Feeds

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

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

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

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.

Boost IT visibility and business value

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
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
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
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
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.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?