Goggle Offers ‘Per Country’ Blog Blocking

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MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., Feb. 2 (UPI) — Google says its Blogger sites can now be blocked on a “per country” basis, following a recent similar announcement by Twitter.

Google says it will now be able to block access in individual countries following a legal removal request by a country’s government.

The new system, under which blocking will not require restricting world-wide access to a blog, has been implemented in Australia, New Zealand and India, but Google has plans to roll it out globally, the BBC reported Thursday.

Google’s action comes after Twitter’s announcement it could selectively block tweets on a country-by-country basis, a decision roundly criticized by free-speech advocates.

However, Joss Wright at the Oxford Internet Institute said he saw the changes to Blogger as being positive.

“Google’s new approach to supporting country-level takedown requests in Blogger strikes a good balance between free speech, legality and practical issues for end users,” he said.

“By allowing per-country takedown requests, Google can meet local laws without blocking content at a global level.”

A change to the Web address system makes “per country” blocking possible, Google said.

“If you visit a blog that does not correspond to your current location as determined by your IP address, the blogspot servers will redirect you to the domain associated with your country,” Google said in a statement about the changes.

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