Feeds

Google-hosted blogs to be censored on country-by-country basis

But you can work around it with a 'No Country Redirect'

Boost IT visibility and business value

Google will remove content posted on its blogging platform on a country-by-country basis after altering the way the service organises blog posts.

The internet giant said the move was designed to help it take down material deemed to be unlawful in one country but to enable readers in other countries to see it. Google said it would make content on 'Blogger' appear on sites that use the relevant country-code top level domains (ccTLDs), such as .uk. It would allocate content to a domain based on readers' IP addresses.

"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," Google said in a question-and-answer statement.

"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," it said.

"If you visit a blog that does not correspond to your current location as determined by your IP address, the blogspot servers will redirect you to the domain associated with your country, if it’s a supported ccTLD," Google said.

The changes are being piloted in Australia, New Zealand and India, but Google plans to eventually implement the policy globally, according to a report by the BBC.

There is a way around the censor, however. Readers in countries where material has been removed might still be able to view that content by asking their browser to display content on a non-country-specific basis, according to the detail of Google's posting. Google did not respond to Out-Law.com's request to clear up the issue.

"Blog readers may request a specific country version of the blogspot content by entering a specially formatted 'NCR' URL," the Google Q&A said.

"NCR stands for 'No Country Redirect' and will always display buzz.blogger.com in English, whether you’re in India, Brazil, Honduras, Germany, or anywhere. For example: http://[blogname].blogspot.com/ncr – always goes to the US English blog. This special URL sets a short-lived cookie (session and/or a short life time) that will prevent geo-based redirection from the requested domain. This applies to all web browsers and all operating systems," it said.

Google's policy about withholding information in certain countries is similar to the one also announced recently by Twitter. The micro-blogging service said that it has developed a system enabling it to "reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world".

Copyright © 2012, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.