this in order to operate in France?

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

          • icon
            MrTroy (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Google is doing it wrong...

            My reading of the article is similar:

            Geographical extensions are only paths giving access to the processing operation. Once delisting is accepted by the search engine, it must be implemented on all extensions, in accordance with the judgment of the ECJ.

            Not that all extensions should redirect to google.co.fr, but that all extensions should act as-if they were google.co.fr if accessed from a french origin.

            Personally, I think mandating that all french original redirect to .co.fr is less legally messy while achieving the same end... though I suspect that end is sending 97% of that 3% to VPNs or TOR.

            I do agree with Whatever that Google shouldn't be arguing that this is technically infeasible or that it's extra-judicial. The law really is stupid and makes almost no sense, but those seem to be losing arguments. I do wonder what the response would be if Google were to present an accounting of what it would cost to make the tech change so all domains operate as-if .co.fr if accessed from a French source, and compared that to their income from all French sources... also to the number of people they hire in France, their total French outgoings and tax paid - see who has the most to lose if Google pulls out of France, before and after this ruling.

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

    • icon
      tqk (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:33am

      Re: Google is doing it wrong...

      The issue for Google is that you can access almost any of their regional sites from anywhere - and that means that yes, there are Google results available in France which are not compliant with the (stupid, but apparently legal) law.

      You've got it completely backward. This is an issue for France, not Google. It's their stupid law they're trying to get Google to enforce when it's ridiculous. All it takes to get past anything Google does is a VPN, so why rag on Google for being incapable of doing the impossible?

      You're a fool to blame Google for this unfunny joke.

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

  • icon
    Machin Shin (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:41am

    Sometimes I wonder why Google doesn't just respond to these things in more fun ways.

    Like hey, why not box up everything they own in France and ship it to another country. Then offer to move all their employees to their new sites in the other locations. They take the free move or they start job hunting.

    I think that would be a nice wake up call to these governments. Loosing access to Google, loosing lot of jobs, AND loosing a lot of highly skilled workers.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:28am

      Re:

      It's funny how unskilled politicians and regulators get to dictate the laws that skilled people must follow.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:42am

        Re: Re:

        People who can do, those that cannot go into management or politics, as those only require the ability to use rhetoric, empty of all knowledge.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:46am

    'No results found.'

    I think at this point someone from some other country needs to claim that all mention of France needs to be removed from the internet in their country, and since only having it apply within a single country defeats the attempt to re-write history, clearly it needs to happen on a global scale. See how well they take it when all mention of their country just disappears from the internet.

    Allowing any country/government to dictate what is and is not allowed to show up globally will result in the most repressive ones, whether socially, religiously or otherwise being able to veto anything they don't like, and the internet would be torn to pieces in the process, with only the most bland and useless content surviving the censoring.

    Or put simply, unless the french government is okay with other governments deciding what they get to see and have access to, they don't get to dictate what everyone else gets to see and have access to.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:59am

      Re: 'No results found.'

      And yet this is exactly what the U.S. does with its gdemand that Google respect its DMCA legislation globally.

      For the record, that's wrong too.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:29am

        Re: Re: 'No results found.'

        It's what the U.S. did to Megaupload. They denied global access to Megaupload even though Megaupload substantially followed the law.

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

  • identicon
    DigDug, 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:49am

    Fuck France

    Just turn off Google in France, it's a shitty little pissant of a country anyway.

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

    • icon
      JF (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:26am

      Re: Fuck France

      The irony is they can't turn off France anymore than they can id the location of who is making the search requests. If someone in France can get online then they can get to Google. So the only way to "turn off" France is to physically disconnect them. Unless you define turn off as pull all personnel and resources out of France so even if they fine/seize/try to arrest someone there is nothing there.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:53am

      Re: Fuck France

      On second thought, let's not go to France. It is a silly place.

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:54am

    Here is the first problem...
    "Once delisting is accepted by the search engine"

    Perhaps they should tell them to get stuffed.
    This silly law is stupid, it is nothing more than trying to appease people who neurotically Google themselves trying to have total control over their image. While they've managed to get Google to hide the information, it is still out there and people running background checks will find it. The internet never forgets, and Google is not the fing Internet.

    Are things for fing wonderful in France that supressing search engine results is the final step to the utopian nation of France? Or is this them distracting a populace they has a history of rising up and beheading their leadership when things are extra shitty?

    Google should walk away, blackhole all of France and call it a damn day. No matter how many times the regulators have butted in on any issue, it never solves anything and a majority of the time what they are pushing for damages the people demanding it. Imagine a nation that no search engine will service, how long before the people will demand to know why and then have to accept that you can't white wash your history... you need to accept it and move forward.

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

  • icon
    eaving (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:00am

    Flat out Google needs to simply turn off functions to France for a few days, with a nice little 404 explaining why and which politicians are responsible. The polis feel entitled up against google, lets see how they feel when a few million angry citizens contact them. If they cave this will come up again elsewhere. Show that they are not going to allow countries to apply extra territorial laws somewhere big enough to notice but small enough not to be missed.

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

    • icon
      Lalo Martins (profile), 24 Sep 2015 @ 12:15am

      Re:

      This. As far as I'm aware, most Europeans who even know about this ruling are opposed. But the EU court and parliament have pretty much no oversight or real popular representativity, and they do whatever they want.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:05am

    > If search engines can't "find" it, it ceases to exist for all intents and purposes.

    If this were NOT true, the Right to be Forgotten would be requiring the content be removed from the original web sites.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:33am

      Re:

      It's a whole lot more work/expensive to remove it from many many individual websites than to remove it from a central search engine. A website might also be out of the jurisdiction of the country.

      But I agree that this whole privilege to be forgotten thing is retarded. Like I said someone should simply start a search engine that only focuses on those wishing to be forgotten and base it out of the jurisdiction of a privilege to be forgotten country.

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

  • icon
    jilocasin (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:05am

    France wants its borders back.

    "Finally, contrary to what Google has stated, this decision does not show any willingness on the part of the CNIL to apply French law extraterritorially [emphasis mine]. It simply requests full observance of European legislation by non European players offering their services in Europe."


    What France is really saying is that they want their pre-internet borders back. It's understandable, pretty much every country wants the internet to respect their borders. Governments really hate it when they can't control the world. At least in the pre-internet age, they could at least control their citizens.

    Google wants to have one system to serve them all. The problem with Google's solution, is that all of Google is accessible from the EU. Google is being somewhat snarky by just delisting the .fr domain. At the very least they should have delisted all of the EU domains. (Not that it would have actually helped, but it would have looked a little less snarky.)

    The only way to satisfy the French, along with the Chinese, the Turkish, the ...... (you get the idea) is to create a version of Google for each political area that gets served to everyone from that area regardless of what they type into their web browser. Google.fr, Google.es, Google...., Google.com should all point to the version approved for the location of the user. If a user is in France then they should get Google results that comply with French laws first, then EU laws.

    The problem with that is just how does Google know the location of the user making the browser request in real time? Physically track the location of the connection? Look up the registered user's internet-license?, anything coming from a particular block of IP addresses?

    The first isn't very reliable, the second doesn't actually exist (in most western countries at least), and the third is easily defeated by using a VPN.

    Realistically, the best Google can do is #3. France/EU can give them a list of IP blocks (good luck with IPv6 self assigned blocks) that Google can redirect to the French approved Google results. Realizing of course that they will have to shortly thereafter expand that to the rest of the EU. Soon to be followed by China, India, Myramar, etc.

    If the internet user utilizes a VPN to disguise their location, that's not Google's fault.

    Should Google suggest to do the above, and France balks, then the world would know that they really do want to apply French law extraterritorially.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:35am

      Re: France wants its borders back.

      Perhaps Google.fr can simply say that Google.US is outside of their authority, kinda like its own foreign company, and if France doesn't like it Google can pull their operations outside of France.

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

  • identicon
    AJ, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:07am

    I wonder if by complying with French laws, Google will be breaking laws in other countries. What happens if French law makes you take it down, and U.S. law decides taking it down is a violation of freedom of speech and tells them to put it back up?

    Would the French then have to surrender to Google?

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

    • icon
      icarusthecow (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:14am

      Re:

      Well obviously Google will just have to comply with both laws simultaneously in all countries. Like golden keys for encryption, there is obviously a way for these brilliant people to fix this issue but they just choose not to. Clearly the law is always perfect, fair, and mindful of how technology works. /s

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      We should definately try this out, after all this is the French we're talking about, surrendering is their natural response

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:19am

      Re:

      We should definately try this out, after all this is the French we're talking about, surrendering is their natural response

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:49pm

      Re:

      "What happens if French law makes you take it down, and U.S. law decides taking it down is a violation of freedom of speech and tells them to put it back up?"

      Luckily US law can't do that. Google can't be forced to show anything they don't want to. That would be a violation of freedom of speech.

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

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:16am

    In any case, the right to delisting never leads to deletion of the information on the internet

    Which makes it all the more pointless.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:22am

      Re:

      If you can't find it, it doesn't exist for you. This is a very basic idea, and one that shows the claim that de-listed is completely different than removing is nothing but word games, true on the surface but nothing but a lie at it's core.

      Either de-listing removes something from being found, in which case it's effectively the same as removing the searched for content, or it doesn't, in which case it's a waste of time and effort for all involved. Those are the only two possibilities.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:19am

    What's never acknowledged in these rulings is that removing links from search engine results is pretty much the same thing as removing it from the original websites. If search engines can't "find" it, it ceases to exist for all intents and purposes.

    I often see this accepted as an article of faith, but how true is it really? I run a few websites, and I get maybe 20% of my traffic from general-purpose search engines such as Google. The vast majority of it comes in as links from more specialized sites.

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

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:58am

      Re:

      It depends on the nature of the site. I've run sites where 80%+ of my traffic came from search engine referrals, and I've run sites where almost none of it did.

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

    • icon
      JMT (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:52pm

      Re:

      "The vast majority of it comes in as links from more specialized sites."

      But those aren't searches, which is what the RTBF nonsense is about. For the average interwebs user, if they can't Google it, it might as well not exist.

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

  • icon
    JF (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:19am

    Lawsuit?

    If, for example, Mr. Thomas Goolnik presses to have the TechDirt articles about him removed from the Google.com domains will TechDirt sue in US courts to have the results re-established?

    The man has already demonstrated he is very interested in memory holing his info so I believe this is a very strong likelihood. I also believe TechDirt would have a very good case against him. Succeeding would then create a dilemma for Google (follow the EU court direction or the US's) which would highlight the absurdity of the law.

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

    • identicon
      David, 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:14am

      Re: Lawsuit?

      It gives him a French end-run around that. He sues in France and expects all of Google to obey. This gives France pretty severe censorship power over all of Google.

      I don't expect Google to accept this.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:19am

    AS a protest google could block all ip searches from france on google.fr ,
    imagine if google gives in to this ,
    iran or russia could pass a similar law .
    This is like the us government trying to say all emails
    on any server in the world should be avaidable to the doj or the nsa .
    Countrys are trying to extend their laws worldwide thru the web.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:21am

    Google Maps

    I can see it now. Some young person opens Google Maps over Europe and see's this black splotch just south of England and east of Germany and says "Mommy, Mommy, what's this black thing?" Of course Mommy will reply "Well honey, that use to be France, but they have a right to be forgotten, so we have."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:25am

    Google caused all this when they began self-censoring search results to please the copyright monopoly.

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

  • icon
    radix (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:28am

    Not that they should have to, but the court is basically mandating geo-blocking. They don't have to apply the censorship world-wide, just to all searches that originate in France.

    That said, fuck RTBF.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:34am

    There's only one problem with the French court order, they don't have jurisdiction to impose their ruling in other countries, even if the website is accessible on the internet in their country.

    While I own and operate a website, I would never agree to adhere to a ruling by the French courts for the simple fact that neither me nor my website operates in Europe, despite being accessible in Europe.

    This is just the European courts trying to impose their rulings on websites and companies that operate outside of Europe.

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

  • identicon
    cpt kangarooski, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:35am

    I prefer the 'have your cake and eat it too' approach. Google should stop doing business in and holding assets reachable by the EU courts. But they should not turn their backs on France or the rest of the EU. Instead undo all the "forgotten" search results and keep honoring search requests out of the EU. Let advertising customers in the EU do business with Google, but only in the US or other friendly jurisdictions. After all, their money still spends okay, it's just necessary to keep it away from their increasingly ridiculous judiciary. Since Google will still be available and will be providing better results than a home grown or forgetful search engine does, it won't have to worry about a competitor moving into that niche.

    Any operations that have to be in the EU that are sufficiently unrelated to search can be done through various cut outs. (Eg outsource street view photography to an unrelated company wholly owned by someone that Google can trust and rely on to not support competitors without permission, and who will keep costs down and charge little)

    Given the clever work done to minimize their taxes, I'm sure that Google can restructure its EU operations to foil this memory hole policy.

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

  • icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:35am

    Insidious

    The right to be forgotten implies a right to compel others to forget (or "forget"), which is just a deceitful rebranding of censorship under the guise of civil rights.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:43am

    Googlesheimer's Disease

    = RTBF

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

  • identicon
    Pixelation, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:55am

    Hey Obama...

    Time to rename them "Forgotten Fries".

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:56am

    Of course the rest of the world should live under Europe's Right to be forgotten laws!

    It works that for EU tariffs for a lot of neighboring EU countries. Even though they aren't a part of the EU, businesses still charge them EU taxes, and likely pocket the money since the EU isn't actually owed it.

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

  • icon
    scotts13 (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:59am

    Solution through law

    Since they like to pass laws, wouldn't it be simplest just to pass one saying French citizens aren't allowed to use Google search other than the .fr one? It makes as much sense, and would be effective.

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

  • icon
    limbodog (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 7:59am

    Some issues I have with this

    Why does France not make it illegal to bypass the filter? Why do they not make it illegal to host the information? Why is only Google the one who has to follow this (ridiculous) rule?

    Methinks this stinks.

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

    • icon
      Beta (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:00pm

      Re: Some issues I have with this

      "Why does France not make it illegal to bypass the filter?"

      Because that would make French citizens the criminals. The major theme of the French legal system is to make foreigners the criminals whenever possible, and logic be damned.

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

    • icon
      Almost Anonymous (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 10:57am

      Re: Some issues I have with this

      You bring up a good point. Instead of mandating a technologically impossible law, why don't they mandate a socially impossible law? "No French citizen is allowed to search for:" and list all of the things that have been forgotten.

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

  • identicon
    Guardian, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:03am

    lets go further

    if french want it delisted globally ban all french form also going anywhere else too!

    stay there you pissants

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

  • identicon
    Guardian, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:05am

    btw marvell will not like my suggestion

    that lil big breasted red head they like trouting out lives in france now ...with her pimp er manager lol

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:15am

    Car analogy

    Do Peugeot's sold in Morocco comply with California's exhaust emission standards? Or meet New York's safety requirements?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:16am

    Google can fix this easy. Just invade France with your employees armed of course, and the surrender monkeys will give up.

    France is the best at surrendering, they give up easy and for that they are known around the world as surrender monkeys.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:17am

    Forget D-Day & redirect google.fr to google.de

    Enough of this, already!

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

  • identicon
    bdj, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:21am

    Distributed open search

    Time to create a distributed open source crawler that anybody can install and run. Like bittorrent, only for search.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:25am

    Why didn't they just come clean at the start...

    ...and setup an EU firewall? They could block anything they don't like just like China, rather than making it someone else's problem?

    What's that you say?

    Censorship by it's real name would never be accepted.

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

  • icon
    Spaceman Spiff (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:35am

    If only...

    If only Google were to drop all links to French sites from its search pages, I wonder just how long this crap would go on? The French government would be out on its ear in less than a week!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:54am

    If only the TTIP would hurry up and pass then Google would be able to sue for these laws negatively affecting their current and potential business. /s

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

  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:04am

    Wouldn't the easiest way to deal with RTBF is to shoot those who make the request?

    Think about it. These people want their "nefarious" past hidden forever. By offing these nitwits, the news will give them 15 minutes of their death and move on, providing RTBF with 100% success.

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

  • icon
    NeghVar (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:18am

    Infinite loop

    With each article about the right to be forgotten censorship it generates even more awareness and news. Its like the (Streisand Effect)^n

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:18am

    this decision does not show any willingness on the part of the CNIL to apply French law extraterritorially


    So that means you're not trying to censor my search results here in the States as a matter of French law?

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

  • icon
    NeghVar (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:27am

    Forget France

    I say Google should forget France. Deny all of France access to Google, its services and anything Google is involved in. Watch the French go ballistic if that were to happen.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:36am

    you can thank the USA DoJ for this! it seems to think that it can rule the world, have every country give up information just because there is a company elsewhere as well as in the USA! what is happening now, i think, is a retaliatory measure before the USA gets in! the best thing to do here is for Google to pull out of France. no one likes the frog fuckers anyway!!

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 11:21am

      Re:

      the best thing to do here is for Google to pull out of France.
      Pulling out of France won't do much good. The second you're in, you've got the Pox for life. And that's something you'll never forget.

      ___
      My excuse for this really bad joke:
      Wrong tab, I thought this was a Cracked forum.

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

  • identicon
    John Cressman, 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:40am

    Kill them... kill them all!

    I say Google should cut service to them... so 1 month. And see how well people react.

    Post a nice message about "We can no longer offer this service due to abusive government legislation. Once this legislation is revoked, service can be restored."

    What's the alternative? The WORSE laws in the world now dictate global settings? So if Iran passes a law that no religious sites except for Islamic sites can be on the search engines, then Google has to de-index all Christian, Jewish, Hindu, etc sites? From around the world?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:47am

    I LIKE the ideas above! Yes, Google, get out of France!

    The reason I like those ideas is shows how little you grasp of business, and your wacky spite when an international corporation is ordered by representatives of the people. You're total corporate assets.

    Again, Google should have just left it alone, done what could (though I think it's practical to put the same text to be excluded in ALL its filters world-wide), and then made excuses as necessary.

    Because the idea that Google is more powerful than France -- or should even confront it -- is RIDICULOUS.

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

    • icon
      crade (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 10:14am

      Re: I LIKE the ideas above! Yes, Google, get out of France!

      They already did do what they could. They already obeyed the rules France wanted for France. It wasn't good enough. The problem is France wants to set the rules for the entire world instead of for France, and (at least some of) the rest of the world doesn't agree with France's rule.

      Keep up eh?

      There's no need for any confrontation, just stop serving France because meeting their crazy Google Only legal requirements is obviously impossible. They obviously do not want them their anyway

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 11:27am

      Re: I LIKE the ideas above! Yes, Google, get out of France!

      At this very moment, the French are putting up makeshift blockades around textboxes & flipping over search engines and setting them on fire in the streets.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 5:54pm

      Re:

      No one's going to believe that a cocksucker who thinks that raising the cost of medicine to fuck over consumers has any grasp of business.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:49am

    It's asking for "full observance" and then leaving it up to Google to comply with requests in countries where the Right to Be Forgotten isn't recognized
    Is that really true? I'm not seeing it. I don't think they're requiring Google to hide these results from people in the USA, only from Europeans accessing google.com. I doubt google.fr is actually in France anyway, all the domains are probably routed by geolocation and not TLD. And Google is a European company (because the tax laws were convenient, but they can't pick and choose individual laws).

    It seems like a bad decision but not as terrible as you're making it out to be.

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

  • icon
    NeghVar (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 9:57am

    Pandora's Box

    The Pandora's Box of this situation is that it opens the gates for any country to impose its laws on the world. Imagine a country in the middle east able to impose their censorship on the world.

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

  • icon
    Kal Zekdor (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 11:32am

    Extensions?

    Is anyone else amused/concerned about the ruling referring to TLDs as extensions? Is there something lost in translation here (maybe they meant branch?), or are they confusing file extensions and TLDs since they both look like ".foo"?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 11:34am

    Reset to zero

    Roll it back to zero

    Number of days since France has become a embarrassment: 0

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 1:24pm

    The France would be despots lack an army and nukes to back up their will over the rest of the world

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

    • identicon
      Klaus, 25 Sep 2015 @ 1:39am

      Actually

      Are you not aware that France has a nuclear arsenal, and is widely understood to possess neutron bombs? Even the USA baulked at that...

      France's military is quite bad ass. All this b/s about being surrender monkeys is because they have had the historic misfortune in having Germany to their east and England to their West.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 1:38pm

    I would set up in french canadian territory and close down french operations.

    Google could also spin off European Union operations completely, make a separate company, and proceed from there.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 22 Sep 2015 @ 6:22pm

    Google started down the road of censoring the internet some time ago. How many take down (request) submissions per second today? Life really is like a hooker on a street corner, you never know what you're going to get.

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

  • icon
    Beta (profile), 22 Sep 2015 @ 8:26pm

    the magic words

    "Google.fr, you must remove zese leenks."

    "But that would be absurd--"

    "JUST DO EET!"

    "All right, there, it's done."

    "Eh? But you 'ave not removed zem from zee othair domains!"

    "Well no, you have authority over--"

    "To 'ave zem down on google.fr but steel up elsewhere, zis would be absurd!"

    "Yes, we know, we--"

    "Because, you see, someone can use one of ze ozair domains."

    "Yes, we know, we do this for a living, and--"

    "Take zem all down! Everywhere! JUST DO EET!"

    "You want your law to apply throughout the world?"

    "Mais non! We 'ave not said zees! We 'ave asked only zat you who are offering service 'ere observe our law."

    "Your law, which you're telling us to observe around the world?"

    "Yes... Non! Oui! JUST DO EET!"

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 23 Sep 2015 @ 8:47am

      Re: the magic words

      I wish I could give you more than one funny vote. And in case there is a Techdirt / Hang Up and Listen crossover audience, Google's response should be "Eet ees not possible."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2015 @ 11:52pm

    Wheres corporate sovereignty law when you need it? /s

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


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