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[liberationtech] google follows twitter

Joss Wright joss at
Fri Feb 3 04:09:56 PST 2012

On Thu, Feb 02, 2012 at 06:31:12PM -0800, Maira Sutton wrote:

> I understand that ccTLD redirection addresses the jurisdictional issue, but
> if individuals can still go to a site by using the NCR URL, what's the
> point in doing it all?  States that want Google to censor in the first
> place will quickly realize that there's this loophole that still allow
> people to access blocked content. At that point won't they just pressure
> Google to remove the option of accessing blogs through the NCR URL?

Of course, this depends on the individual state and how adversarial they
are. Some states will extend this kind of pressure, typically those who
engage in what we would generally consider 'evil censorship'; others may
well be willing to accept that Google has placed the onus of accessing
banned content onto the user.

The specific case that this brings to mind is a recent ruling in the UK
with which I was tangentially involved. (I spent two hours on the phone
trying to convince the barrister in question that you couldn't block
everything, everywhere, all the time, for ever.) Here's a blog post  by
Andrew Murray on the ruling:

Specifically, this related to seeding of a torrent containing stolen
compromising photographs. After various rulings and exploration of the
legal options available, and after our long discussion of the
effectiveness of technical measures and the extent of an English judge's
jurisdiction, the result of this was a contra mundum injunction not to
seed the torrent. 

Interestingly, in the genesis of this final ruling they had already made
several requests to Google to take down links to the torrent file.
Obviously, new results kept popping up on a regular basis. It's
was therefore determined that it wouldn't be practical or useful to keep
going via Google, but instead to push the responsibility onto those
seeding the torrent.

This was a reasonably specific case, but I think it does give an
interesting insight into how at least some jurisdictions are choosing to
deal with this sort of technical and legal issue.


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