aNewDomain.net — A recent European Court of Justice ruling took a firm stance against Google, stating that people have a right to their past. This means, in short, that upon individual request Google must edit and delete search history. This ruling, among others, is one of many signs of a global Internet-based rebellion.
UPDATE — Criminal Asked to be Forgotten
Just days after the European High Court of Justice ruled that people have the “right to be forgotten,” Google is getting requests from criminals wanting links to information about their crimes removed.
Tuesday’s ruling stated that under European privacy laws, individuals can have the right to request search engines remove links to information they feel is no longer relevant.
As of Friday, Google had received multiple such requests from Europeans, a source close to the company familiar with the situation told USA TODAY.
How the requirement will be implemented isn’t yet known.
This precedent set in EU court means that United States firms “can no longer hide behind their servers being based in California or anywhere else in the world,” according to Viviane Reding, the European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.
The case was brought to court by a Spanish man who wanted to have search-result links relating him to a real estate auction in 1998 removed from Internet history. This requires a search engine to edit content, which it historically does not do. It is still unclear how Google will actually implement this, but they will likely fight the ruling.
Thomas Ewing, our legal affairs expert, commented:
That’s the short term result — because it’s easier for the courts to enforce an action against a small number of search engine companies. But this case sets a precedent for data cleaning that follows an existing EU directive. So, it’s not a stretch to assume that today’s ruling will eventually lead to cases ordering that the original data itself be removed … although this may take a number of years.”
The tech giant will have to respond to these new data privacy standards. Will Google and others be forced to rethink how they handle links to your past, or will they successfully push against government rule?
Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, just told BBC Radio that Google must respond to this form of censorship.
“[This] is one of the most wide-sweeping Internet censorship rulings I have ever seen,” Wales said.
The Global Rebellion
Various countries, such as Brazil and Germany, have set initiatives that encourage regional online traffic to be routed locally rather than through the U.S. These are likely the first steps in a fundamental shift in the way the Internet works.
Since the … revelations about the scale of state surveillance, Brazil’s government has published ambitious plans to promote Brazilian networking technology, encourage regional internet traffic to be routed locally, and is moving to set up a secure national email service.
In India, it has been reported that government employees are being advised not to use Gmail and last month, Indian diplomatic staff in London were told to use typewriters rather than computers when writing up sensitive documents.”
Vladmir Putin also just declared that the CIA invented and structured the Internet and therefore uses it for endless spying purposes. The outrage over U.S. Government surveillance and U.S. companies overstepping bounds through the Internet goes on and on. The system of rules that govern the Internet are in a state of flux. From the FCC to the EU to Mr. Putin — everyone is trying to catch up and rebel against technological rule and disruptions coming from Silicon Valley and the U.S. government.
But when does anti-spying become overt censorship? Where is that line?
For aNewDomain.net, I’m David Michaelis.
Based in Australia, David Michaelis is a world-renowned international journalist and founder of Link Tv. At aNewDomain.net, he covers the global beat, focusing on politics and other international topics of note for our readers in a variety of forums. Email him at DavidMc@aNewDomain.net.