Feeds

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

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

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

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.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.