UK MPs recommend laws compelling Google to censor search results


34 Responses to “UK MPs recommend laws compelling Google to censor search results”

  1. EH says:

    So, what do they have in the UK to influence this kind of thing besides protest? Is there even lobbying in the way we see in the US?

  2. Could be a new revenue stream for celebs

    1. do something dodgy
    2. get a gagging order
    3. want until 75,000 people have tweeted about it
    4. sue all of them


    • Fang Xianfu says:

      I’m pretty sure the people getting sued are Facebook and Twitter, not the people who tweeted things. Though either is a disturbing thought, and we’re right back to sites trying to filter material that they don’t have the expertise to distinguish (cf Youtube/Viacom). They’ll learn at some point, right?

  3. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Delightful that the example used is that of a soccerhole who couldn’t keep his dick in his pants.   That’s a brilliant reason to erect a Great Wall.

  4. Kimmo says:

    So I wonder: where’s the backlash to this sort of shit?

    It’s beyond obvious to point out how Orwellian the UK has become; when can we expect V for Vendetta to become the mainstream reply?

    Hello, UK…? Wake the fuck up, maybe?

    • James says:

       You mean like last year when we set fire to London?

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        Dude, that was the Death Eaters.  They just sent a Slytherin to prison for it.

      • Kimmo says:

         I guess it’s not a bad start… better late than never, I guess.

        But what I really wonder is if Alan Moore will get anywhere near the traction he deserves. As for Orwell, on the one hand invoking him is like a cliche, but on the other his warnings don’t seem to have done much good.

        • We do have a long tradition of protest… I’m not sure if you’re maybe thinking of a different country.

          We do however have the same problem as most countries, in that the majority of people would rather sit quietly at home than get involved in politics.  Things have to get a lot worse than censoring a few Google results to get the middle classes riled up.

          • James says:

            A small part of me would quite like to see the British truly hacked off about something.

            I vaguely remember the miner’s strikes being somewhat mental but that was a relatively small proportion of society and I can’t help but wonder what it would be like if something truly huge kicked off.

          • Wreckrob8 says:

            I doubt that the middle classes will ever do much except sit at home. How evident were they in the poll tax riots? They have too much to lose (imprisonment doesn’t look good on a CV – especially for rioting). The right mix of policies which restrict freedom and impose a financial penalty for the privilege will always get the right people suitably riled.

    • NelC says:

      Eh, it was just a committee report, there’s a long way to go before their recommendations become law. It’s not Orwellian that someone, somewhere, comes to dumb conclusions; it’s just business as usual.

  5. Hubris Sonic says:

    on the other hand this may allow room for alternative search that doesnt bunghole its results.

    • scav says:

      What “room for alternative search” do you think is currently lacking? And how would a law that imposes restrictions on internet search create or allow it?

      Doing my best to understand your comment… maybe you mean that a search engine which provably made no special cases and ranked its results by a set of public criteria could get some kind of special dispensation or safe harbour from the legislation? Unlikely. And anyway, the search results would be caked in SEO slime within about a week, becoming effectively unusable.

      Nah, I don’t get it. Care to elaborate?

  6. EvilTerran says:

    “The committee gave a clean bill of health to high court privacy injunctions … concluded that the existing position, where each case is judged by the courts on an individual basis, is now working reasonably well.”

    HAHAHAHAHAA… AHAHAHahahaahaa… hee… hahaha… heeeeh… heh. I see this committee’s grasp of reality is tenuous at best.

    Wait, that’s not funny. These guys are lawmakers.



    “Google was criticised by the committee for its “totally unconvincing” objection to requests to filter its search results. The search giant argued that such a policy could threaten the unfettered flow of information online.”

    IOW, “we don’t understand you, so we’re just gonna ignore you”. If they could have refuted Google’s argument convincingly, why didn’t they? That they felt the need to just brush it off is telling as to their also-tenuous grasp of technology.

    • OgilvyTheAstronomer says:

      To be fair, it isn’t like Goggle’s reply wasn’t itself pretty vague and hand-wavey.

      On the issue at hand, I suppose the difference between “privacy” and “censorship” is whether we like the people it’s applied to.

  7. James says:

    I think it’s kind of sweet the way they don’t take other search engines into account. Or TOR, or spoofing your geo-location, or, y’know, any of the other trivial ways around this sort of thing.

    Still, gotta keep people from knowing too much, right? Heaven forbid they learn what politicians and the like have been up to and hold them account.

  8. Tomgliv says:

    Is this just another way of protecting the Murdoch press by censoring anyone wanting to break this ‘news’ before his red top rag gets hold of it.

  9. howaboutthisdangit says:

    If these people are truly concerned about privacy, why don’t they do something about all of those CCTV cameras in London?

    Oh, THEIR privacy – I get it now.

  10. sickkid1972 says:

    Teh guvmint iz borked!

  11. angusm says:

    “We believe that people are entitled to all the privacy their money can buy.”

    • Marc45 says:

      You got that right!
      censorship does not equate to privacy
      Real privacy would be making sure that corporations can’t collect your information and sell it.  Real censorship would be making it illegal to complain about it.

  12. plockett says:

    “They urged the attorney general to be more willing to launch contempt of court claims against internet users if they are suspected of breaching privacy injunctions online, after it was found that the Giggs injunction was tweeted about more than 75,000 times when it finally collapsed in May last year.”

    This is just absurd.  The Giggs injunction was a super-injunction, meaning the public was forbidden from even knowing it existed.

  13. gadfly says:

    I’m not convinced that there’s any way towards meaningful privacy regulation that doesn’t favor the wealthy in extremely problematic ways. I’d love to see a coherent argument otherwise, if anyone’s got one lying around. 

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