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Censorship EU Google The Courts Politics Your Rights Online

Now Google Must Censor Search Results About "Right To Be Forgotten" Removals 179

Mark Wilson writes, drolly, that the so-called right to be forgotten "has proved somewhat controversial," and expands on that with a new twist in a post at Beta News: While some see the requirement for Google to remove search results that link to pages that contain information about people that is 'inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant' as a win for privacy, other see it as a form of censorship. To fight back, there have been a number of sites that have started to list the stories Google is forced to stop linking to. In the latest twist, Google has now been ordered to remove links to contemporary news reports about the stories that were previously removed from search results. All clear? Thought not... The Information Commissioner's Office has ordered Google to remove from search results links to nine stories about other search result links removed under the Right to Be Forgotten rules.
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Now Google Must Censor Search Results About "Right To Be Forgotten" Removals

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  • In fact... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 20, 2015 @03:50PM (#50356919)

    ...this summary is itself in violation.

  • by nimbius ( 983462 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @03:50PM (#50356929) Homepage
    6 years from now I fully expect a slashdot article highlighting googles mandatory censorship of the censorship of the right to have the right to forget about forgetting the forgotten.

    does a set of all sets include itself?
  • Sorry (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 20, 2015 @03:51PM (#50356935)

    As a citizen of the EU I will say that I'm so so sorry about this mess. We if anyone should know better.

    • Given that the EU is stuck with it for the time being perhaps it's time to see if there are not some fringe benefits. Fed up hearing about every detail of some stupid celebrity's life? Apply to have every story about them disappear from the web! Alternatively if we try that for a few important, reasonably well-behaved politicians hoping to get re-elected I imagine we might see the laws changed rather quickly...
      • by sconeu ( 64226 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @04:06PM (#50357047) Homepage Journal

        Who's willing to join me on a Right-to-be-forgotten campaign about the f***ing Kardashians?

        • Who's willing to join me on a Right-to-be-forgotten campaign about the f***ing Kardashians?

          I say we should forget about you, because clearly they are having much more fun than you are

        • by Falos ( 2905315 )
          You know I STILL don't know who they are. Athletes? Musicians? Rock stars? Actors? Artists?

          At any rate, godspeed to you anonymous masses.
          • by Rei ( 128717 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @04:16PM (#50357131) Homepage

            For the longest time I seriously just assumed it had something to do with Star Trek - until the increasingly strange-sounding headlines I randomly stumbled across threw that assumption out the door.

            I could google it, but rather than doing that (as that'd be too easy), I'm going to guess: Aren't they those type of people who are famous just for being famous?

            • They are famous because of OJ Simpson murder trial (father was attorney) and Bruce Jenner (before Caitlin). The daughters were supposedly kind of "hot" or something, and then one of them married a Rap star (if you can call it that).

              So, they are famous, mostly for being relatives of semi-famous and famous relatives.

              • by dargaud ( 518470 )

                ...and Bruce Jenner (before Caitlin)

                Like OP I have no idea who those people are... but isn't that the street name of the Hulk ?

          • You know I STILL don't know who they are. .

            Irrelevant, they are irrelevant

          • They are none of those, yet still famous.
          • You know I STILL don't know who they are. Athletes? Musicians? Rock stars? Actors? Artists? People who are famous for being famous. Otherwise, not much of interest.

          • No one of importance.

            This video about Phil Fish [youtube.com] explains the concept of being famous for nothing of substance.

          • Kim Kardashian is famous because she has a giant ass, which some guys apparently find attractive.

            I don't find her ass attractive in the least, I think it's gross and misshapen.

            • Actually, she's famous because some second-rate (yet oddly enough, squeaky clean) celebrity has a brother (who is even more of an off-brand celebrity) who performed various 'acts' with Kim Kardashian on tape. And then *somehow* that tape got leaked to the world.

              So really she's about the most successful crossover porn star. =/

            • Never could figure how a "techie" radio host that nobody has ever seen, could be "hot."
          • I've heard it stated that they're mostly famous for being famous [wikipedia.org]. They serve mostly as something for CNN to talk about when they're not talking about the Malaysia Airlines flight.
        • Who's willing to join me on a Right-to-be-forgotten campaign about the f***ing Kardashians?

          But then who will Hillary Clinton hand out with during the republican debates?
          http://www.theguardian.com/us-... [theguardian.com]

    • But how is this going to make Google forget anything? It's so easy to use a proxy to get out of Europe and search Google from the US. It's just a Chinese Fire Drill.

  • by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @03:52PM (#50356939)

    as a citizen of the EU I demand that I have the right to have Slashdot forgotten, so goog should eliminate it from its search results. also, let's forget goodle too.

  • Since the article in question is about a link to articles that have been removed or censored does that mean that article will have to be removed along with Slashdot's reference too?

  • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @03:58PM (#50356979)

    Legislate them out of existence. It's always fun to watch a slow motion shakedown by a government play out.

    • Legislate them out of existence.

      punish them for forgetting by forgetting about them, yeah, that's the ticket

  • by GrantRobertson ( 973370 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @04:03PM (#50357029) Homepage Journal

    This is ridiculous. If the content is still out there, then Google, and all other search engines should index it. I can see asking them to not cache it, but to use stro,g-arm tactics to FORCE them to actively filter it out of results is, to my mind, a violation of their freedom of speech. Which SHOULD trump the freedom to F up and then hide it from the public.

    Google and MS and all the other search engines should just threaten to pull out of the EU en mass rather than abide by this rediculous law.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Google and MS and all the other search engines should just threaten to pull out of the EU en mass rather than abide by this rediculous law.

      Why? What do they care? It just costs a bit more to operate in Europe. One more layer of shit is not going to kill them. They can make up for it with more advertising and higher rates. Everything's more expensive there anyway. And besides, they are more than accommodating to governments in China and Saudi Arabia, etc.

      • One more layer of shit is not going to kill them.

        silly, silly you, you think there is only one layer of shit

        • But it's really good shit! The same rules apply to the competition, wiping out any upstarts who can't afford to comply. The whales swim right through it and don't even notice.

    • by Jason Levine ( 196982 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @04:22PM (#50357195) Homepage

      This is ridiculous. If the content is still out there, then Google, and all other search engines should index it. I can see asking them to not cache it, but to use stro,g-arm tactics to FORCE them to actively filter it out of results is, to my mind, a violation of their freedom of speech. Which SHOULD trump the freedom to F up and then hide it from the public.

      Exactly. Let's say that you actually had a right to be forgotten which superseded my freedom of speech to talk about events you'd rather everyone forget about. Only saying "Google can't link to this" isn't taking the content down. Shouldn't the law have some sort of cease and desist order built into it so that you could send me a letter saying "Take that blog post down now or else" and then be able to sue me if I didn't? Then, once the page was down, Google (and other search engines) would naturally remove the links from their databases.

      • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @05:02PM (#50357481)

        That model lady in Spain covered that. Her likeness was used at porn sites as a lure. She never did porn.

        She demanded that Google allow searches of her that linked to professional or promotional content, but that Google block any listings that went to porn sites.

        Google told her to fuck off and go after the individual porn sites that were using her likeness without her permission.

        She said there were too many sites and she couldn't afford it.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        The name "right to be forgotten" is a bit of a misnomer. It was originally something else entirely, journalists just got confused and the name stuck.

        There is no infringement of your right to remember, or to speak, or to publish. You are not Google, you are not a credit reference agency, you are not subject to commercial data protection laws. That's all this is - commercial companies offering a commercial service being regulated by the laws that have applied to them since the mid 90s.

      • I think the key is only certain things should be allowed to be forgotten.

        The police blotter comes to mind. People who have not been convicted of any crime (but who have been accused) end up in the paper (with something you can find with google) irregardless of whether they'll be convicted.

        What once was a pressure of public shaming has multiplied a thousand times: someone can be framed for a crime, be arrested, and released (because it comes out the charges are bogus) but they still essentially have a felon

    • by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @04:30PM (#50357249)

      The EU really doesn't grok freedom of speech

      • by naich ( 781425 )

        FOS is one of the fundamental rights EU citizens have. They also have a right to privacy and when these two come into conflict, something has to give. You can argue about where the line is drawn but to say that we don't understand FOS is just stupid.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      In the EU services that provide information about people are regulated. Credit reference agencies, for example. Google provides information about people too, so why should they be exempt from the rules?

      Privacy is a right in the EU. Google has to respect that, and this is a reasonable compromise. The information isn't removed, it is still indexed and available in search results, except for when you type in that specific person's name. Why do you want to violate their privacy so badly?

      • by Holi ( 250190 )
        How is it an invasion of privacy if all your removing is the index to it? If the information has already been published then it wasn't private in the first place.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          The EU has a different definition of privacy. Instead of your binary interpretation, the law here recognizes that there are degrees of privacy, and that some fact merely being public is not the same as it being easily accessible to anyone. That's why credit reference agencies are regulated - bankruptcy may be a matter of public record, but in practical terms of the agency doesn't report it then it's unlikely the bank staff will know about it a decade later.

    • Read the damn article. It said that google is fine to continue indexing the list, and to show it in search results.

      What isn't fine, according to the EU, is if a search for "Mr X" continues to list search results that relate to incorrect or inaccurate information about him.

      It's fine for a search about censorship or "right-to-be-forgotten" to turn up the censor list. It's just not okay for a search about "Mr X".

      This seems really pretty darn reasonable!

      • by Holi ( 250190 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @06:01PM (#50357827)
        It is not about "incorrect or inaccurate" information. It is about the desires of individuals to "determine the development of their life in an autonomous way, without being perpetually or periodically stigmatized as a consequence of a specific action performed in the past."

        So no, it's not about having false information out there about you, that's already covered by other laws (libel, slander), it's about whitewashing your past misdeeds.
  • Data is contagious. Google's bots crawl data.

    Like the copyright mafia, they're learning the hard way that it's pretty hard to maintain exclusive control over an unconcious, intangible, not-a-thing-but-a-mental-construct that has to be controlled everywhere in the universe at once.

    "They" not necessarily being Google, who are probably more aware of the futility.
    • Data is contagious. Google's bots crawl data.

      in other news from the obvious department, water flows downhill and heat rises

  • I see that since the "Delete From My Mind-Inator" was destroyed, he is still trying to get this https://www.youtube.com/watch?... [youtube.com] video forgotten.

    I wonder how well this will work out? Do you think he calls this the "Right to Forget-inator"?

    IMarv

  • She swallowed the cow to catch the dog
    She swallowed the dog to catch the cat...

    Even a child can see how this ends. Best of luck with your censorship, Europe.
  • Anyone truly interested in privacy would never attempt to have the interwebs "forget" them. If I ever get doxed, I'll just start a campaign of lies about myself and a few other people of various levels of credibility. If anyone asks about them, I'll just say "ya, I know about it. I somehow got misidentified by some vindictive hackers as someone they're mad at or something. None of it's true."

    To be sure, that's exactly what the rich and powerful who rule the world do. There are so many conspiracy theories ab

    • Anyone truly interested in privacy would never attempt to have the interwebs "forget" them.

      any lawyer interested in making boatloads of money would be happy to support laws where everyone ends up in the courtroom

  • by TWX ( 665546 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @04:31PM (#50357263)
    We apologise for the fault in the censored search results. Those responsible have been sacked.

    We apologise again for the fault in the censored search results. Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.

    The directors of the firm hired to continue the censored search results after the other people had been sacked, wish it to be known that they have just been sacked. The censored search results have been completed in an entirely different style at great expense and at the last minute.
  • by Ol Olsoc ( 1175323 ) on Thursday August 20, 2015 @04:37PM (#50357311)
    "Day by day and almost minute by minute the past was brought up to date. In this way every prediction made by the Party could be shown by documentary evidence to have been correct; nor was any item of news, or any expression of opinion, which conflicted with the needs of the moment, ever allowed to remain on record. All history was a palimpsest, scraped clean and reinscribed exactly as often as was necessary.”

    “If the Party could thrust its hand into the past and say of this or that event, it never happened—that, surely, was more terrifying than mere torture and death.”

    Looks like George Orwell was spot on.

    Then again Oldthinkers unbellyfeel EU right?

  • ...Is that you can't talk about Right To Be Forgotten?

    It's fun watching the EU fly in ever-decreasing circles until it flies up its own colon.

  • Double-plus goodful this memory hole is.

    Speedfully rectify this double-plus-ungood write or I will upsub this to minitruth.

  • I am all in favor of the Right to Be Forgotten. But this is just plain wrong.

    The whole idea of the right to be forgotten is NOT to remove the information, but instead to make it a bit harder to get to. That way when some shmuck posts a photo of his ex girlfriend, it won't be the very first thing that pops up on a search of her name.

    But it still should let people find the information eventually, after a significant search - such as looking for lists of things 'forgotten'.

    It is impossible - without fo

  • by PPH ( 736903 )

    There are a number of meta search engines out there that just generate a series of search requests on various sites and collect and merge the results. So if I did a search on CowboyNeal, the meta search would just fire off search requests to public record databases, news service web sites, etc. as well as Google. They don't actually index anything, but distribute and collect queries and results, much like gopher [wikipedia.org] did.

    So if CowboyNeal wanted to 'disappear', he'd have to seek out every database and have his r

  • I'm using Bing which I think hasn't been targeted by as much of this stuff. Its as good as google in my opinion. DuckDuckGo is my next move if bing goes tits up. My issue with duckduckgo is that the site handles very strangely... and there are odd things about how text is copied from search results. I think the site might require active javascript to do a search which neither google nor bing require for searching. They need it for other things but the searching requires none.

  • So create a website that periodically does an automatic rewrite of the stories (change a few nouns, verbs, articles, and punctuation) and generates new URLs for them. By the time one link gets removed, another will have taken its place. Repeat unto infinity.
  • OK, well it may be defined in law somewhere, and it may be possible to remove some item from a result set, but rights or no rights, it is never going to be possible to remove all traces of a document from all storage devices worldwide.

    live with it.
  • The ability to remove the data needs to be done at the source and leave the search engines do what they are supposed to do.

  • I used to think that George Orwell's "memory hole" was just hyperbole. How could that ever be implemented in the real world. Well, here you have it. It doesn't have to be 100% to be effective, so long as most people can't easily find the information, it's effective gone.

  • Does the job title "Information Commissioner" immediately bring Orwell to mind for anyone else?

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