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

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 …

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Gold badge

That workaround

It looks like that workaround presumes you can access domains outside your country code, whereas the country-specific censoring is presumably intended for the benefit of dictatorships where that isn't true.

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WTF?

Aus & NZ too? I mean I get the rationale for testing in smaller markets, but what are they going to be protecting our delicate ANZAC eyes from, by sparing our sensibilities? The shocking truth that the rest of the world thinks our accents are the same?

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Big Brother

Ah ha...

"For example: http://[blogname].blogspot.com/ncr – always goes to the US English blog."

So that's all right then. The US (who seem to consider .com to be their ccTLD) would never dream of censoring anything, any more than our own UK Government would.

This sounds like a lawyers' "we complied with your court order, but those naughty people went to a different site" get-out clause..

I wonder how long it will be before just accessing http://[blogname].blogspot.com/ncr will be considered proof of subversive activity.

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blogspot.us

Google acquired the blogspot.us name from a.. errr.. domain speculator in about the middle of 2011. So, it's quite possible for the US to have its own TLD for this exercise too.

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I'm sighing, by proxy.

"your current location as determined by your IP address"

So, not your location at all then? Yes, oppressive government, I know "IP address" sounds like "my address", but it's REALLY not the same thing. Trust me.

OK, so there's a strong correlation to location but do governments seriously think their net-savvy citizens haven't heard of proxies?!

Hell, most of them probably already run a TOR exit node from their bedroom!

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Bronze badge

I suspect TOR will far become more popular due to SOPA etc.

Hmm. It just occurred to me, maybe SOPA and others are just a plan to bring democracy to all the dodgy dictatorships and oppressive regimes round the world.

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Anonymous Coward

bad Iranians had no trouble finding the bug doors in TOR

for years, TOR identified itself by broadcasting 'I'm a TOR packet' in the datagram header. Quote :"Circa 2008 and prior, Tor software would actually mark its own SSL Server Certificates with the keyword `Tor' in the Organization Name field" from http://www.pgpboard.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=406

Once the iranians had rounded up all those using that version of TOR it took them a while to find the next version bug door - the time to live SSL certificate value of 2 hours - unique from all other services on the internet. https://blog.torproject.org/blog/iran-blocks-tor-tor-releases-same-day-fix

It would be wild speculation to imagine that any and all available democracy-enhancing free-speech allowing tools on the internet have been pre-modified by the good guys to facilitate tracking, blocking and "Workfactor reduction" (the subversion of cryptographic systems)

Also please don't take it that I think Iran are the real good guys, they invented writing but that was a while ago, it's just that if our good guys are weakening things like TOR - so Mickey Mouse can celebrate his hundredth birthday with style and in copyright, it seems unfair that iranian activists have to pay for this? I'll go back to lurking

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JDX
Gold badge

@JakeyC

Yes but there's a big difference between being shown by default content your laws don't allow, and deliberately finding a way to access that content by working around the system.

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Black Helicopters

The bigness of that difference would most likely depend on the country....

Deliberately circumventing controls and viewing "bad" content could trip you up in a lot of jurisdictions (demonstrated "intent" can be quite damning). For example, taking a detour to a kiddie porn site will be very dimly viewed in most countries, such as the USA-Europe where the Police are getting quite good at back-tracing ip-addresses. What would be the penalty for looking at a friend's you-tube video where he performs "Nights in White Satin" without paying any royalties? The mind boggles.

OTOH, viewing dissident blogging sites or CNN might be good enough for a quick trip to gulagville in some countries (or a very nasty interview with mustachioed gentlemen holding cattle-prods).

I also don't like the assumption that this kind of malarkey might only be restricted to repressive countries with poor human-rights or press freedom records. Would it? What would it take to restrict the Pirate Bay for US surfers using the same technology? Not much.... I reckon. Once SOPA or ACTA get passed, I suspect we will all be learning how to use TOR and muck around with packet headers.

Such a waste of energy...

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