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Google Begins Country-Specific Blog Censorship

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the not-for-your-eyes dept.

Censorship 250

bonch writes "Google will begin redirecting blogs to country-specific URLs. Blog visitors will be redirected to a URL specific to their location, with content subject to their country's censorship laws. A support post on Blogger explains the change: 'Over the coming weeks you might notice that the URL of a blog you're reading has been redirected to a country-code top level domain, or "ccTLD." For example, if you're in Australia and viewing [blogname].blogspot.com, you might be redirected to [blogname].blogspot.com.au. A ccTLD, when it appears, corresponds with the country of the reader's current location.'"

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250 comments

Blogger only - it seems (4, Insightful)

icebike (68054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896425)

This only works toward reducing the trustworthiness of Blogger as a blogging platform.

Blogs dealing with sensitive topics in certain countries will simply go elsewhere. Yes that elsewhere runs the risk of being blocked by that
country, but at least it will be that county doing the blocking, not Google.

Re:Blogger only - it seems (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896483)

blogs dealing with sensitive topics are no longer Google's problem. Isn't that exactly what they want?

Re:Blogger only - it seems (2)

eugene2k (1213062) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896665)

And what difference would that make to the people of that country? None, right? So what's better: having absolutely no access to blogger blogs in your country or having access to some of the blogs using that platform?

Re:Blogger only - it seems (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896927)

Is being bombarded with a distorted version of reality better than a paucity of information? Yes, of course it is. All of the misdeeds of the powerful in the West today are possible only because people are so distracted from what is happening.

Google has always been part of the problem but it takes a while for some people to see clearly.

Re:Blogger only - it seems (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897077)

Yes, corporations are the problem. We need to destroy capitalism as a system so that we can all live in a non-coercive socialist utopia.

If you haven't noticed it yet, people are the problem.

Re:Blogger only - it seems (2)

kanguro (1237830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896825)

Do No Evil My Ass

Re:Blogger only - it seems (4, Insightful)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896997)

Your Ass Has Been Redirected To Your Country Specific Jail. Be happy that you are not redirected to some China's jail.....

Re:Blogger only - it seems (5, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897189)

Your Ass Has Been Redirected To Your Country Specific Jail. Be happy that you are not redirected to some China's jail.....

Not to be crude, but if my Ass had to be redirected towards a jail I would rather it be a jail with a small average penis size. Literally easier to handle. Just being pragmatic...

Re:Blogger only - it seems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897209)

How did this not (yet) get modded +5 insightful?

So much for... (5, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896447)


So much for Do No Evil. I'm sure it will be spun into how this makes Blogger a better experience for everyone.

Re:So much for... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896497)

Well, it sounds like it might have the effect of eliminating a lot of blogs, so I'd say it has a good chance of improving the experience.

Re:So much for... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896567)

Android is open! Durrr!

Re:So much for... (4, Insightful)

spidercoz (947220) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896615)

They're not doing evil, they're just enabling it.

Re:So much for... (4, Insightful)

interval1066 (668936) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896731)

I think the motto should "Do no evil, unless it interferes with our business model."

Re:So much for... (4, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896865)

I think the motto should "Do no evil, unless it interferes with our business model."

The second part is always implied in everything a company says.

Re:So much for... (3, Insightful)

serviscope_minor (664417) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897259)

They're not doing evil, they're just enabling it.

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." (Edmund Burke)

Well, they're not doing nothing, but I think he had something in mind other than helping evil along the way.

Also, if the metaphorical road to hell is paved with good intentions, then where do you think bad ones might lead?

Bottom line is this action is evil since it serves no other purpose than to allow evil. That is in no way neutral.

But this is not news. Google abandoned any pretense of sticking to their motto long ago.

Re:So much for... (0)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896649)

I'm sure it will be spun into how this makes Blogger a better experience for everyone.

At Google we're indeed committed to improving the experience of Blogger for all. Users will be switching from our neglected, censored trainwreck of a service to services that respect bloggers and have valid HTML, so they'll be better off. Since all three people that remain there will be highly dissatisfied and robo-flaming our GMail addresses, we will shut down our service next week to ensure that our programmers and mail-answering slaves can move on to more urgent needs like how to better copy Facebook in Google+ and adding more redundant tags to HTML5. Since we'll no longer be paying to maintain Pyra's annoying piece of shit, we can give our dear friend and dictator Larry Page a big bonus, in the hopes that he leaves the blinds open in the board room so we can watch as he shouts down that Sergey guy and withers him into a crying nerdy mess.

Blogger is more powerful and versatile than Twitter. At Google, we're confident you'll support us in fixing that (and you can do that by +1'ing us on Google+!).

Re:So much for... (1, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896651)

They are doing this to follow local laws. Now, I understand that what's moral and legal don't always align, but at what point did *obeying the law* become *evil*! Sure, you can come up with some contrived circumstances, but I highly any will be in play here. This is about blocking content that people and/or their leaders want blocked. Honestly, it seems closer to evil to go against their wishes by not blocking it.

Companies aren't responsible for carrying out your civil disobedience campaign for you.

(And are you, yourself, evil for not running one of your own?)

Re:So much for... (2)

Ossifer (703813) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896797)

So why are they following local laws, beyond those of Mountain View? Is this really how the internet should work? Either the lowest common denominator or having to follow a global patchwork of contradictory local laws?

Re:So much for... (1)

JustSomeProgrammer (1881750) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897013)

Yes. Unless you want a one world government that has control over everyone or you want people to be able to ignore laws that are not enacted everywhere which amounts to the same thing. In that situation if you think that it'll result in the most amount of freedom you are dreadfully wrong.

Re:So much for... (4, Insightful)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896821)

When it includes censoring people who do not live in those countries so that the plebs who do cannot be told how much their nation sucks.

Worse, this begins the process of actually fracturing the internet into sub-nets for national use. If I want to reach a global audience I'll have to make sure I don't do it in a way that will offend anyone in a country with bullshit over-pious litigators in government (looking at you Aussies) or a totalitarian regime bent on rewriting history (Hi China) or some asshole country with fucked up copyright and patent laws (hello U.S.A.).

So -- you can have a global blog, so long as you only blog about how awesome consumerism and particular Chinese products are.

-GiH

Re:So much for... (2)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896847)

When you start enforcing questionable laws in countries you're not actually in. If some country wants to expend a trillion dollars making sure nobody ever sees a disparaging remark about their king, that's their business, but that doesn't mean that people in other countries should help them out.

Re:So much for... (5, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897161)

Define "not actually in", because after a quick search:
http://www.google.com/intl/en/jobs/locations/ [google.com]

We see they have an office in Australia, which was the domain used in the summary. And quite a few around the globe, of particular note is China, which is so often the center of discussions like these. Also, Thailand, which I believe was brought up with regards to Twitter and blocking posts critical of their king.

Are you suggesting that because their corporate HQ isn't there that "they" aren't there? Or are you suggesting that they don't _need_ to be in those locations, and so could pull out?

Finally, I'll note that you said "enforcing questionable laws". Don't you mean "evil laws"? I mean, if obeying the law is evil, then surely that law is evil, right? Or does it only become evil when enforced by Google because they aren't entire present where the law matters?

I dunno. This always gets so confusing. Like, why isn't Google evil for taking down ads for Canadian pharmaceuticals at the request of the FDA? Actually, I seem to recall people were saying they were evil for allowing the ads in the first place. Maybe it's that HQ thing again... That "good" is upholding American (oh, like specifically the USofAmerican) laws and ideals and "evil" is upholding the laws of other countries in those countries because their HQ is in the USA?

Re:So much for... (3, Informative)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897249)

"google: not dictators but #1 *with* dictators"

(apologies to the simpsons for ref to their '#1 with racists' joke)

Re:So much for... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896855)

No need to contrive anything, since a simple example that will be clear to any but the most brainwashed comes to mind. Persecuting/imprisoning marijuana users is legal, and also evil. The same used to be true of homosexuals. The law is often wrong, and obeying the law is often evil.

Re:So much for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896861)

Thank you very, very much for the straight talk. Google essentially has two options here. They can either comply with local laws, or they can give governments an excuse to go after them via their legal systems or outright banning of Google services in those jurisdictions.

For those who don't want the "customized" experience created by redirection to servers that comply with their local laws, there are countless ways around such restrictions. Honestly, has anyone railing against this sort of thing ever done a simple Google search (heh) for dirt cheap VPN services hosted in other jurisdictions? Hell, even without those services, anybody can grab a dirt cheap Linux VPS from any of the thousands of providers out there these days, and spend perhaps ten minutes installing OpenVPN. Bam, problem solved.

In other words, this "story" and all the spin being put on it pretty much amount to nothing.

Re:So much for... (2)

tqk (413719) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897129)

... at what point did *obeying the law* become *evil*!

Invoking Godwin, in 3, 2, 1 ...

Evil laws shouldn't be obeyed, period. Do you really trust politicians of today to not write evil laws? Sometimes, it seems like that's all they do these days. Since when was censorship not evil? Since when was freedom of speech evil?

I hate this century.

Re:So much for... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897215)

Google is not censoring anything. They are not stopping freedom of speech.

They ARE redirecting blogger blogs through ccTLDs. This allows the powers that are in control of those ccTLDs to censor and stop free speech. If you have a problem with censorship, deal with the people who are actually censoring things. In this case governments that want to censor blogs. So Google has made it easier for them to do that. Not awesome news, but they have little choice. The alternative is governments blocking ALL blogger blogs, not just a few.

Re:So much for... (4, Insightful)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897221)

but at what point did *obeying the law* become *evil*

when the law is wrong, that's when!

do I really need to invoke a godwin, here? or cite US history from the civil war era?

confusing 'law' with ethics, much?

and no, we don't expect google to be ethical. we stopped believing that, what, five or more years ago? it did not take long for the google shine to wear off and for us to all realize they are a self-serving company, just like all the rest.

Re:So much for... (3, Informative)

CowTipperGore (1081903) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896763)

If you had bothered to RTFA, you would see

[M]igrating users to local domains will help promote the freedom of expression while allowing the flexibility to abide by local law.

Anyone can use google.com/ncr (NCR stands for “no country redirect”) to see the original page without geographical redirection.

Re:So much for... (4, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896885)

Blogger

Or, as it's now called in North Korea, "Your Attempt To Access Imperialist Site Has Been Noted By Glorious Leader."

Re:So much for... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896921)

How on earth is this evil? If anything, now there will be LESS censorship. When the alternative is those countries blocking access to Blogger completely or Google being legally required to bring down the post for ALL countries, this is a great piece of functionality.

Now, when they're FORCED to remove content because of some stupid law, they only have to remove it for the country in question. Everyone else on the internet can still see it.

So, then, which option would you prefer?
1) All of Blogger is unusable for everyone in a country because they've blocked it.
2) Legal takedowns force content offline for all internet users because there is no country-specific takedown mechanism.
3) Legal takedowns force content offline for only internet users in that country because of this new functionality.

Re:So much for... (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897231)

I would prefer that Google makes information available to all who want it, and that if some repressive government wants to block it, at least Google wasn't an accomplice. I just finished terminating my Twitter account over this. Looks like Google is next, even if that will be slightly more difficult to detangle.

Re:So much for... (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897003)

So much for Do No Evil. I'm sure it will be spun into how this makes Blogger a better experience for everyone.

Actually, yes, yes it will. Instead of being forced by law to remove the content from everyone's view or be forceably blocked by that country (or sued), Google is allowing everyone else to see the censored content, and only blocking it where the law demands it.

Respecting the law of a country is not "evil". It may not be the right thing to do (depends on the country and law at hand, certain laws/governments are unjust and should be protested), but it is also not evil.

Oh, and you can still see the censored content anyways (www.google.com/ncr), so, there is that, also.

Along with Twitter (2)

krslynx (1632027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896499)

Looks like Google is bending over to the powers that be along with Twitter; such a shame.

And so it goes... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896503)

Only a matter of time before they caved. So much for all the grand-standing and posturing, in the end the potential profit prevailed over ideals.

Completely Misleading (4, Informative)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896523)

If you read the article Google is doing this so when a blog is censored in one country it isn't censored everywhere and you can always access the blog by appending ncr (no country recognition). This means they found away AROUND the by country censorship. Talk about spinning a story.

Re:Completely Misleading (4, Informative)

rtb61 (674572) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896621)

Once censorship starts it doesn't ever stop. Next up ISP blocking. You are watching the creation of the new internet piece by rotting piece.

Re:Completely Misleading (-1)

unrtst (777550) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896849)

Once censorship starts it doesn't never stop.

FTFY

Re:Completely Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896923)

Huh? Once censorship starts it always stops? Perhaps I have been whooshed.

Re:Completely Misleading (4, Insightful)

Artraze (600366) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896935)

> Once censorship starts it doesn't ever stop.

Sez you. Remember back when "Schweddy Balls" was pushing the limit of what was allowed on TV? Remember when McCarthyism made certain _ideas_ essentially illegal?

Censorship is done at the behest of people or their leaders. It's something that comes and goes and people decide what should be visible or not. Sure _sometimes_ it's forced upon a society, but that's usually (and really by definition) the result of a totalitarian government. But really, isn't that the real problem?

When a people decide they don't want guns, or drugs, or prostitution, or gambling, or certain forms of expression they pass laws against them. So you think "censorship" is stupid and wrong because it doesn't hurt anyone. Good for you. I think that most of the aforementioned laws are stupid and wrong and they hurt people more than they help. But you know what? Sometimes people get hurt by things, and they pass laws against them because they feel that the law hurts them less. Yeah, it sucks, but it's not Google's fault, nor is it their duty to change it. This censorship crap is no more "evil" and "slippery slope" than Google, say, not selling booze in Islamic countries or whatever. You don't agree, I don't agree, but if the Germans, for example, are made extremely uncomfortable by Nazi stuff, should Google tell them to piss off when asked to block it?

That actually would be rather mean of them, I think...

Re:Completely Misleading (3, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897047)

You're citing absurd examples like selling booze in Islamic countries or banning Nazi content that makes Germans uncomfortable. Government censorship is far more sinister, silencing criticism of leaders and quieting stories of the government abuses or the punishment of political dissidents. It's also not something that "comes and goes" like a summer breeze. Overturning an all-powerful government structure is extremely difficult and often bloody. We're talking about people's lives here.

If this wasn't Google, it might not be considered as huge an issue in relation to other companies' foreign censorship compliance, but there are two contributing factors: 1.) Google's dominant presence on the web, and 2.) Google's public embrace of concepts like openness and freedom, seemingly when it suits them. Their power and ideology give them a greater moral responsibility; that's the drawback of being #1 in a given industry.

No, it's not (1)

Overly Critical Guy (663429) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896705)

It's not "completely misleading." Google outright states in the Blogger post:

Migrating to localized domains will allow us to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law. By utilizing ccTLDs, content removals can be managed on a per country basis, which will limit their impact to the smallest number of readers. Content removed due to a specific country’s law will only be removed from the relevant ccTLD.

They didn't find away around country censorship. They found a way to censor certain countries without affecting everyone universally. And the NCR addresses will obviously be blocked by governments, so it's not a workaround.

Re:No, it's not (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896973)

Hi bonch's sockpuppet. Haven't seen you in a few days.

Your post is completely misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896773)

Google didn't find a way around government censorship (ncr won't solve anything as that can obviously get blocked). They're just dividing up URLs by country so that censorship in one country doesn't affect users in other countries.

In other words, this specifically enables censorship on a per-country basis. It doesn't find a way around censorship--it lets Google MORE EASILY COMPLY with censorship and continue doing business without affecting customers in free countries.

Re:Completely Misleading (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896931)

That makes absolutely no sense. If they weren't caving to censorship, they wouldn't need to split it up by country. The only reason they need to do it this way is BECAUSE they are caving in to censorship, because it's more important to grow a company into more markets than to take a principaled stand on behalf of consumers and just plain people.

Re:Completely Misleading (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897239)

Yes, but this is Slashdot, Google's official spin-machine, where anything negative or hypocritical about Google gets magically flipped around into something awesome and brilliant.

Re: Completely Misleading (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896967)

There is nothing in the article or in Google's support post about this being a workaround for government censorship. To the contrary, the intent is to make censorship more convenient for Google by enabling them to censor content on a per-country basis without affecting visitors from other countries. The NCR prefix will get blocked by censoring governments. The only spin here is your post.

Mods, parent post is COMPLETELY WRONG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897143)

This isn't a way around government censorship. It's a way for Google to censor more conveniently, so that if they have to block something by government request, they don't lose their precious ad views in other countries. If you don't think no-country-recognition will get blocked by governments, then you're naive.

It's sad that you got +5 Informative when you're being misinformative. People like you further the system of non-responsibility for corporate behavior in the world when it comes to political and social freedoms. Why isn't Google taking a stand and refusing to comply with ANY censorship requests?

Alternative? (3, Interesting)

JanneM (7445) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896525)

Anybody have a recommendation for an alternative blogging platform? Preferably one hosted in Europe by a non-US company, and one where it is reasonably easy to migrate from Blogger.

Re:Alternative? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896741)

It's called HTML. Learn to code and host your website, I mean "blog", on a small machine at home.

Re:Alternative? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896925)

It's called HTML. Learn to code and host your website, I mean "blog", on a small machine at home.

Unless he lives in Europe, it will not be what he asked for ("preferably one hosted in Europe").

Re:Alternative? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896977)

He asked for a solution that was easy to migrate from Blogger, and your answer is to learn to code html? I'm sure he found that very useful. And if you asked a friend for advice on buying a low-maintenance car and his advice was to just become a mechanic, you'd find that equally useful.

Re:Alternative? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896745)

I hear Blogspot is pretty good.

Re:Alternative? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897081)

I looked at your blog - relax, brah. Your deep commentary about having omaraisu for dinner aren't going to get you censored, or targeted for re-education.

Sinister, just like Twitter (3, Informative)

bazmail (764941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896527)

This is a very sinister move in my opinion, as the only way we used to get to know about posts being censored in foreign countries is when they disappear from our radars in more free countries. Now the only way we'll know is by running some sort of massively networked diff program, comparing views originating in censored countries with ours.

Re:Sinister, just like Twitter (2, Insightful)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896561)

Or you could actually RTFA, or at the very least, Razzlefrog's post.

Re:Sinister, just like Twitter (1)

bazmail (764941) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896685)

You really think people are going to /NCR? Good for you sparky.

Re:Sinister, just like Twitter (0)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896753)

I dont care if they use it or not. But at least this move by google allows people that AREN'T in the censored country to get to the content naturally instead of the content being removed.

Re:Sinister, just like Twitter (1)

zidium (2550286) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896895)

You're an absolute fool if you don't think the /ncr link won't be blocked by every government and corporate firewall on the planet!!

IT IS NOT A WORKAROUND IN PLACES THAT BLOCK STUFF LIKE TOR! (e.g. China).

Re:Sinister, just like Twitter (1)

Aryden (1872756) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897011)

I don't like the blocking of shit either, but if they have to comply with local laws, i would rather it be done in a manner that does not directly impact everyone everywhere. Would you rather they just delete the damn blog/article?

Re:Sinister, just like Twitter (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897159)

In a way, yes.

Because that way, the evil would be dragged out into the light, and not allowed to hide behind Google.

Don't be dobedobee (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896529)

Don't be evil, be a coward instead.

Redirect may be avoided? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896551)

TOA says:
>> If you would like to see a non-affected page, you can direct to google.com/ncr (NCR stands for “no country redirect”),
>> which places a short term cookie that temporarily prevents geographical redirection.

And thus begins... (1, Insightful)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896557)

... the end of the Internet as we have known it. The future will consist of, possibly inter-connected, networks that show different groups their own version of the world, or part there of, tailored, censored and controlled according to the whims of "those who know better". Different truths for everyone. Yes, that will help bring us all closer together as a planet and as a people. (sarcasm intended)

Re:And thus begins... (1)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896603)

Different countries have different laws when it comes to freedom of speech and censorship. You aren't going to change that. This is basically a tricky way for google to tell the governments they are blocking what they want but at the same time letting the users have a back door around it. I think it's a brilliant move. I can see more companies going this way which in the long run makes the censorship useless.

Re:And thus begins... (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896657)

Different countries have different laws when it comes to freedom of speech and censorship.

If Google does not have operations in a particular country, why should they care about that country's censorship laws?

Re:And thus begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896739)

If you're a website, you have de facto operations in every country. It doesn't matter if you actually personnel there or not. That's sort of the nature of the internet, you know? If the company wants to profit off that presence, they will need to comply with local regulations, or as we've seen countries will eagerly seek to block access through control of the ISPs.

Re:And thus begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896815)

It is better to do this than to be blocked at the Great Firewall of [Insert Country Here]. At least this way they get into [Insert Country Here].

But the slippery slope is that is if Google is doing it for one country why can't they do it for [Insert Another Country Here] including possibly the US of A.

Nathan

Captcha : twitter

Re:And thus begins... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896887)

Not just operations, they only need to have sales in a country to care.
(My current company has operations in 6 countries, but sales in something like 50 ... and we definitely have to care about the laws of all 50 if we want to continue to sell).

There is no "backdoor," stop claiming this (2)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897191)

You falsely claimed this in another post as well. There is no backdoor here making censorship useless; NCR URLs will just get blocked by governments. Google has specifically made it more easy and convenient for them to comply with government censorship requests: The point of this move is so they can claim to be in compliance with a takedown request in one country while keeping the content up in others so they can retain advertising hits. The people in the censored country get fucked.

Re:And thus begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896951)

Um, no. Last I checked, all my crypto still works just fine, and I can do as I please with regard to pulling up anything I like anywhere on the Internet. Sorry man, I've been at this networked communications thing since the dial-up BBS days in the 80s (operated two), and this "oh my God the sky is falling" nonsense hasn't substantially changed since then. It's the same tired story spun and re-spun time and again, and if anything on a global scale free communications are continuing to expand a hell of a lot faster than any sad attempts to prevent it. Terribly sorry to burst your balloon; here's a lollipop to make you feel better.

Re:And thus begins... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897213)

Um, no. Last I checked, all my crypto still works just fine, and I can do as I please with regard to pulling up anything I like anywhere on the Internet. Sorry man, I've been at this networked communications thing since the dial-up BBS days in the 80s (operated two), and this "oh my God the sky is falling" nonsense hasn't substantially changed since then. It's the same tired story spun and re-spun time and again, and if anything on a global scale free communications are continuing to expand a hell of a lot faster than any sad attempts to prevent it. Terribly sorry to burst your balloon; here's a lollipop to make you feel better.

Well done, you were connected way before most of us in the 'west'.

People in developing nations just getting hold of their first cell phone or internet connection don't have the 25+ year head start you did.

Communication is increasing all the time, doesn't mean it's not monitored or censored for vast numbers of the global population.

Uhm (0)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896565)

I don't see how this is censorship. You can bypass it easily. It might reasonably provide better service for a lot of people, and accommodates local culture and law.

If local law is so intolerable that we want to force changes on them with technology, why not just invade them and change their law?

Re:Uhm (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896837)

The fact that you can bypass it has nothing whatsoever to do with if it is censorship or not. You can rob a bank by bypassing security, does that mean that they are not trying to keep you out?

Re:Uhm (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897025)

The bank is not built to have a security bypass for you to use if you don't want to use their security. ;) So, total analogy fail.

Re:Uhm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897071)

I don't care if it's censorship or not. It's really amusing how often people trot that word out like it's somehow illegal, when it's plainly a perfectly legal business decision. If anybody affected by this feels like starting a revolution in their homeland and tossing out the regimes responsible for their crappy local laws, they're more than welcome to do so. In the meantime, I really and truly don't care, especially given the three distinct ways this sort of thing is trivially circumvented. Now, if people are not only too complacent to do anything about their shitty governments, but also too retarded and/or lazy to figure out how to set up a simple VPN to deal with crap like this, they get what they get. Again, I really don't care.

Next. People specific censoring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896585)

Based on your profile, Google will be displaying whatever news, sports or current events deemed apporved by the central authority.

This is devolution.

Missed the Boat (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896635)

There was a time when we could have really broken down all international boundaries through the internet, but now that even the most supposedly-benign corporate power is signing up for this state-based content, I think I'm going to flush that dream down the toilette.

One thing I have loved for many years about the net was the access to other cultures, their art and entertainment, and their people. I've met so many friends throughout the world since the early 90's because of the web.

As a related aside - can anyone tell me if there's a way to get google to recognize you as country-agnostic? I still get localized information when I go there, even not signed on. I'd love to know if there were a way to get around that, so I get all the search results from every part of the globe....

Re:Missed the Boat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897201)

Oh god, you're such a fucking self-impressed, self-important "citizen of the world", aren't you?

"I want results in all the languages I can't speak or read, and I love having access to the popular and easily accessible arts and culture of a subset of the natives of a foreign country who are affluent and well educated enough to be on the internet and own computers."

You want access to another culture? GO THERE. Go get a sweaty ass crack hiking up a fucking mountain in Peru. Go get your balls sniffed by a monkey at a Tibetan temple. Get your johnson fondled by a kathoey in Thailand. Stop pretending that staring at something on a flat glass screen from the sanitized comfort of your bedroom allows you to experience anything but the barest hint of an imitation of a culture and its people.

Re:Missed the Boat (2)

ALeavitt (636946) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897261)

As a related aside - can anyone tell me if there's a way to get google to recognize you as country-agnostic? I still get localized information when I go there, even not signed on. I'd love to know if there were a way to get around that, so I get all the search results from every part of the globe....

Try Duck Duck Go, [duckduckgo.com] which is a very simple search engine along the lines of what Google used to be. They proudly proclaim the fact that they neither track you nor alter your search results based on your location or history.

Equal Global Internet Rights (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896721)

USA users will start to see http://equalglobalinternetrights.blogger.com.us , right?

I wonder what is being censored in the USA? (5, Interesting)

RocketRabbit (830691) | more than 2 years ago | (#38896775)

I wonder what Google is censoring in the USA? Could be that they have strict orders to keep whatever it is secret, so nobody will even know about it.

And before anybody jumps down my throat and vaporishly wails "Oh but that COULDN'T happen in AMERICA!" please direct your attention to this post : http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2011/9/30/215-section-act-patriot/ [thecrimson.com] and senator Wyden's recent comments on secret interpretations of the Patriot act.

We are really down the rabbit hole here folks.

Re:I wonder what is being censored in the USA? (2)

snookums (48954) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897107)

I wonder what Google is censoring in the USA

To me this looks exactly like it is aimed at routing around censorship by or in the USA, and to increase global confidence in Google platforms.

The MegaUpload affair has given the world a very swift kick in the pants. Strategy consultants are recommending that businesses not deal with any US-based service providers, nor rely on hosts using any US-controlled TLDs. Google are now telling us that, hey the FBI might make us take down your megawhatsit.blogspot.com site, but the visitors you actually care about will still see your site at megahwhatsit.blogspot.co.nz.

Re:I wonder what is being censored in the USA? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897173)

I don't think google is censoring that, a simple search on "Wyden secret" will turn up all sorts of news about it.

What happened to Open and Do no Evil? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38896813)

What happened to Open and Do no Evil? I guess that don't matter anymore.. well since they already sell how many times I take a dump to the TP Manufacturers by using gps fine scale on my phone to see when Im in the bathroom, this is just small potatoes compared to that.

VolksempfÃnger 2.0? (1)

datorum (1280144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897103)

"All VolksempfÃngers sold on the domestic market were purposely designed only to receive the Deutschlandsender and regional stations of the Reichs-Rundfunk-Gesellschaft, so as to ensure that Nazi propaganda broadcasts could readily be heard while other media, such as the BBC's European Service (now the World Service), could not." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Volksempf%C3%A4nger [wikipedia.org] don't take my comment too seriously, I just jumped into my mind...

Unintended consequences? (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 2 years ago | (#38897113)

So if Ihit a blog while in Canada, it will see me with a Canadian IP and thwart my access to anything the Canadian government doesn't like?

And if I drive back home to the U.S., I can merrily go on and do what I like wiuth that same blog, and not be blocked?

SO this works well... I wonder how it will work with cross-border proxies. Maybe I need to spin one up just to annoy them furringers.

Re:Unintended consequences? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897179)

Or just go to google.com/ncr to skip country redirect (a piece of info found not worthy enough for summary by our unbiased friend bonch)

disable Google redirects (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38897235)

Is there any way of permanently disabling Google redirects on search results?
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