Thursday, February 2, 2012

Google to Censor Blogs in India

The trickle-down effect of Kapil Sibal's policy to crack down on 'offensive' content in the Indian websphere has begun to gather steam.

After Google, Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, Twitter and several other web companies were directed by the courts to censor the content on their servers as per the regulations of the Indian government, they have begun to toe the line. Last month Twitter made a big splash by announcing it would censor tweets on a country-by-country basis. There was some backlash but, as expected, the twitterati continued to tweet as usual.

Google seems to have anticipated this mild response and has quietly moved all of its blogs from onto an Indian IP address-

If a user earlier had a blog called the blog is now redirected to
Here is Google's official explanation for it:

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. 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. This move, while padded with the usual legalese, is essentially the first step in enforcing local censorship laws. Google now can censor its blogs for 'offensive' or 'derogatory' comments. is a popular blogging platform used by millions of Indians. It was developed by Pyra Labs in 1999 and bought by Google in 2003.

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