Google Fights In EU Court Against Ability Of One Country To Censor The Global Internet

from the this-is-important dept

For quite some time now we've been talking about French regulators and their ridiculous assertion that Google must apply its "Right to be Forgotten" rules globally rather than just in France. Earlier this week, the company presented its arguments to the EU Court of Justice who will eventually rule on this issue in a way that will have serious ramifications for the global internet.

In a hearing at the EU Court of Justice, Google said extending the scope of the right all over the world was “completely unenvisagable.” Such a step would “unreasonably interfere” with people’s freedom of expression and information and lead to “endless conflicts” with countries that don’t recognize the right to be forgotten.

“The French CNIL’s global delisting approach seems to be very much out on a limb,” Patrice Spinosi, a French lawyer who represents Google, told a 15-judge panel at the court in Luxembourg on Tuesday. It is in “utter variance” with recent judgments.

Even if you absolutely despise everything about Google, the argument of French regulators should be of massive concern to you. France's argument is that if a French regulator determines that some content should be disappeared from the internet, it is necessary for it to be memory holed entirely and permanently, literally calling such deleting of history "a breath of fresh air."

“For the person concerned, the right to delisting is a breath of fresh air,” said Jean Lessi, who represents France’s data protection authority CNIL, told the court. Google’s policy “doesn’t stop the infringement of this fundamental right which has been identified, it simply reduces the accessibility. But that is not satisfactory.”

Where one can be at least marginally sympathetic to the French regulator's argument, it is in the issue of circumvention. If Google is only required to suppress information in France, then if someone really wants to, they can still find that information by presenting themselves as surfing from somewhere else. Which is true. But that limited risk -- which would likely only occur in the very narrowest of circumstances in which someone already knew that some information was being hidden and then went on a quest to search it out -- is a minimal "risk" compared to the very, very real risk of lots of truthful, historical information completely being disappeared into nothingness. And that is dangerous.

The broader impact of such global censorship demands can easily be understood if you just recognize that it won't just be the French looking to memory hole content they don't like. Other governments -- such as Russia, China, Turkey, and Iran -- certainly wouldn't mind making some information disappear. And if you think that various internet platforms will be able to say "well, we abide by French demands to disappear content, but ignore Russian ones," well, how does that work in actual practice? Not only that, but such rules could clearly violate the US First Amendment. Ordering companies to take down content that is perfectly legal in the US would have significant ramifications.

But, it also means that we're likely moving to a more fragmented internet -- in which the very nature of the global communications network is less and less global, because to allow that to happen means allowing the most aggressive censor and the most sensitive dictator to make the rules concerning which content is allowed. And, as much as people rightfully worry about Mark Zuckerberg or Jack Dorsey deciding whose speech should be allowed online, we should be much, much, much more concerned when its people like Vladimir Putin or Recep Erdogan.


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 1:43pm

    Right to Forget

    So? Block ALL communications to and from France. The world has a right to forget that hollow nation. It will be a breath of fresh air for history! [evil smile]

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 10:48pm

      Re: Right to Forget

      Doing such a thing would in essence be proving that Google runs the internet, which in turn would be prima facie evidence that they are a monopoly, which would then cause it to be broken up as a company via anti-trust law.

      So that won’t be happening.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 4:47am

        Re: Re: Right to Forget

        WTF?
        If you think this is strictly a "Google problem" you're dumber than a sack of turds.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 6:44am

        Re: Re: Right to Forget

        Doing "such a thing" proves nothing.

        Google does not "run the internet" as you claim. I would be interested in any data that you think supports your claim but you have none - right?

        "Running the internet" is not evidence of anything other than running the internet - it has nothing to do with whether Google is a monopoly.

        Being labeled a monopoly does not necessarily mean anything will be done about it. Politics and greed play a more significant role than the law.

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

      • identicon
        kallethen, 14 Sep 2018 @ 8:28am

        Re: Re: Right to Forget

        It's sad that people can't recognize satire on the internet these days...

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      • identicon
        Wordplay, 14 Sep 2018 @ 12:08pm

        Re: Re: Right to Forget

        Put it in brick terms and say you are "suspending operations until further notice" and say some stuff about risk and if you feel brave put in a subtle jab about "hostile environment for working" bit i dont rec it.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 3:54pm

        Re: Re: Right to Forget

        Why?
        The info would still be on Bing and other search engines!

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

      • icon
        El Oscuro (profile), 16 Sep 2018 @ 9:26am

        Re: Re: Right to Forget

        I went on the Internet and checked. I'm still pretty sure they don't run the Internet.

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        • identicon
          Ted (Tubes) Stevens, 16 Sep 2018 @ 3:27pm

          Re: Re: Re: Right to Forget

          Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o'clock in the morning on Friday. I got it yesterday [Tuesday]. Why? Because it got tangled up with all these things going on the Internet commercially.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 2:00pm

    This would be a dream come true

    for that turkey that looks like Gollum.

    "Leave now, and (be forgotten)"

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

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 2:06pm

    Pride vs Shame

    We could say that if France wants to be forgotten, then we should forget them. But that is too simple. France has contributed to culture in the form of some great wines, cheeses, cuisine, art, and probably some other things. Things we probably shouldn't forget.

    But their silly concept of trying to allow people with severe, or even minor, cases of butt hurt to try and hide their shame (shame that is often if not always deserved) will not help the cause of culture move into the future. The possible outcome of trying to hide shame just might be that everything gets hidden. And the shame of that is that France actually has some things to be proud of.

    That is if they don't surrender first.

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 2:33pm

      Re: Pride vs Shame

      But that is too simple. France has contributed to culture in the form of some great wines, cheeses, cuisine, art, and probably some other things. Things we probably shouldn't forget.

      Wouldn't need to forget the contributions, just strip out where they came from.

      'Someone came up with this excellent food/wine/art, but thanks to idiots who shall not be named exactly who has been lost to the mists of time and all that's left is the development itself.'

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

      • icon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 2:48pm

        Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

        Hard to order a Premier Cru wine, or Champagne or cognac without getting them from their origins. There are good wines made elsewhere, but I have never had one stand up like a 40 year old Chateau Lafitte Rothschild I had the opportunity to taste once. I drink brandies from elsewhere, but my favorite is a cognac, not a top of the line cognac but an upper shelf one. As for sparkling wine, there are some good ones that don't come from the Champagne region in France, there was an Asti Spumante Fontana Freda (Italian) that I just adored.

        Thing is, if one cannot go to France to get these things, or order them from France, because we forgot it, what is going to happen to the producers of these products? I imagine that prices will fall and then when desperation sets in something worse. Somewhere in that mix employment gets hurt.

        France has just not thought this through.

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        • icon
          Zgaidin (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 4:17pm

          Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

          We'll just start calling champagne Bubbly Forgotten Origin wine. I'm sure we can come up with similar nomenclature for France's other cultural contributions. Alternatively, we could steal a page from a prior Congress.

          Premier Freedom wine, anyone?

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          • identicon
            John Smith, 13 Sep 2018 @ 6:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

            That will go very well with the Freedom Fries.

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

            • icon
              Seegras (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 1:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

              "Freedom Fries"? These things that come from the country formerly known as Belgium?

              Where they are called "pomme frite" or "patate frit", by the way. And that's what most people in Europe call them. Except the British, they call them "chips" (note: not "french chips").

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

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 2:06am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

                Well, yes and no depending on where you are. There seems to be a weird cultural thing where we will sometimes call chips served in McDonalds, etc. "fries" but the ones from the fish & chip shop will always be "chips". There seems to be a similar transatlantic infection where some people have started calling things like Pringles "chips" as well, but to hell with them I say!

                The whole "freedom fries" thing was definitely where I lost all hope for the right wing, however. Not only were the French actually correct in refusing to go to war with Iraq, those idiots were boycotting many things that had nothing to do with France, most of them American products! The recent Nike silliness has proven that they still aren't thinking actual facts through before they go on a hate-filled rage trip.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 6:47am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

                  The GOP's Contract With America was another major indication they were losing their grip upon reality.

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

                  • icon
                    Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 7:20am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

                    The 1994 Contract with America was a reasonable package of minor reforms mostly stolen from Ross Perot's 1992 Presidential campaign. But that was the end of the road for sensible right-wing reform. By 1996, when it was time for a new pre-election "contract," an addiction to new floods of special-interest money blocked good-government reforms. Holy warriors pushed an authoritarian agenda (largely ducked in 1994), but were blocked by a still-significant libertarian faction. But the small-L libertarians lacked the support to push their own ideas. Result: no new "contract" in 1996. The 1996 Republican Congressional campaign began a trend of increasing dependence on heavy spending from questionable sources, ideological confusion, resentments, and anti-intellectual radio talk-show hosts.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 9:29am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

                    losing? already lost... just like the bastards calling themselves democrats.

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

          • icon
            Hugo S Cunningham (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 7:30am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

            During the silliness of 2003, a Boston pol jokingly accused a colleague of seeking to rename Frog Pond in Boston Common "Freedom Pond."

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

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 7:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

              Were they joking, though? It's hard to tell with some of these people.

              We are talking about people who honestly tried boycotting the thoroughly American brand of French's mustard because they're too dumb to tell the difference between a surname and a nationality, so who knows?

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

          • identicon
            Tom, 14 Sep 2018 @ 8:07am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

            Why not just call it Champagne anyway, a term lost to genericide as defining a class of product rather than a specific type or brand. All carbonated, pressurized wine is now Champagne. There is no restriction on who can call their bubbly wine Champagne, even if it was made in Alaksa.

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

      • identicon
        John Smith, 13 Sep 2018 @ 5:47pm

        Re: Re: Pride vs Shame

        "Some other things" = $100 million in 1780 dollars, 250 warships, and 30,000 soldiers, which bankrupted them and caused their own revolution.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 2:21pm

    It wants to be the sole censorer of the internet?

    That's hilarious.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 2:28pm

    The Country That Cannot Be Named

    Yeah, think I'm going to add to the support of applying the 'right to re-write history' to france itself it they want to try to force this. France wants the ability to meddle with content globally? Fine, then the rest of the world can forget about them as all traces of them disappear from the internet.

    They're either blind or indifferent to the damage the precedent they are trying to set would cause, with neither leaving them looking even remotely good.

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

  • identicon
    NotSoMuch, 13 Sep 2018 @ 3:04pm

    GetsMeThinking

    I get the point of the article but...

    Imagine if France is actually trying to save ourselves from the internet... consider

    If let's say a big EMP from extra solar natural processes occurred and wiped out all data, France would then lead the printing business, libraries, real world interactions with other human beings and still have hard copy documents to back up that so-and-so was in the news on a specific date for a specific unscrupulous activity.

    The difference, people would go to libraries and look at actual documents to infer that someone did something they'd like forgotten.

    Point being,
    > is a minimal "risk" compared to the very, very real risk of lots of truthful, historical information completely being disappeared into nothingness. And that is dangerous.

    The internet didn't replace hard copies, didn't replace libraries or storage of documents or those willing to search records.

    Whatever the outcome of Google's battle, people shouldn't feel the reliance on tech companies as record keepers of culture, history or even economic transactions.

    To say that delisting material from Google erases history feels like a stretch and cherry picked projection of how things work vs actual record keeping.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 3:30pm

      Re: GetsMeThinking

      the search engines make it very easy for all sorts of people to do a quick bit of research, while research through paper records has always been, and will remain a somewhat specialized activity. Also, making Google drop a link from the search index does not remove the original electronic record, which can still be found by people who know how to search multiple archives, like online newspaper archives.

      All the right to be forgotten really does it makes something harder for most people to find. It does not prevent a HR department searching local archives using information in a CV, or found on the web, for anything that might have been delisted from the main search engines.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 6:34pm

      Re: GetsMeThinking

      *To say that delisting material from Google erases history feels like a stretch and cherry picked projection of how things work vs actual record keeping.*

      I guess there's something to be said for history remaining the exclusive purview of the wealthy and highly educated. Because ultimately, the existence of primary sources *is* extremely important, but the ability to identify, locate, view and collate those sources is time-consuming, mind-numbingly boring, and requires the financial resources to support yourself during extensive travel, as well as the personal connections to get access to repositories, libraries, government archives, company archives, etc.

      So yes, history is not "erased." It's just no longer accessible to the lower classes at all, or to anyone in the upper classes who doesn't intend to put in a great deal of effort for information which may or may not exist.

      And of course, the thing about physical copies is they are vulnerable to a much larger range of disasters than digital ones, as we saw very recently in Brazil.

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

  • icon
    radix (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 3:13pm

    Up next, China bans images of Winnie the Pooh from the internet, setting up a conflict between Google, China, Disney, and the EU Court.

    Thankfully, a giant meteor puts us all out of our collective misery.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 4:52pm

    Right to censor.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    John Smith, 13 Sep 2018 @ 5:44pm

    And people whose reputations have been demolished by "Google-bombing" are just s**t out of luck, right?

    Section 230 is also an "instigator's law" in that the instigator can dupe a pawn into defaming someone by linking to defamation for which they are immune, but then the pawn starts repeating it, making the words their own, and gets sued.

    There's a small cadre of lawyers who have made a fortune doing this, btw. Name them? Not here.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 6:21pm

      Re:

      This is literally just false.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        John Smith, 13 Sep 2018 @ 6:30pm

        Re: Re:

        how would you know it's false?

        I have evidence that it's true. Several "pawns" have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees because they were set up like bowling pins by lawyer-hacker teams that target known litigants and instigate the pawns into defaming them via virus-infected, defamatory websites (that's how the hackers get paid).

        One day the feds will drop the hammer on the group. I hear a few have already flipped. That language-ID software is also doing a lot to unmask this. No such thing as anonymous posting anymore, at least not for any lawyer who has to write pleadings or posts under their own name.

        It's like when Stingray caught a bunch of hackers who never anticipated its development. Technological advances are the downfall of most e-criminals.

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

        • icon
          John Roddy (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 7:16pm

          You're making things up. I don't think I've ever seen a single post from you about Section 230 that didn't completely misinterpret it. And at this point, I can't really pin it on ignorance or stupidity anymore.

          So there's a "small cadre of lawyers" profiting off of this law that you don't understand? And you have evidence that it's true? But you won't share it or even reference any kind of specifics? Of course not, because you're blatantly lying. The burden is on you to give some kind of evidence that this isn't just a bogus conspiracy theory.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 8:30pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          how would you know it's false?

          Because you said it.

          I have evidence that it's true.

          Ok. Provide it.

          Several "pawns" have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees because they were set up like bowling pins by lawyer-hacker teams that target known litigants and instigate the pawns into defaming them via virus-infected, defamatory websites (that's how the hackers get paid).

          This is entrapment and is illegal. You might want to report them to the police if you have actual evidence of this. Also, not how this works, AT ALL.

          No such thing as anonymous posting anymore, at least not for any lawyer who has to write pleadings or posts under their own name.

          ROFL!! Really? Lawyers have absolutely no way to post anonymously? At all? Have you heard of TOR? Or any online forum for that matter?

          It's like when Stingray caught a bunch of hackers who never anticipated its development.

          I assume you meant "stingrays", since there is no such thing as a capital "S" stingray device, or organization. Stingrays are mainly used to catch drug dealers. "E-criminals" (whatever that is) don't generally use phones to commit their crimes so a stingray would be less than useless in trying to catch them.

          Technological advances are the downfall of most e-criminals.

          Actually, good police work is the downfall of most criminals, "e" or otherwise.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 7:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The same way I know that "unicorns are real" is false.

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

    • icon
      John Roddy (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 7:28pm

      Section 230 is a law protecting against intermediary liability. That is all. And your defamation example is entirely nonsensical. What are you trying to imply at all? That people can be misled into believing things that are blindingly untrue? Given how passionate you are in your complete failure to understand anything about Section 230 at all, I guess that's believable. It's just not illegal.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 8:22pm

      Re:

      *And people whose reputations have been demolished by "Google-bombing" are just s*t out of luck, right?

      Who are these people again? Imaginary friends of yours? Thought so. Also, you can't demolish someone's reputation by Google bombing. That's not what Google bombing is, or how it works.

      Section 230 is also an "instigator's law" in that the instigator can dupe a pawn into defaming someone by linking to defamation for which they are immune, but then the pawn starts repeating it, making the words their own, and gets sued.

      You're a moron.

      There's a small cadre of lawyers who have made a fortune doing this, btw. Name them? Not here.

      Then they don't exist. Facts or GTFO.

      And I would think you would be chomping at the bit to name them on here because 1) it would prove you right, 2) it would prove Mike and TD wrong, 3) it would be a scoop Mike could break (or any other journalist reading this site) and get them investigated and arrested for breaking the law. You know, since entrapment is illegal, which is what you are describing.

      The fact that you refuse to do so is proof that you have no proof and are, in fact, a selfish, racist, sexist, bigoted, lying moron.

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        identicon
        John Smith, 13 Sep 2018 @ 11:20pm

        Re: Re:

        Wow, namecalling from an anonymous "coward." The name sure fits.

        WHY would it get so ANGRY over something so obviously easy to do?

        Poor thing….so many issues.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 6:20am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Oh I'm not angry, and I'm not calling you names. I'm using accurate adjectives to describe you based on the positions and arguments you have displayed.

          If you can prove that you are not a selfish, racist, sexist, bigoted, lying moron, I will be happy to call you a wonderful, honest, kind, truthful, intelligent human being. You, however, have shown no evidence of being such to date.

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    identicon
    John Smith, 13 Sep 2018 @ 6:08pm

    Mike's being disingenuous. The First Amendment isn't being violated, and American law already protects foreign judgments from being enforced in America if they don't comply with American law.

    This is FRANCE setting conditions on *doing business in FRANCE*. All Google has to do is abandon the EU market, though they apparently are working on a censored search engine in China, so don't hold your breath.

    Surely a principled company like Google will boycott these countries. If not, well...

    America could stop sweatshops the same way: require any company doing business to pay the American minimum wage. Want to stop money from being parked in other countries? Drop the T-bill to -0.5 percent and dare them to put their cash somewhere else for safe keeping.

    Section 230 is on the way out. This si the first step, and a welcome one. Until then, I remain, JOHN SMITH. Google THAT.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 6:38pm

      Re:

      So... no proof as usual, eh?

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

    • icon
      John Roddy (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 7:24pm

      Re:

      Mike's being disingenuous. The First Amendment isn't being violated, and American law already protects foreign judgments from being enforced in America if they don't comply with American law.

      The one being disingenuous is you. The First Amendment is indeed not being violated here, and there certainly is American law barring non-compliant foreign judgements from being enforceable under certain conditions. For once, you have actually managed to state what the law really does actually mean. Congratulations!

      This is FRANCE setting conditions on doing business in FRANCE. All Google has to do is abandon the EU market, though they apparently are working on a censored search engine in China, so don't hold your breath.

      And here's the part where that previous praise gets taken right back, as it was completely irrelevant to anything here. You want Google to abandon all of the EU over one stupid ruling in France? And it's disingenuous to not immediately jump to that conclusion?

      Section 230 is on the way out. This si the first step, and a welcome one.

      Again, American law has nothing to do with this. You have a grudge against Section 230 because you don't care to understand it.

      Until then, I remain, JOHN SMITH. Google THAT.

      Keep up these idiotic non-sequitur posts, and Googling the name "John Smith" will just lead to massive brick walls of ignorance.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 8:10pm

      Re:

      This is FRANCE setting conditions on doing business in FRANCE.

      Except it's not. France is LITERALLY demanding that Google de-list results for everyone in the entire world, not just in France.

      Section 230 is on the way out. This si the first step, and a welcome one.

      As you pointed out, this is taking place in France and has no bearing whatsoever on American law, of which Section 230 is a part. Try to at least maintain a semblance of a coherent thought.

      Until then, I remain, JOHN SMITH. Google THAT.

      I did. So you're a time travelling meddler in history that established Jamestown in the 1600s and was an actor in the 1900s? Either that or you're a zombie, or at least some form of undead creature if you're everything that Google search results is showing me. Do you have an allergy to garlic perchance? Guess I'll stock up on garlic, silver bullets, wooden stakes, and maybe a sonic screwdriver, just to be safe.

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        identicon
        John Smith, 13 Sep 2018 @ 11:17pm

        Re: Re:

        France can't have power over companies who aren't doing business in France (or the EU if that is how it's based).

        Google obviously wants to do business in France. If not, it could thumb its nose at anything under French control, i.e., in France. What gives the French this power is that Google wants to do business there.

        Google also wants to do business in China but that doesn't mean tanks will be running people over on Pennsylvania Avenue anytime soon.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 6:39am

          Re: Re: Re:

          France can't have power over companies who aren't doing business in France

          Correct! That doesn't stop them from trying.

          Google obviously wants to do business in France. If not, it could thumb its nose at anything under French control, i.e., in France. What gives the French this power is that Google wants to do business there.

          Well obviously they want to do business there. This still doesn't give France the power to control what Google does in any other country.

          Google also wants to do business in China but that doesn't mean tanks will be running people over on Pennsylvania Avenue anytime soon.

          This is a non-sequitur. You're not very good at logical debates, are you?

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          • icon
            The Wanderer (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 3:31pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think the argument is that France is saying to Google "if you want to do business in France, then when a French court orders you to delist material, you have to delist it everywhere you control that can be accessed from within France - not just on the services which you intend to be used from within France".

            If someone within French jurisdiction can access a Google service which does not comply with the order, then Google is not in compliance with the order.

            The fact that people within French jurisdiction can access Google search sites which are not under the .fr domain means that simply removing the results from google.fr is not enough to comply with the order.

            That does not mean that France is claiming jurisdiction over Google's operations outside of France.

            It means that France is claiming that its jurisdiction over Google's operations within France extends to all Google services which can be accessed from within France, not just to ones which Google intends to be accessed from within France.

            The policy decision reflected by this claim is a bad one, certainly, for a wide variety of reasons.

            But it is not a claim of jurisdiction over Google's operations outside of France (and French territories, et cetera). It is merely a claim that the part of Google's operations which are effectively within France, for jurisdictional purposes, is not limited to the .fr domain.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 9:05pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              That is in practice claiming jurisdiction over Google's operations outside of France, even if they aren't claiming it specifically. Basically, it makes no difference, it's the same thing, just by different legal arguments.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Sep 2018 @ 6:31pm

    So these brainiacs want to sensor the internet, have any of them described their plan in detail? I doubt any of them have knowledge sufficient to describe how their filters work to a fifth grader. It will be another impossible task for which the purveyors of wisdom will demand everyone nerd harder. What a waste.

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  • identicon
    HitlishFrenchie, 13 Sep 2018 @ 6:58pm

    Seems like France wants to go Nazi on the world...

    What happened to Hitler and the Nazis again?

    Oh yeah, blown to smithereens...

    Remember, those who fail to learn from historic events, tend to repeat them.

    Is that what France really wants to do?

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  • icon
    freedomfan (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 7:47pm

    French perspective...

    FRANCE: We want nasty speech (as we define it) removed from the world.
    GOOGLE: We can only keep it out of France. Sort of a Maginot Line of defense for France.
    FRANCE: Mon Dieu!

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  • icon
    freedomfan (profile), 13 Sep 2018 @ 8:02pm

    France guarantees circumvention of this law

    Totally agree that there is no reasonable way to let any ( == every ) government censor whatever it wants on a worldwide basis and maintain anything approaching free speech. The French government is utterly on the wrong side of this one.

    But...

    If Google is only required to suppress information in France, then if someone really wants to, they can still find that information by presenting themselves as surfing from somewhere else. Which is true. But that limited risk -- which would likely only occur in the very narrowest of circumstances [...]

    This would not occur rarely. If I were, say, a French journalist, and I knew that facts were routinely being memory holed inside France, I would certainly be doing all of my searches from a non-French IP. Even as a non-journalist, if I thought that only way to get the real story on a politician or other public figure was to set my VPN to somewhere in Quebec or Belgium, then that's exactly what I would do. Because of that, even if the French scheme were to work, it would only guarantee a right to be forgotten for people who aren't known anyway.

    Any bets on how long it takes for a GoogleDiff service to be developed that shows the difference in results of searches sent from two different regions?

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    identicon
    "Bad" Ty Ming, 13 Sep 2018 @ 10:31pm

    But Google is FOR one corporation being able to sway US elections!

    Absolutely HILARIOUS that Masnick ran this day after an utterly damning leaked tape proving that Google is explicitly anti-Trump, anti-conservative, and anti-Populist.

    You cannot spin that, kids. Masnick will just plain ignore, but I'll mention it now and then.

    Among the many hoots, I pick this because serious:

    > .@google needs to explain why this isn’t a threat to the Republic. Watch the video. Google believes they can shape your search results and videos to make you “have their values”. Open borders. Socialism. Medicare 4 all. Congressional hearings! Investigate.

    — Brad Parscale (@parscale) September 12, 2018

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 6:40am

      Re: But Google is FOR one corporation being able to sway US elections!

      That's not what that video proves at all. But go ahead, keep living in your delusions.

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    • identicon
      Bluegrass Geek, 14 Sep 2018 @ 7:52am

      Re: But Google is FOR one corporation being able to sway US elections!

      The video was Google employees discussing their concerns about what Trump's policies would to to affect the lives of those employees.

      Spinning it as a conspiracy by Google to manipulate search results against the President is just asinine.

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  • icon
    Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 12:38am

    Right to Remember

    Google is actually fighting this because it has significant interests in the EU, and thus is within reach of EU courts.

    If the EU Court of Justice grants itself extra-territorial jurisdiction in this case, Google will probably comply, but that will open up a strong business-case for splitting up companies along national borders, such that companies can serve their own public without undue interference from foreign courts.

    An example: I regularly download public domain books using Google, but in the EU books published after 1868 are blocked. Many of these are PD in the EU as well, but since it is significantly harder to establish death dates instead of publication dates, Google can't be bothered. Even PD books scanned by Google in European libraries are blocked!

    The Internet Archive, which has no European interests does not block those same books, and helpful people have been busy copying books from Google books to The Internet Archive in bulk. Furthermore, when books are not so copied, it also isn't very hard to use Tor or a VPN to get to the data on Google.

    Similarly, since the GDPR, I am encountering more and more sites that maintain a complete block of visitors from the EU. Again, Tor or VPN are normally enough to bypass those restrictions.

    The likely result of this war against the internet is that it teaches people to use those tools to get to information, making heavily encrypted and obfuscated connections the default, until such time countries are willing to disconnect themselves from the internet completely, with all the economic repercussions that will have.

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    • icon
      Seegras (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 1:14am

      Re: Right to Remember

      Similarly, since the GDPR, I am encountering more and more sites that maintain a complete block of visitors from the EU Actually, make this Europe. The GDPR is not valid in Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and most of the Balkans; but those idiots just blocked all the IP ranges that were distributed by RIPE.

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    • identicon
      andy, 14 Sep 2018 @ 1:17am

      Re: Right to Remember

      I use hide me dot com. It is as easy as copying the link you want and pasting it into the website and then choosing the region you want to look like you are coming from. Simple and effective. But there is more i can download the app and simply right click and choose the country i want to be in if something is blocked, so easy.

      What governments are doing is ensuring that we all have 100% privacy ans obscuration of our data that companies use to profit every day.

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        identicon
        John Smith, 14 Sep 2018 @ 4:05am

        Re: Re: Right to Remember

        Some of the targets of the hacker mafia have set up their own VPN and anon remailer "honeypots" to trap the malfeasors btw (not the one you mentioned).

        Between that and the language-ID software, things should get very interesting for (no longer) Anonymous.

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      identicon
      John Smith, 14 Sep 2018 @ 5:48am

      Re: Right to Remember

      That's what I said before: it only matters to companies who want to do business in France. Just like Turkey's "long arm" of their leader only extends to countries that give a hoot about the Turkish market.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 6:43am

        Re: Re: Right to Remember

        That doesn't change the fact that France has no right to control what companies do in other countries. Which is the entire point here.

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  • identicon
    Andy, 14 Sep 2018 @ 1:06am

    Worrysome

    Ok so i have family members that were killed in the concentration camps, no not a jewish person. I feel that the internet bringing this up all the time really hurts my feelings and i want the holocaust to be forgotten from the day i make my application to the courts. It is hurtful to see and read and hear about the skeletons, one that could be my family member being put on display so the museums must be shut and razed to the ground and those peoples skeletons put to rest in graves.

    With the right to forget i want to forget the holocaust.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 1:38am

    The EU are to blame for the majority of all that is bad happening on the net. Had this ridiculous law 'Right yo be forgotten' been thrown out instead of implemented, just to protect the rich, the famous, the powerful but still allow us mere mortals to have our misdemeanors splashed everywhere, e eouldnt have this crap! Now the EU MEPs have voted to screw the net with censorship, payments and other restrictions, all intended to keep certain people in control, again mostly the rich, the famous and the powerful. The harm the EU is doing is worse than what is happening in countries tgat sre generally despised. Then add in that the EU wants to become a global power. Guess which country will be in charge, like its tried before, but this time without firing a shot? I wonder how many will be fired though in order to keep that control?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 6:53am

      Re:

      and the rest of the world is A-OK, it's just the EU that all messed up - got it

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    • identicon
      Zane, 14 Sep 2018 @ 11:39am

      Re:

      The rich, famous and powerful are not the ones who benefit from Right to be forgotten, it's the little guy who can't afford fancy lawyers to sue for defamation, and can't afford reputation consultants to bury the bad results. Rich, famous and powerful would generally not pass the public interest test, and have other methods. RTBF is a good principle, you'd want it too if the top google result in your name brought up some decade old article full of inaccuracies that prevents you from ever getting another a job again. RTBF is about freedom for the little guy, to get on with his life.

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  • icon
    Jinxed (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 6:17am

    If the French get their way, all the jokes about their role in WWII will be "forgotten", replaced with "facts" on how the country won the war instead.

    I will never understand why so few people can have the power to silence so many.

    In every country around the world, every government body is trying to censor the internet.

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  • icon
    PaulT (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 7:02am

    "If the French get their way, all the jokes about their role in WWII will be "forgotten", replaced with "facts" on how the country won the war instead."

    So, which are the preferred facts? The facts about how having had much of their population decimated during the last war that they opted not to fight battles that may have been unwinnable against an opponent to which many in Allied countries were still sympathetic at the time - and yet many still fought bravely through the resistance movement once occupation had taken place? Or, the dumb American myth about how they just rolled over and did nothing while they let everyone else fight for them?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 10:19am

    First amendment

    such rules could clearly violate the US First Amendment. Ordering companies to take down content that is perfectly legal in the US would have significant ramifications.

    What? How would a French court decision violate US law? Techdirt has repeatedly claimed Google can take down what it wants, so how would that violate the First Amendment?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 10:41am

      Re: First amendment

      Google deciding ON ITS OWN to take something down does not violate the First Amendment. A foreign government ORDERING Google to take something down that is legal in the US, is absolutely a violation of the First Amendment.

      The difference is in where the decision to remove content is coming from. From Google it's allowed because it's part of their 1st Amendment rights as well. If it's coming from a foreign government that would violate not only Google's 1st A rights, as well as the entire American citizenry, then it absolutely can violate the 1st A.

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 5:25pm

        Re: Re: First amendment

        A foreign government ORDERING Google to take something down that is legal in the US, is absolutely a violation of the First Amendment.

        Again, why? Foreign judgments don't mean shit in the US. The First Amendment constrains the US government and its agents, not the whole world.

        Trevor's argument makes sense, and perhaps that's the leap in logic Mike didn't spell out (for those like me not intimately familiar with US legal rules, it shouldn't be left implicit). Certainly it would violate the 1st if a US court validated the foreign ruling.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 8:55pm

          Re: Re: Re: First amendment

          Again, why? Foreign judgments don't mean shit in the US.

          You're right, they don't. But France is saying that since Google operates in France, then it must take down content that would be visible to anyone in the world if they say so, regardless of what any other country's laws say. Which is preposterous but that is what they are trying to do.

          The First Amendment constrains the US government and its agents, not the whole world.

          Yes.

          Trevor's argument makes sense, and perhaps that's the leap in logic Mike didn't spell out (for those like me not intimately familiar with US legal rules, it shouldn't be left implicit).

          No, it doesn't. There is no way a US court would even entertain such a notion. They would tell the French to pound sand. And Mike is not making this argument. See my above statement for the actual argument Mike is making and the actual reality the French are trying to bring about.

          Certainly it would violate the 1st if a US court validated the foreign ruling.

          Yes it would, and is one of the arguments Google is making to the French court. Namely that it cannot comply with the French request because it would violate the laws of another country (it's home based country at that) that it operates in.

          Literally what the French are trying to accomplish is to force censorship of the entire internet based on their laws. It's stupid and misguided but true.

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          • icon
            The Wanderer (profile), 15 Sep 2018 @ 5:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

            But France is saying that since Google operates in France, then it must take down content that would be visible to anyone in the world if they say so, regardless of what any other country's laws say.

            Are you sure they're saying that?

            If I'm reading the articles correctly, they're not saying that Google has to take that content down entirely - just that it can't permit that content to be reachable by anyone in France (or, presumably, otherwise under French jurisdiction).

            That could be achieved juast as well by geoblocking France from accessing all Google domains except the ones where this content is filtered out, as by taking the content down entirely.

            Now, if Google were to do that, and people in France were to use VPNs to bypass that geoblocking, and the French authorities were to return to court and argue that - since Google should have known people would use VPNs to do that - Google's geoblocking measures were not sufficient to implement the required takedown, then the French authorities would indeed be demanding that the content be taken down globally.

            Or if the French authorities were to argue that "if someone outside France can access this, then someone in France can talk to that person, and can learn what is supposed to have been forgotten" (which is basically what VPN-based geoblocking bypassing does), then the same conclusion would apply.

            But based on my understanding of what they're actually demanding / arguing for at present, the assertion that they're trying to have Google take the material down worldwide seems unsupported.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2018 @ 7:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

              Are you sure they're saying that?

              That is how I interpret it, yes.

              The initial ruling actually stated that it was not enough for Google to simply block it at one root domain level; per the law, they are required to block on ALL root domains. That would seem to imply that they are attempting to block it globally, and likely recognize that a VPN would circumvent geoblocking.

              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.

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              • icon
                The Wanderer (profile), 16 Sep 2018 @ 4:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                If I'm reading that quote from the ruling correctly, blocking access from within France (or French jurisdiction) to the other TLDs (without removing the listings from under those other TLDs) would also seem to satisfy the requirement, although the VPN 'problem' would still apply.

                I agree that this does mean it's likely that they would make the "but VPNs" argument, and thus reach beyond the limits of their legitimate jurisdiction.

                I'm still not convinced that they're necessarily doing it yet, though.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2018 @ 9:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

            Yes it would, and is one of the arguments Google is making to the French court. Namely that it cannot comply with the French request because it would violate the laws of another country (it's home based country at that) that it operates in.

            The First Amendment does not give Google any duty to ignore French requests. It arguably gives them the right to do so, but if they chose to concede, who would have standing to sue? If you're suggesting the government would sue Google for taking something down, or that the poster could sue and win, I'd like to see some precedent.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2018 @ 9:44am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

              No offense, but if that is what you think, then you don't understand what exactly is going on here.

              If Google is coerced into taking down speech (in the US version of Google) that is legal in the US, at the order of a foreign government, that is a violation of the American First Amendment of the Constitution. BECAUSE, the First Amendment says government can't restrict speech. Not to mention it is an overreach of jurisdiction on the part of France, since it's them dictating what Americans can and can't see on Google. Foreign governments can't control Americans like that.

              It arguably gives them the right to do so, but if they chose to concede, who would have standing to sue?

              Irrelevant since we're talking about about a foreign government telling citizens of another country what they can and cannot see and do online.

              If you're suggesting the government would sue Google for taking something down, or that the poster could sue and win, I'd like to see some precedent.

              No I'm not suggesting the government would sue Google. That also would be a violation of the First Amendment, and ridiculous. The US government might have words with the French government though.

              Regardless of that, you're missing the point. Suing is not the point. The point is France is asking Google to do something that violates the laws of another country (i.e. government restricting speech in America). It would be no different than if China told Google to remove all search results for Tiananmen Square in the US.

              Who can sue whom is completely irrelevant. What is relevant is that the government of one country is trying to control corporations and citizens of every other country in the entire world. Google CANNOT comply without performing an illegal action in America.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2018 @ 1:56pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                The point is France is asking Google to do something that violates the laws of another country (i.e. government restricting speech in America).

                I'm not missing that then--it's just not true. Google is not being asked to do something that violates US law.

                What is relevant is that the government of one country is trying to control corporations and citizens of every other country in the entire world. Google CANNOT comply without performing an illegal action in America.

                I'd lose respect if they took it down, but it wouldn't be illegal (in the USA). They can take down whatever they want, whether a foreign court "suggested" it or not. The SPEECH act would help them fight it: it means if 1st amendment or S230 protection would apply, no US court can recognize a foreign judgment. I'm not aware of anything forbidding Google to recognize it.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2018 @ 2:16pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                  I'm not missing that then--it's just not true. Google is not being asked to do something that violates US law.

                  I'm seriously at a loss right now. What do you think the First Amendment is then? And do you really think it's ok for a foreign country to be able to order an American company around? Or more specifically, to control what Americans can do or see online? I am honestly curious as to your answers to these questions.

                  I'd lose respect if they took it down, but it wouldn't be illegal (in the USA).

                  Again, I'm at a total loss as to what you think the First Amendment is then. Please provide clarification on this point.

                  They can take down whatever they want, whether a foreign court "suggested" it or not.

                  That is not accurate. Yes GOOGLE can make the decision to take down whatever they want, but FRANCE cannot order them to take anything down that is otherwise legal in another country. And no, France is not "suggesting" anything, they are demanding with threat of punishment if Google doesn't comply.

                  Again, First Amendment. It would be no different than if France ordered the New York Times to retract all articles critical of anything that happens in France. What you are saying is that foreign governments can control the speech of Americans online, and you are ok with that.

                  The SPEECH act would help them fight it: it means if 1st amendment or S230 protection would apply, no US court can recognize a foreign judgment. I'm not aware of anything forbidding Google to recognize it.

                  Again, total loss for words. But perhaps you are not understanding the coercion at the heart of this. If France ASKED (not demanded) that Google de-list something, and they complied, that's one thing because Google has the option to say yes or no. This is not that. Google is not being given the option to remove the content. They are being told, in no uncertain terms "you must de-list this content across the entire internet for every country or be punished". That is government coercion and restriction of freedom of speech, and is against US law, according to the First Amendment of the United States.

                  I honestly do look forward to your replies to the questions I asked throughout this comment, if for no other reason than I have just never seen someone flagrantly not understand the First Amendment like this.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2018 @ 3:07pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                    What do you think the First Amendment is then?

                    Prevents the US government from restricting speech.

                    And do you really think it's ok for a foreign country to be able to order an American company around?

                    I don't think it's OK for them to make the order. It's legal though, because from a US point of view, these "orders" are meaningless. France has no jurisdiction in the USA, and the SPEECH act explicitly says the US government can't recognize any.

                    By all means, show me a court case or something where a foreign country was found to be doing something illegal under the First Amendment of the USA. I'd be very interested, because it's not my understanding of how this works.

                    They are being told, in no uncertain terms "you must de-list this content across the entire internet for every country or be punished".

                    I'm guessing Kim Il-sung has ordered some worldwide deletions too. So what? Unless Google decides to start operating within that country, they ignore it.

                    If a US tourist insults a foreign leader, they don't claim First Amendment rights. The USA uses diplomacy, not law, to get them out. If an American says the same in the USA, the US government says they can ignore any ruling (and should never travel there).

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 17 Sep 2018 @ 10:46pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                      I don't think it's OK for them to make the order. It's legal though, because from a US point of view, these "orders" are meaningless.

                      Ok, I'll take a step back here after your clarification.

                      The question of whether it's legal for France to do this is yet to be decided, since the court case is still ongoing. But, they are attempting to exercise extraterritorial control over another country's citizens. The order isn't quite meaningless because Google does operate in France and has a physical/legal presence there.

                      France has no jurisdiction in the USA, and the SPEECH act explicitly says the US government can't recognize any.

                      This is also correct, France cannot force a strictly US company to do anything. However, the problem is Google has a physical/legal presence in France which France is attempting to use to have Google censor the entire internet all over the world for them. If it's upheld in French courts that they can order Google to do this, it will create problems.

                      By all means, show me a court case or something where a foreign country was found to be doing something illegal under the First Amendment of the USA. I'd be very interested, because it's not my understanding of how this works.

                      I'm not entirely sure how to respond to this. While I don't have a case that meets your exact criteria, the ruling of Google vs Equustek in California may apply here. Yes, it didn't address Google's First Amendment arguments, but it didn't reject them either and just ruled based on Section 230. It's entirely possible that it will come back around to that before it's all over though. And I would say that based on that, US courts are likely to rule similarly.

                      Which brings me to your logic. Courts have recognized that Google search results are much like editorial decisions in a newspaper and are therefore protected speech. If a foreign government is attempting to compel a US company to censor its speech and that of American citizens (just because it operates in a foreign country), I don't see how that isn't a violation of the First Amendment. I'm just really not sure how to respond to the contradiction you're stating.

                      I'm guessing Kim Il-sung has ordered some worldwide deletions too. So what? Unless Google decides to start operating within that country, they ignore it.

                      And THIS is the rub. Google is already operating in France, hence, they can't ignore it.

                      If a US tourist insults a foreign leader, they don't claim First Amendment rights. The USA uses diplomacy, not law, to get them out. If an American says the same in the USA, the US government says they can ignore any ruling (and should never travel there).

                      This isn't an accurate analogy. A more accurate analogy would be an American has a company with a distribution center in France, but HQ in the US. France then says we don't want you to distribute X product here, but because our citizens can still buy X product in the US and have it shipped here, without going through your distribution center, you're going to have to stop selling X product in the US too, or be punished. The google.fr domain is like the distribution center and the google.com and google.us domains are like the HQ and distribution centers in America. France is trying to exert control over the .com and .us domains solely because it has authority over the .fr domain.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2018 @ 5:36am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                        Which brings me to your logic. Courts have recognized that Google search results are much like editorial decisions in a newspaper and are therefore protected speech. If a foreign government is attempting to compel a US company to censor its speech and that of American citizens (just because it operates in a foreign country), I don't see how that isn't a violation of the First Amendment. I'm just really not sure how to respond to the contradiction you're stating.

                        I don't see a contradiction. While pages on the US Equustek ruling are vague, it looks like they may have used the CDA230 provision in the SPEECH act to convince a US court that the Canadian ruling was "repugnant" to the First Amendment. And the US courts, being bound by it, agreed, meaning the ruling can't be enforced in the USA.

                        The First Amendment explicitly says (US) Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech. It implies US courts can't enforce any such law, nor can any other part of the US government, so US courts will continue to strike these things down. No treaty requires Canadian courts to do the same, unfortunately. How about we negotiate that into the next trade agreement? Until then, the Canadian court ruling will remain in effect in Canada; their courts will not dismiss on First Amendment claims.

                        France is trying to exert control over the .com and .us domains solely because it has authority over the .fr domain.

                        Court logic can get quite messy with international companies. I'll note that the USA is trying to do the same with Microsoft. I'd like this all to be fixed, I just don't believe we currently have the legal mechanisms for it.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2018 @ 6:18am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                          Your contradiction remains.

                          It implies US courts can't enforce any such law, nor can any other part of the US government, so US courts will continue to strike these things down.

                          This is correct, as it should be.

                          the Canadian court ruling will remain in effect in Canada; their courts will not dismiss on First Amendment claims.

                          That would be fine, IF Canada and France were only trying to enforce such rulings in Canada and France. They aren't. They are trying to enforce it in the US and all other countries by telling Google that if they don't obey, they'll be punished.

                          Note, this doesn't have anything to do with US courts enforcing French law. This has to do with France threatening Google with punishment if they don't adhere to French law in the US and all over the world. And since Google operates in France, they would be subject to said punishment.

                          How do you reconcile that?

                          Court logic can get quite messy with international companies. I'll note that the USA is trying to do the same with Microsoft. I'd like this all to be fixed, I just don't believe we currently have the legal mechanisms for it.

                          Yes it can get messy. This is not one of those times. Canada and France can't force Google to adhere to their laws in the US. But that's exactly what they are trying to do by threatening to punish Google if they don't.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 18 Sep 2018 @ 7:59am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                            This has to do with France threatening Google with punishment if they don't adhere to French law in the US and all over the world. And since Google operates in France, they would be subject to said punishment.

                            How do you reconcile that?

                            I don't know what you're asking me to reconcile. Lots of countries have laws with extraterritorial effect, the USA more than most (eg. only 2 countries tax their citizens for income earned while resident elsewhere). They should all be struck down, but I don't see how US law could effect this wrt. laws of other countries. US law and US courts are already on Google's side.

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

                            • identicon
                              Anonymous Coward, 19 Sep 2018 @ 6:24am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                              I don't see how US law could effect this wrt. laws of other countries.

                              Then you are either still are not understanding what I'm saying or you are deliberately trolling me. I've explained it several times now.

                              The laws in the US do not affect the laws in France or vice versa. That's not what this is about.

                              This is about France trying to force a foreign company to violate the laws of their home country. That's all. The laws aren't affecting each other, they're affecting a company that is trying to abide by the laws of two countries, but to abide by the laws of one country, means violating the laws of another.

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                  • icon
                    Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 19 Sep 2018 @ 7:45am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: First amendment

                    The first amendment reads:

                    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

                    It does not say: The Government of France ..., so no violation of the First Amendment.

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    • icon
      Trevor Friberg (profile), 14 Sep 2018 @ 11:14am

      Re: First amendment

      If a U.S. court attempted to enforce a French judgement against Google in America, that would violate the First Amendment. Mike is rationally inferring that the EU countries would file claims in U.S. courts if the proposed standard is accepted in EU courts, and as regular readers of Techdirt know, there are some crappy judges in the U.S. that would comply.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2018 @ 8:57pm

        Re: Re: First amendment

        This is literally not what Mike is inferring. He stated what he means in the article. Quite literally in the first paragraph.

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

  • icon
    Jeroen Hellingman (profile), 18 Sep 2018 @ 7:21am

    The long-term solution to this quackmire is that companies set up legally separate entities (i.e. split). That way, the line of defense would become: yes, we notice this and that company in the US does something you don't like, but that isn't us and we have no control over what that company does, because we are separate, and even if you totally destroy us, that will not bother the US party at all or resolve your issue.

    The case involving Microsoft and data stored in Ireland is different in that the US court order would force Microsoft employees in Ireland to break Irish (EU) laws. Those employees are thus required to disobey any Microsoft order to do so, and Microsoft can rightly claim to be unable to comply. Again, the US court can still punish Microsoft for that, but that will not resolve the issue and will not enable Microsoft to comply.

    With regard to Google: it not against US law to remove certain results from search results, so it could comply to the order without getting in legal trouble.

    It would be nice though if there was a law that would require parties to disclose foreign censorship attempts, and a site with strong US backing where such reports must be published, as to make the foreign censorship attempts moot (and force foreign governments to use blocking at the ISP level; thereby giving up the pretence of supporting an uncensored internet).

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


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