Canada Claims Authority to Censor Your Internet Searches

November 25, 2017
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The Canadian Supreme Court has made many changes to help internet service providers. A few days ago, the supreme court ruled local service providers to remove links that contain certain content. In fact, it demanded Google censor to remove specific online content and web pages too.

The court’s idea and demand to de-index certain pages and links are unfortunate. However, this is not new.

According to the European Union, the Government of Canada has the authority to deindex and remove websites. What really matters here would be the pressure on Google.

The Canadian Supreme Court has asked Google to take necessary actions. The government is demanding Google to remove all links to certain websites from the “primary” search results. Irrespective of who the user is and where he/she is based, the links must not be shown. This means Canada is going beyond borders. It is requesting authority for data beyond Canada. To be more precise, the country is requesting privileges that cross physical borders. If this request is granted, people who are not Canadians will be affected. What is seen and searched by non-Canadian citizens will take a hit.

In the long run, the search giant will experience negative returns.

According to the Canadian Supreme Court, the virtual world doesn’t have any borders. The internet is a might platform without any rules or borders. The moment Canada’s request is granted, it becomes a global issue.

If Google agrees with the Canadian Supreme Court and blocks certain websites/ links, it will turn into a serious legal and global problem. That is because the internet doesn’t have any physical limitations. Experts consider the internet as a global entity.

Some say that the internet’s natural habitat is absolutely global. There is only one solution to this problem. To ensure that interlocutory injunction is achieved, the rules and regulations had to be applied where Google works. Unfortunately, Google operates globally!

A neon Google sign is seen in the foyer of Google’s new Canadian engineering headquarters in Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, January 14, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Power/File Photo

The request made by the Canadian Supreme Court comes with many twists and turns. The case features intellectual property and copyright claims.

A few days ago, a technology company was accusing another company of duplicating and stealing information. The other firm was stealing products and selling them online. Google was requested to deindex the company accused of duplicating and stealing. The parent company demanded Google to remove all links to the accused company from Google’s search results. The request was made with severe court orders. However, the demand was made for searches within the country.

The Canadian Supreme Court is aware of geographic limitations. In fact, there are many virtual limitations too. The ability to stop or even censor speech is illegal. There are chances of the case becoming a speech issue too!

Here is a brief excerpt from the ruling that can give you a shock:

The order doesn’t expect you to remove speech. In the face, it engages in numerous expressions. There is freedom for many values. To de-index request is raised for websites that violate several court orders. To date, the Canadian Supreme Court has not approved the freedom of expression of goods or services that are unlawfully sold.

For centuries, the Canadian Supreme Court has hate speech laws. Should Canada expect Google to deindex pages with “Hate Speech” in Mexico or the United States of America? Well, Canada doesn’t! That is because Canada has limits as a nation. What is unlawful for Canada stays within physical borders.

It is quite interesting to note that Google removes links based on content! If the website features inappropriate content, Google will deindex the page. And, this is never an issue within a nation’s border.

The search giant clearly acknowledges that it can and has altered search results. It has removed links to many websites with hate speech and child pornography. According to the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act, content that infringes copyright acts can be deindexed from search results. Websites that infringe copyright acts will be removed on court orders.

The court has always brought new problem statements with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. This Act is identified as a tool for intellectual property theft and online piracy. As a tool, it ensures that copyrighted materials can be removed or moved easily. To remove copyrighted materials, an ownership claim has to be done.

The ownership claim process can be subject to abuse.

A lot of people abuse the Digital Millennium Copyright Act for its “Take Down Process”. This process is a part of censoring speech, commentary, and critiques. Some abuses are for minor cases. This includes “nasty” video game reviews and comments on leaders.

Years ago, Ecuadorian officials used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to censor certain governmental comments and actions. Google had to step in. Google helped many online users with the abusive requests. Finally, the search giant was able to fend off all the takedown requests.

There are several different types of internet censorships. The Canadian Supreme Court is not focusing on these forms of internet censorships. Instead, it wants to deindex pages in its blacklist. Upon closer examination, many interesting facts are revealed. There is so much potential for the abuses.

Experts claim that the idea of censoring Google links is a gateway to more abuse. It is a way of claiming authority. Anywhere in the world, such claims will be followed by more abuse. This is what the Canadian Supreme Court is experiencing.

This is not the first time a deindex request has been raised! A few months ago, France attempted a similar censorship issue.

On the whole, Google has the right to decide on what gets deindexed and removed. Governments can request the search engine to remove pages. However, the internet is a global entity. By following jurisdictions and allowing countries to decide on web content, the problem becomes regional. This will have a negative impact on traditions and cultures followed by other countries. In fact, it can have adverse effects on local internet service providers too!

For more details on Canada’s request for authority on internet searches, visit Acanac’s blog.

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