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Travis Haynie's profile photoRobo Sol's profile photoMatt Burns's profile photoDaniel J. De Jesús's profile photo
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I normally don't care much about Twitter, but in this case I think that since Google seems to be generally concerned with free speech on the Internet, it might want to take a page from Twitter's playbook:  rather than removing links entirely when they comply with a takedown request, simply filter them out of results of searches originating from the offended country.  Google might do this already for all I know.  This would allow them to obey the letter of the law within a certain jurisdiction without censoring the content elsewhere.  (It would also allow people within those jurisdictions to skirt the censorship by using a proxy outside of their country, but Google couldn't be held responsible for that.)
 
Fuck censorships; free speech!
 
+Wayon Shaw I agree completely with the sentiment, but it's not practical in the current global political environment.  If Google didn't comply to at least some of those takedown requests that were backed by a warrant, those countries would simply block access to Google entirely within their borders, which would be more damaging to free speech for their citizens than removing specific information.

I think Google's current strategy -- of making the takedown requests public -- is pretty smart.  It lets people know those governments are doing to keep the people in the dark.  Censorship thrives on ignorance, and only really works if people don't know what they're not allowed to know.  Once people are aware that some type of information exists and that it is being kept from them, that censorship can't survive for long.
 
Shame that people still have to worry about governments taking away free speech. In this age it should be a given.
 
+Travis Haynie Not all countries have the equivalent of the U.S.'s First Amendment.  In fact, the article explains some of the specific laws with which Google has complied, such as the censoring of content about the Nazis in France and Germany or anti-government speech in Thailand.  Google may be a U.S. company, but it operates internationally.  If it doesn't want to be blocked outright within a given country, it has to acknowledge that country's laws.
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