Google search engine unveils plans for country-specific content filtering

Less than a week after a similar move by micro-blogging site Twitter, Internet major Google has unveiled plans to make content on its blogger platform selectively available, depending on the local rules of each country.

Google is the latest entity to come out with the option to restrict online content amid a raging debate over moves by many countries, including India, to enforce regulations on the internet.

Google, which launched its blogging service Blogger in 1999, said the rules will be applicable in many countries such as India, Brazil, Honduras, and Germany. It is understood that Google plans to roll it out the new system globally also.

Google will now be able to restrict content in individual countries pursuant to requests by the local legal authority. The move will not require blocking worldwide access to a blog.

It means, for example, that if a blog breaks an Australian law, Google can now block it in Australia but leave it up in the rest of the world, the company said.

Google said that “It will allow them to continue promoting free expression and responsible publishing while providing greater flexibility in complying with valid removal requests pursuant to local law,”

Google said it is deploying a country-specific uniform resource locator ( URL) scheme for its blogger platform, which will be redirected to a country-code top level domain, or ‘ccTLD’, in the coming weeks.

By utilising country-specific domain addresses, content removal 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 page, Google Company said.

The move comes after micro-blogging site Twitter last week announced that it has the ability to block content by country.

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