France wants Google to censor the world

In May the French Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) told Google it should apply ‘right to be forgotten’ requests to all its domains, not just those in Europe. Yesterday Google politely pushed back saying that applying requests for delisting links globally is a dumb idea since laws in one country do not necessarily apply to all countries.

It would essentially mean that people around the world would have to accept whatever the CNIL decides they should or shouldn’t be able to see. We would all be subject to the whims of French lawmakers.

Now the French might believe that it’s about time the rest of the world started behaving more like the French, not everyone is ready to jump on that particular bandwagon.

In a blog post on Google’s website, Peter Fleischer, Google’s Global Privacy Counsel stated:

While the right to be forgotten may now be the law in Europe, it is not the law globally. Moreover, there are innumerable examples around the world where content that is declared illegal under the laws of one country, would be deemed legal in others: Thailand criminalizes some speech that is critical of its King, Turkey criminalizes some speech that is critical of Ataturk, and Russia outlaws some speech that is deemed to be “gay propaganda." 

If the CNIL’s proposed approach were to be embraced as the standard for Internet regulation, we would find ourselves in a race to the bottom. In the end, the Internet would only be as free as the world’s least free place.

We believe that no one country should have the authority to control what content someone in a second country can access.

I tend to agree with Google on this one. As I have mentioned in many other articles the original ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling was completely absurd and now the CNIL wants to broaden its scope to apply to everyone in the world.

No thanks France.

Guy Wright

Guy Wright has been covering the technology space since the days when computers had cranks and networks were steam powered. He has been a writer and editor for more years then he cares to admit.


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