Google fights Kazakhstan's attempt to "create borders on the Web"

By on June 8, 2011, 7:00 AM

With its open infrastructure, the Internet has always allowed anyone with a connection to communicate with anyone else on the network. It's not limited by national boundaries, and it facilitates free expression, commerce, and innovation, until some governments decide to create borders on the Web.

Last month, the Kazakhstan Network Information Centre notified Google of an order issued by the Ministry of Communications and Information in Kazakhstan that requires all .kz domain names to operate on physical servers within the country's borders: the search giant was told to route all searches on google.kz to servers located inside Kazakhstan. Currently, when you search on any of Google's domains, the company's systems automatically handle those requests the fastest way possible, regardless of national boundaries. Since creating borders on the Web reduces network efficiency and limits user privacy and free expression, Google has decided not to help create a fractured Internet. For now, Google will redirect Kazakhstani users that visit google.kz to google.com.

On the one hand, Google has found a loophole in the Kazakhstani government's plans to create borders on the Web. On the other hand, the change means Kazakhstani users will experience a reduction in search quality as results are no longer customized for Kazakhstan.

"Measures that force Internet companies to choose between taking actions that harm the open web, or reducing the quality of their services, hurt users," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "We encourage governments and other stakeholders to work together to preserve an open Internet, which empowers local users, boosts local economies and encourages innovation around the globe."

This certainly isn't the first time that Google has tried its best to fight what governments decide is best for their citizens. The search giant is in a strong enough position to wage such a war, though sometimes we wonder if that's a good thing.




User Comments: 27

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albertjkruger said:

"...though sometimes we wonder if that's a good thing."

The Google Monster is taking over the World!! Runaway...

But seriously until Google decide to read all my emails (on gmail) and then blackmail me in an attempt to make me their slave, I'll continue to trust them. Especially given that they (mostly) oppose restrictions which governments try to impose on internet freedom.

Muggs said:

albertjkruger said:

"...though sometimes we wonder if that's a good thing."

The Google Monster is taking over the World!! Runaway...

But seriously until Google decide to read all my emails (on gmail) and then blackmail me in an attempt to make me their slave, I'll continue to trust them. Especially given that they (mostly) oppose restrictions which governments try to impose on internet freedom.

I agree with you fully. When I 1st read this article on my phone the last line of this really perplexed me. How is Google saying they won't filter content to only allowed state sanctioned (read propaganda) a bad thing. Information is power.

Guest said:

"...in an attempt to make me their slave..."

Heh. You are already their slave - you just don't realise it.

Proof?

You can't live without them.

Guest said:

It's a bad thing because if the governments aren't deciding what's good for their citizens then Google is. Google is a corporation like any other. The bottom line is MONEY. Google will continue to protect your internet freedoms so long as it is in its economic interests to do so. When they percieve it is no longer in their interest to defend your freedoms they will cease to do so, and by then they will in all likelihood be even more powerful than they are already.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Guest said:

It's a bad thing because if the governments aren't deciding what's good for their citizens then Google is. Google is a corporation like any other. The bottom line is MONEY. Google will continue to protect your internet freedoms so long as it is in its economic interests to do so. When they percieve it is no longer in their interest to defend your freedoms they will cease to do so, and by then they will in all likelihood be even more powerful than they are already.

+1

Trouble is not many see things in such an 'in-depth way', and just give a knee jerk reaction.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

All Ye Google Drones & MInions Listen Up.......

Be very, very afraid, if Google starts assembling a standing army to enforce their policies!

Although, wouldn't it be great if Google did invade Kazakhstan? We could have a thread that went on for months about it.....

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Well captain, I am not sure all those 'soft geeks' working in google's cubicles will be able to stand a day on a sunny summer day. Secondly, unfortunately even if they do pass that test, they will then end up on the receiving end and most probably run to nearest 'cloud' as soon as they could, because they don't really know how to wage a war with weapons; although if the weapon is a 'mouse' then may be just may be ..... there is little glimmer of hope.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

You'll see ! Soon your Andriod phone will begin blowing "Reviellie" as a ring tone, and you won't be able to change it!

That's when you'll get the draft notice in the mail......

"Doot, doot, dood-a-loo, Doot , doot, dood -a-loo, doot, doot, dood -a loo, dah, DAaaaH, DAAAAH !!!!

See, it's starting already.

Besides, why would you think Google would attempt to mount an army out of the myopic, pansy, nerds that work for them? They would hire big, strapping, mercenaries, and fund it all with advertising plastered all over their uniforms...!

(Remember, the bigger the soldier, the more square footage of ad space he or she can produce).

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

They're just pissing away all the goodwill from Borat.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

They're just pissing away all the goodwill from Borat.
Who, Google or Kazakhstan....?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Who, Google or Kazakhstan....?

Kazakhstan. You never saw Borat? =D

As an aside, their women are smoking hot.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

As an aside, their women are smoking hot.
Are you sure you're not getting yourself aroused fantasizing about what's inside the Burka....?

Leaning to the other "aside", If I had to pick a location for smoking hot women, it would be anywhere around the Northern Caucasus Mountains, and North through the Ukraine. Yeah well, all of Asia's pretty good too, but there's a whole lot more picking through the herd necessary. Um, then there's Venezuela! Their chief national export is beauty pageant winners. (At least if you discount the oil).

lipe123 said:

captaincranky said:

You'll see ! Soon your Andriod phone will begin blowing "Reviellie" as a ring tone, and you won't be able to change it!

That's when you'll get the draft notice in the mail......

"Doot, doot, dood-a-loo, Doot , doot, dood -a-loo, doot, doot, dood -a loo, dah, DAaaaH, DAAAAH !!!!

See, it's starting already.

Besides, why would you think Google would attempt to mount an army out of the myopic, pansy, nerds that work for them? They would hire big, strapping, mercenaries, and fund it all with advertising plastered all over their uniforms...!

(Remember, the bigger the soldier, the more square footage of ad space he or she can produce).

hahahahaha honestly tho, I'd rather fight for google than the US vs alqueda. I bet you a google soldier would be better paid and have a nice phone too. (and live google maps)

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Are you sure you're not getting yourself aroused fantasizing about what's inside the Burka....?

Oh no no. A lot of Russians settled down there, so there are a lot of Russian/Kazakh phenotypes. Maybe I'm just very partial to Eurasians, but some of the women I've seen (and met once) were amazing looking. Very exotic eyes and features.

Guest said:

"Googalistan!" looks like an interesting product...

Guest said:

Borat is that amazingly documented movie that showed us scenes from Kazakhstan in which everyone was speaking Romanian ?

Hollywood's ignorance is unbearable sometimes.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

Kazakhstan greatest country in the world.

All other countries are run by little girls.

Kazakhstan number one exporter of potassium.

Other countries have inferior potassium.

Kazakhstan home of Tinshein swimming pool.

It?s length thirty meter and width six meter.

Filtration system a marvel to behold.

It remove 80 percent of human solid waste.

Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place.

From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown.

Kazakhstan friend of all except Uzbekistan.

They very nosey people with bone in their brain.

Kazakhstan industry best in the world.

We incented toffee and trouser belt.

Kazakhstan?s prostitutes cleanest in the region.

Except of course Turkmenistan?s

Kazakhstan, Kazakhstan you very nice place.

From Plains of Tarashek to Norther fence of Jewtown.

Come grasp the might penis of our leader.

From junction with the testes to tip of its face!

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

And the "quickest desent of a news article into farce on Techspot award" goes to....

*Thinks on-topic*....Errrm...oh what the hell, I'll just agree with this guest...

Guest said:

It's a bad thing because if the governments aren't deciding what's good for their citizens then Google is. Google is a corporation like any other. The bottom line is MONEY. Google will continue to protect your internet freedoms so long as it is in its economic interests to do so. When they percieve it is no longer in their interest to defend your freedoms they will cease to do so, and by then they will in all likelihood be even more powerful than they are already.

treetops treetops said:

That's a real country? I always thought it was just a generic joke name used when generalizing about the middle east. (even though I now suspect it to be a former soviet country) Isn't that where borat went?

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Borat is that amazingly documented movie that showed us scenes from Kazakhstan in which everyone was speaking Romanian ?

Hollywood's ignorance is unbearable sometimes.

The Kazakhs wanted too much money, so they this was just another runaway production. Its really common place. We've had to endure Canadian extras posing as Americans for decades.

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

We've had to endure Canadian extras posing as Americans for decades.
And don't even get me started, about David Carradine being Chinese. Then there were the Irish "redskins". And those were the days before spray tans and contact lens.

They must have brought a tank car full of black hair dye to the set of, "Chronicles of Narnia; Prince Caspian".....Although, I suppose the extras on that killfest, could have been Canadians of Armenian extraction

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

And don't even get me started, about David Carradine being Chinese. Then there were the Irish "redskins". And those were the days before spray tans and contact lens.

At least we can tell the Canadians apart due to their beady black eyes. Thank God Americans possess a sclera.

Guest said:

With its open infrastructure, the Internet has always allowed anyone with a Washington DC connections to communicate with anyone else on the network. It's not limited by national boundaries, and it facilitates free expression, commerce, and innovation, until some corporations decide to create borders on the Web on account of protecting their sacrosanct copy rights.

On many us websites (hula, nbs, cbs, youtube comes to mind) for some reason I can watch commercials but not the video that follows after. I guess commercials are made for borderless internet.

Kazakhstan needs to come up with some dmca kind a law and then claim everything is restricted for which every country or region they need to block. And lo and behold everything is ok and no one can blame them for censorship or puting up internet borders.

Anyway Google will be more than helpfull if Kazakhstan's government request taking down all of the content that will be copyrighted by a new Kazakhstan's copyright law. Bla bla bla don't even get me started on other topics like google knows beter what is good for you than your government..which is probably right concerning how much info they got on you and they certainly do not want to share it with any government (US gov. of course excluded - to big to f... with).

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

With its open infrastructure, the Internet has always allowed anyone with a Washington DC connections to communicate with anyone else on the network. It's not limited by national boundaries, and it facilitates free expression, commerce, and innovation, until some corporations decide to create borders on the Web on account of protecting their sacrosanct copy rights.

On many us websites (hula, nbs, cbs, youtube comes to mind) for some reason I can watch commercials but not the video that follows after. I guess commercials are made for borderless internet.

Kazakhstan needs to come up with some dmca kind a law and then claim everything is restricted for which every country or region they need to block. And lo and behold everything is ok and no one can blame them for censorship or puting up internet borders.

Anyway Google will be more than helpfull if Kazakhstan's government request taking down all of the content that will be copyrighted by a new Kazakhstan's copyright law. Bla bla bla don't even get me started on other topics like google knows beter what is good for you than your government..which is probably right concerning how much info they got on you and they certainly do not want to share it with any government (US gov. of course excluded - to big to f... with).

I take it that you don't work for "Wikileaks"....?

example1013 said:

Google is too powerful. They can influence website content easily. For instance, by labelling a site a porn site, they can get all graphic nudity taken off that site, even if said nudity is art, because said site will stop getting search hits. And this is just what they can do in the public eye, nevermind how easily they can influence which search results show up higher.

Guest said:

Nope! Just a free agent calling it the way I see it!

Guest said:

@captaincranky Nope! Just a free agent calling it the way I see it!

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