Countries block Google services

20 Apr 2010

Internet search giant Google has admitted that many of its products, such as Search, Docs, Blogger and YouTube, have been blocked in 25 countries where it operates.

“We regularly receive government requests to restrict or remove content,” Rachel Whetstone, Google’s vice-president for global communications and public affairs, said in a blog post.

“When we receive those requests, we examine them closely to ensure they comply with the law, and if we think they’re overly broad we attempt to narrow them down.”

Whetstone explained that Google often runs into conflicts when asked to impose national laws on a global basis.

The Turkish government, for example, had asked Google to ban worldwide YouTube videos it claims insult Turkey’s founder. When Google refused, arguing Turkish law cannot apply outside Turkey, YouTube was blocked.

“If there are local laws where we do business that prohibit content that would otherwise be allowed, we restrict access to that content only in the country that prohibits it,” Whetstone said.

Google declined to name any additional countries that censor or block its services.