back to article Google coughs up what it coughs up to govs - and what it suppresses

Canada asked Google to remove a video of a Canadian flushing his passport down the toilet and the US police wanted a blog that defamed a cop in a "personal capacity" taken down. Google has published the censorship requests that it received from governments and government agencies worldwide in the six months from July to …

COMMENTS

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'd bet that if it was information that the plod could use to investigate 'terrorists' that the Street View cars were hoovering, there wouldn't be any further investigations...

  2. Dr Zoidberg
    Big Brother

    And so Google became the moral compass for the world

    Who is to say insulting the monarchy is more or less ok than threatening to perform an act of terrorism? They both undermine the government but in Google's eyes one is ok and one isn't.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And so Google became the moral compass for the world

      Well lets face is, terrorism incites physical harm to the masses, insulting the monarchy involves insulting somebody higher up the food chain than you.

      Wonder which of those is worse.

      1. JimC Silver badge

        Re:Which of these is worse...

        Well that depends, doesn't it. If undermining the authority of the monarchy results in a civil war where thousands or millions are killed, then I'd regard that as a good deal worse outcome than an amateur bomb plot.

        Historically consitutional monarchies have been seen as providing useful checks and balances on the tendency of pure democracies to be taken in by demagogues with no aim or vision other than to get elected again, no matter how much long term damage they do to their countries in the process of pursuing a short term populist vision.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: And so Google became the moral compass for the world

      I don't think you read it properly - they removed videos which threatened terrorism in the UK, and ones which are rude about the monarchy in Thailand. Both of these things are illegal in the respective countries. In the cases where the request had no legal basis it seems Google refused them. What's the problem?

    3. Astrodude

      Re: And so Google became the moral compass for the world

      It's called free speech, insulting the monarchy harms no one.

      1. JDX Gold badge

        Re: And so Google became the moral compass for the world

        Many countries don't have free speech. Which part didn't you understand?

        1. Astrodude
          FAIL

          Re: And so Google became the moral compass for the world

          So supporting free speech is hardly being (arbitrarily) the "moral compass". Do you agree with free speech or do you not? Google's motto after all is "don't be evil". If you think that following the law without question is all that there is then you fail.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And so Google became the moral compass for the world

            "So supporting free speech is hardly being (arbitrarily) the "moral compass". Do you agree with free speech or do you not?"

            You are arbitrarily deciding what is reasonable free speech based on your own moral compass, which is based on your own society.

            In our country, pro-terrorism or pro-paedo stuff and racist hate-posts are 'wrong' and get taken down despite being 'free speech'. Should it be left up in the name of free speech, or is 'good morality' more important than bandying hatred and bile?

            In Thailand, insulting the royals is generally viewed with the same moral disdain that you would view hate-speech, as the people there generally have enormous respect for their royals and predominantly hang pictures of them in their front rooms. You have no right to look down your nose at them for censoring free speech on their own moral issues so long as you are pro-censorship regarding your own.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: And so Google became the moral compass for the world

            No it didn't, it consulted it's legal experts and complied where the laws of the country it was operating in were being breached (I hope?!).

        2. Astrodude
          FAIL

          Re: And so Google became the moral compass for the world

          And we don't give a sh*t that they don't have free speech, since Google's servers aren't even located in those countries.

          Which part didn't you understand?

  3. Scott 19
    Big Brother

    <-

    <------You have been warned.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I didn't notice the election that voted the Google oligarchy into power

    Anyone knows when it was?

    1. Swarthy Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: I didn't notice the election that voted the Google oligarchy into power

      Our oligarchy is in fact a plutocracy. So, no elections, it's just who has the money. So, Google qualifies.

    2. Jonathan Richards 1

      Re: I didn't notice the election that voted the Google oligarchy into power

      What is this power of which you speak? Google &reg; just told us something about the requests for information they get from authorities about the users of Google's services. Google isn't administering some sort of global resource like air or the oceans. They only have as much power over you, personally, as you give them by agreeing to the Terms and Conditions of Service. If you don't like it, don't use the services.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I didn't notice the election that voted the Google oligarchy into power

        The power to pick and choose which legal requests to abide to?

        I don't see them giving that option whenever Google themselves feel a site is "spammy" and drop them from search listings.

        http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/30/google_penguin_update_breaks_search_results_some_say/

        1. Steve Knox Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: I didn't notice the election that voted the Google oligarchy into power

          The power to pick and choose which legal requests to abide to?

          EVERYONE has the power to pick and choose which legal requests to follow, and which to not follow. If request is proper and is not followed, the legal body has the right to impose penalties.

          While these two (the propriety of the request (call it R) and the imposition of penalties (call it P)) are not directly related, research indicates that R tends to vary directly and P tends to vary indirectly with a third variable L, which represents the individuals' access to legal representation in the given jurisdiction.

  5. ukgnome Silver badge

    "Canada asked Google to remove a video of a Canadian flushing his passport down the toilet"

    Now now, you missed off the part were he pissed on it first. Hopefully we will get a playmobil reconstruction (as I haven't seen one for ages)

    1. ratfox Silver badge
      Pint

      Where's the link?!

      Pics or it didn't happen!

  6. Cubical Drone

    U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A

    Looks like we're number one again!!

  7. banjomike
    Meh

    Western democracies not typically associated with censorship ...

    Er, name one.

    1. skipper

      Re: Western democracies not typically associated with censorship ...

      Think that is Google being tactful rather than having any belief that Western countries don't censor

  8. The BigYin

    How nice

    Will Google pay their taxes now?

    Lots of sources seem to think they are involved in "evil" tax evasion...err...avoidance...err...efficiencies.

  9. John A Blackley

    Not a lot of reality

    Google is a business. It operates within the laws of the countries in which it does business. If the government of a particular country decides a piece of content is unlawful (in that country) then it requires Google to remove it. If Google wishes to continue doing business in that country then they comply with the request.

    Which part of that is so difficult to understand?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. Astrodude

      Re: Not a lot of reality

      Google does not necessarily have to be based in that country since it's an Internet business.

    3. ifconfig
      Megaphone

      Re: Not a lot of reality

      What the transparency report lacks is a complete list of countries in which Google has a legal presence, whether or not the they made any (disclosable) requests of Google in a given period.

  10. Khaptain Silver badge
    Trollface

    News latest news

    2 Major news articles have just been received.

    1 : Google have apparently let slip the YouPorn viewing list.

    2 : El Regs readers have gone in hiding.

    Apparently the list is so long that it had to be uploaded on several different FTP servers during a period of 3 days.

  11. Eddie Edwards
    WTF?

    Ambiguity

    Is El Reg saying that videos threatening terrorism are "political speech", or is it just an unfortunate ordering of paragraphs that gives that implication?

    1. Nanki Poo
      Pint

      Re: Ambiguity

      Ooooo, the Terrorist/Political Speech/Freedom Fighter/et al discussion . . . I'm looking forward to this one . . .

      <popcorn><pint>

      nK

  12. hugo tyson
    FAIL

    "Free speech"

    USAans: remember that your right to Free Speech is only with regard to what your own government is permitted to do to restrict it. Corporations* are not bound by that limitation, except to the extent that restricting speech might have negative commercial implications. So if you don't like Google's attitude to your treasured Free Speech, don't shop there; that's the extent of your recourse.

    [*]including your own employer

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Situation on youtube is way worse

    They don't mention dozens of account information they passed to Islamic Turkish government prosecutor belonging to people who dared to mess with a fanatical Islamic cult leader.

    Yes, they passed account info/ ip of comments and in very same night, 40 houses were raided by Turkish police who acts like military arm of the cult.

    If you are a dissident in one of major markets of google, just don't trust to them and/ or freedom of speech. It works for Americans only.

    These guys leak account info of freaking teenagers to keep well with an Islamo-fascist/ anti Semitic govt. And still abuses Ataturk case. Be happy, fresh, a more sinister Iran is established soon in East Europe, Ataturk's secular Turkey is long gone.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Situation on youtube is way worse

      Except it doesn't work with Americans. Post a pro-terrorism rant and you'll find that Google will be happy to pass your details onto the government.

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