The Politics of Internet Control

Government and the Web


For search engines such as Google, influence from governments is an un-recognised fact. Google is constantly blocking links and although its not always stated why, a good assumption would be because of governmental action.
This type of action is highlighted in the ‘Clambake’ story, whereby the Norwegian Andreas Heldal-Lund, created a website that targeted and exposed the deepest of secrets relating to the church and its teachings. With the church unable to have the Norwegian’s service provider shutdown, the church soon turned to Google, where the argument was made that Clambake’s materials were acting as an infringement of copyright that Google was legally obliged to block.

Further examples of this type of action were found in 2002 by Jonathan Zittrain and Ben Edelman, who discovered that Google, in both France and Germany had more than one hundred sites blocked, sites that were available to access on google.com.
This therefore indicates that German and French sites seem to be screening search results. Governments’ cracking down on forbidden information, in an open manner is one thing, but it is much harder to notice information becoming more and more difficult to find, in other words it is hard to know what you don’t know. This governmental power is highlighted further in the quote below.

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