October 23, 2002 8:55 PM PDT

Google excluding controversial sites

Google, the world's most popular search engine, has quietly deleted more than 100 controversial sites from some search result listings.

Learn more about Google
Absent from Google's French and German listings are Web sites that are anti-Semitic, pro-Nazi or related to white supremacy, according to a new report from Harvard University's Berkman Center. Also banned is Jesus-is-lord.com, a fundamentalist Christian site that is adamantly opposed to abortion.

Google confirmed on Wednesday that the sites had been removed from listings available at Google.fr and Google.de. The removed sites continue to appear in listings on the main Google.com site.

The Harvard report, prepared by law student Ben Edelman and assistant professor Jonathan Zittrain, and scheduled to be released Thursday, is the result of automated testing of Google's massive 2.5 billion-page index and a comparison of the results returned by different foreign-language versions. The duo found 113 excluded sites, most with racial overtones.

"To avoid legal liability, we remove sites from Google.de search results pages that may conflict with German law," said Google spokesman Nate Tyler. He indicated that each site that was delisted came after a specific complaint from a foreign government.

German law considers the publication of Holocaust denials and similar material as an incitement of racial and ethnic hatred, and therefore illegal. In the past, Germany has ordered Internet providers to block access to U.S. Web sites that post revisionist literature.

France has similar laws that allowed a students' antiracism group to successfully sue Yahoo in a Paris court for allowing Third Reich memorabilia and Adolf Hitler's "Mein Kampf" to be sold on the company's auction sites. In November 2001, a U.S. judge ruled that the First Amendment's guarantee of free speech protects Yahoo from liability.

Google's battles
The Harvard report comes as Google is becoming increasingly embroiled in international political disputes over copyright and censorship. China blocked access to Google last month.

Google was criticized in March for bowing to a demand from the Church of Scientology to delete critical sites from its index. In a response that won praise, Google replied by pledging to report future legal threats to the ChillingEffects.org site run by law school clinics.

As Google has become the way more and more people find information on the Internet, it has also become an increasingly visible target for copyright complaints about cached information and allegedly infringing links. ChillingEffect.org's Google section lists 16 requests or legal threats the company has received in the past three months. One Google competitor and critic even suggested that the wildly popular search engine be transformed into a government-controlled "public utility."

Edelman, who created the program that tested URLs against Google's index, said he was investigating a tip about Google's German-language version.

"One concern that I've had for some time vis-a-vis filtering is that filtering is almost always secretive," Edelman said. "In the (library filtering) case, that meant you can't look at the list of blocked sites. In the Chinese government case, you can't see what sites are being blocked."

Edelman, who is a first-year law student, testified as an expert witness for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) in a court challenge to a law requiring libraries to install filtering software if they accept federal funds. He is also a plaintiff in a second lawsuit filed in June to eviscerate key portions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Google's response
Google refused to reply to a list of questions that CNET News.com sent via e-mail, including which sites have been delisted, how many sites have been delisted, what standards are used, and what other Google-operated sites have less-than-complete listings.

In an e-mail response, Google's Tyler said: "As a matter of company policy we do not provide specific details about why or when we removed any one particular site from our index. We occasionally receive notices from partners, users, government agencies and the like about sites in our index. We carefully consider any credible complaint on a case-by-case basis and take necessary action when needed. This is not pre-emptive--we only react to requests that come to us...to avoid legal liability, we remove sites from Google search results pages that may conflict with local laws."

Tyler said an internal team involving lawyers, management and engineers makes the final decision on what to remove. "At Google we take these types of decisions very seriously," he said. "The objective is to limit legal exposure while continuing to deliver high quality search results that enable our users to find the information they need quickly and easily."

Tyler pointed to Google's terms of service agreement, which says Google will "consider on a case-by-case basis requests" to remove links from its index.

A moving target
Because Google has to keep track of a constantly moving target--new sites arguably illegal under French or German law appear every day--the search engine is encountering the same problems of overinclusiveness that traditional filtering software has experienced.

According to the Harvard report, some sites that Google does not list include 1488.com, a "Chinese legal consultation network," and 14words.com, a discount Web-hosting service and some conservative, anti-abortion religious sites. Those sites do not appear to violate either German or French laws.

Banned from Google.de and Google.fr listings is Stormfront.org, one of the Internet's most popular "white pride" sites. Stormfront features discussion areas, a library of white nationalist articles and essays by David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader.

"We've been dealing with this for quite a few years," said Don Black, who runs the site. "The German police agencies seem obsessed with Stormfront even though we're not focused on any German language material."

Black, who learned a few months ago that Google.de delisted Stormfront, says he doesn't hold it against the Mountain View, Calif.-based company. "Google is trying to conform to their outrageous laws," Black said. "So there's really nothing we can do about it. It's really a French and German issue rather than a Google issue."

The First Amendment
Because Google is a company and not a government agency, it has the right in general to delete listings from its service or alter the way they appear. (On Tuesday, however, CNET News.com reported that an Oklahoma advertising company has sued Google over its position in search results.)

"Google may not only have the legal right to (delete listings), they may have the legal obligation to do it," said Barry Steinhardt, director of the ACLU's technology and liberty program, and a co-founder of the Global Internet Liberty Campaign.

"Over the long term, this will become a significant issue on the Net," Steinhardt said. "There's a wide variety of laws around the world prohibiting different forms of speech. You can imagine what the Chinese government prohibits versus what the French government prohibits versus what the U.S. government prohibits."

Edelman, of Harvard's Berkman Center, suggests that Google find a way to alert users that information is missing from their search results.

"If Google is prohibited from linking to Stormfront, they could include a listing but no link," Edelman said. "And if they can't even include a listing for Stormfront, they could at least report the fact that they've hidden results from the user. The core idea here is that there's no need to be secretive."

5 comments

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Google is a wimp !
After reading this story, I am appalled that Google would succumb to pressure from groups complaining about the Public Internet. It is a Public INternet afterall, and Google cannot be help responsible for all the various web pages out there, no matter how rude, vulger or immorla they are. I would say to Google "No you cannot sue us for content that is not provided by us, we are only a search engine that provides links to various sites, and we do not take any ownership of the links themselves, only the search engine."
GOole, you are a *****(willow) for letting anyone tel you what you can and cannot search on, on the Public INternet. Toughen up, and don't back down.
Insulate yourself from ownership of the web sites !
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
where do google caches go when they die ?
E-mail: biodog0@yahoo.com

Clients Stood To Benefit From Suspect Stock Sales - Claim

If you take the title above and put it into a google search you will find a KYC link that then has another link to 'The Royal Gazette' article by that very title.The article cites KYC's and the SEC'S investigation into LOM of Bermuda and it's U.S.BROKERAGE ACCOUNTS USED IN HEAVY TRADING, WHICH TO ME SIGNIFIES PENNY STOCK MANIPULATION FOR ITS ANONYMOUS CLIENTS AND PUMP DUMP ACTIVITIES THROUGH CHARLES SCHWAB,VFINANCE AND OTHER ACCOUNTS.

Although the article mentions Schwab and LOM,of course,the link to KYC DOES NOT !!!! If you do a google search of 'schwab,
'lom','kyc',you will not find it.You must google search with the title above !!! This WAS NOT the case only a short while ago as well as my ripoffreport citing Carol Remond's mention of LOM's Schwab and other brokerage accounts in U.S.Below is what was found on Google UNTIL ONLY A SHORT WHILE AGO FROM 'THE ROYAL GAZETTE' WITH A GOOGLE SEARCH OF ONLY 'SCHWAB' AND 'LOM !!!

I am sensitive to bringing this up HOWEVER AS A PUMP DUMP THROUGH CHARLES SCHWAB IS WHAT CAUSED ME TO LOSE MY ENTIRE 'INVESTMENT' OF ENDOVASC I MUST BRING IT UP AND RESOLVE IT IN MY MIND AT LEAST.

My own ripoffreport has now been 'virtually' deleted from google searches as well.ALL WORD INDEXING OF MY REPORT-COMPLAINT DISAPPEARED AND IT MUST BE LOCATED THROUGH GOOGLE BY SEARCH 'SCHWAB LOM DAVIDSON'BECAUSE 'SCHWAB LOM' ALONE NO LONGER FINDS IT.EVEN THEN IT ONLY LEADS TO RIPOFFREPORT INDEX,AND TO MY REPLY TO A SCHWAB INVESTOR OR EMPLOYEE TELLING ME I'M CRAZY, NOT DIRECTLY TO MY LARGE AND DOCUMENTED REPORT-COMPLAINT !!! No longer can it be found by a simple 'schwab lom' google search.

And a DowJones article of May 2004 by Carol Remond that was posted on siliconinvestor and also located by a simple 'schwab lom' search disappeared long ago after I pointed this out both here and on rb and the yahoo sch message boards.SO AT LEAST 3 IMPORTANT REFERENCES TO 'SCHWAB' AND 'LOM' HAVE GONE VIRTUALLY MISSING FROM GOOGLE.AND PERHAPS MORE IF ONE CONSIDERS ADDITIONAL 'THE ROYAL GAZETTE'ARTICLES ALSO APPEAR TO HAVE GONE MISSING FROM A GOOGLE SEARCH OF LOM, ETC.And it's not as if there are so many 'schwab lom' references on google.Often even other languages that have the words or name 'schwab lom' fill pages and now adding other words to make the search more precise no longer work.

SOME OF MY RAVING ABOUT THIS ON THIS VERY MESSAGE BOARD ARE ABOUT ALL THAT REMAINS ON A GOOGLE SEARCH OF 'SCHWAB LOM'AND I DOUBT EVEN THEY WILL REMAIN MUCH LONGER.I would much prefer to find 'The Royal Gazette'articles,the Carol Remond article or my own ripoffreport on a google search of 'schwab' 'lom' etc. than my raving about their disappearance !!!

In retrospect I wish I had cut and pasted many more word searches related to this from my google searches. However I DID cut and paste the Google search page for a 'schwab lom google'search on November 9 as it became increasingly apparent to me that the disappearance of at least 3 references to 'schwab'and 'lom' was a strange coincidence to say the least !!!(This was the time when I realised a simple 'schwab lom' search could not even find the Gazette article and I needed to add 'gazette' or 'google',strangely enough,to the search,even though 'google' is not mentioned in the article.

If this message board were like my cut and paste the links would still be active and in colors of the Google page.However I have taken the link from the former Google cache or 'filtered' Google cache,I don't know which,and when you use it,as you can see below,you get a google page that says,as you can see below,'Sorry no content found for this URL'.You can still see the old URL below and of course the link to the Gazette article is still active and the article is still online at 'The Royal Gazette'(just as my ripoffreport is still at ripoffreport.com and Carol Remond's article still online at siliconinvestor),so obviously the Gazette is not hiding its own article in shame.

If anyone had any feedback I'd sure like to hear it.Where do google caches go to die and do they die a 'natural' death or does someone kill them ?


from google search of 'schwab lom google' of November 9,2004:

Royal Gazette
... "For example, in LOM's account at Schwab, during a two-week period in 2003 ? the
same year in which the SHEP and Sedona transactions in question occurred ...
www.theroyalgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ article?AID=/20041103/BUSINESS/111030075 - 27k - Cached - Similar pages


Google response to cache search:

Sorry, no content found for this URL




Web
Tip: Try Google Answers for help from expert researchers


Your search - cache:HuzUVRb1tkEJ:www.theroyalgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041103/BUSINESS/111030075 lom schwab google - did not match any documents.

Suggestions:
- Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
- Try different keywords.
- Try more general keywords.
- Try fewer keywords.
Also, you can try Google Answers for expert help with your search.
Posted by (4 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Where Do Google Caches Go When They Die,Again ?
This is in reponse to the virtual disappearance from Google search of my reply to Declan McCullagh's article,'Google excluding controversial sites',that I wrote and
titled,'Where Do Google Caches Go When They Die',in December 2004.

I was pleased to note that shortly after writing it it appeared at the top of a Google search of words or names 'schwab lom' or 'schwab lom google' or'schwab lom google gazette' for some time even though articles and caches that I had complained about going missing did not.

Today I was dismayed to note that Google had virtually disappeared it(you may google search title 'where do google caches go when they die' and see what you get but 'schwab lom google gazette'have been removed as key search words to locate my reply on news.com.Why ?

The truth is the penny stock fraud I am trying to expose that I was a victim of due to Charles Schwab's collusion with its and LOM of Bermuda's 'select' and anonymous clients is HUGE !! And Google should go out of its way not to show even a hint of possible collusion with Schwab that was involved with its IPO.

Until Google disappears these searches you may google 'mantas inc. schwab lom'as an example and begin to put the pieces together.Or try 'cia tenet ionatron' or 'naanss ncans',as a few examples of word or acronym searches that relate to my problem and the fraud being covered up in the penny stock 'share-money laundering' schemes I was defrauded by.


The www.theroyalgazette.com article whose disappearance I complained about at the time I wrote'Where Do Google Caches Go When They Die ?',as well as my ripoffreport.com complaint reappeared.But Carol Reond's article of May 2004 on siliconinvestor never did.The complete disappearance of my news.com reply on a 'schwab lom google' search is very recent.And just within a week or so The Royal Gazette article,(Schwab-LOM)'Clients stood to benefit from suspect stock sales ? claim' which had returned to Google and its cache COMPLETELY DISAPPEARED AGAIN !!!

I am including here below theroyalgazette.com
URL for this article on Schwab,LOM AND PENNY STOCK FRAUD AND THE PERTINATE PARAGRAGH EXPOSING
JUST HOW LARGE THIS FRAUD IS AND THUS INCENTIVE FOR COVER UP.Charles Schwab refuses to disclose to me who dumped 'up to 30 million Endovasc shares from a Schwab illegal pump dump account in late 2002 as James Dale Davidson whose Agora Publication's(that touted Ionatron for the CIA)'Vantage Point'promoted it with fraudulent lies.

And in the meantime Google wishes us to believe its all done(their word indexing,processing,and cache-ing)with some mysterious 'algorhtim' too
sophisticated and beyond reproach for us mere mortals to comprehend.

My reply is that 'algorhithm' should be replaced or overseen by a few good honest and ethical librarians and if the 'algorthim' offends them, at does some of us,then replace or rewrite it.






<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.theroyalgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041103/BUSINESS/111030075&#38;SearchID=73209060763812" target="_newWindow">http://www.theroyalgazette.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20041103/BUSINESS/111030075&#38;SearchID=73209060763812</a>

Clients stood to benefit from suspect stock sales ? claim


LOM Logo Scott Lines, Donald Lines and Brian Lines

Clients of investment firm Lines Overseas Management stood to profit from the alleged manipulation of a penny stock now under investigation by the US Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a court filing.
The SEC filing, first reported on yesterday by Miami-based newsletter Inside Bermuda, said the clients bought a total of 100,000 shares in Sedona Software Solutions from ICH Investments, a firm the SEC alleges is controlled by LOM principals Scott and Brian Lines.


The clients, who included directors such as company lawyer Graham Collis and Susan Wilson, senior employees like CFO Malcolm Moseley, and relatives of the Lines brothers, bought the shares for $4 a share on January 21, 2003 when the market price for the shares was $9.
In addition the SEC filing alleged that Scott Lines, the chief executive officer of LOM, and Brian Lines, the firm's president, also profited from the sales.


"Even though Brian and Scott Lines sold these shares for $4 per share, they still profited from these sales because they had purchased the Sedona shares for approximately seven cents per share," the SEC filing said.


Two of the compensated "touters" were identified as Intrepid Investor, which has a mailing list of "almost one million people", and OTC Journal, which has "over one million subscribers".
Details of the alleged discounted sales to privileged insiders and alleged compensation to stock promoters were disclosed in court filings by the SEC during October as it seeks to force LOM and Scott Lines to comply with four subpoenas for records and testimony concerning two separate investigations into alleged securities fraud involving Sedona Software Solutions Inc. and SHEP Technologies Inc., both of Vancouver, Canada, and HiEnergy Technologies Inc., of Irvine, California.


LOM and Mr. Lines contend that the United States does not have jurisdiction over them and that they are prohibited from disclosing some of the information being sought due to secrecy provisions of laws in Bermuda, the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands, where LOM has offices.
As part of an attempt to establish that LOM has sufficient ties to the United States to meet jurisdictional requirements, Ungar claimed that LOM executed substantial volumes of trades with the US operations of vFinance Investments Inc., Schwab Capital Markets LLC, and Sterne, Agee Capital Markets and also did business with CIBC Mellon Securities Trust Company, in New York.



"The volume of LOM's US trading, whether on behalf of its customers or its own accounts, is staggering," stated Mr. Ungar. "For example, in LOM's account at Schwab, during a two-week period in 2003 ? the same year in which the SHEP and Sedona transactions in question occurred ? LOM bought or sold, on over 4,000 different occasions, a total of 151 million shares of US securities traded over various US securities markets."

The trader at Florida-based vFinance who was in charge of LOM's account testified that "LOM's trading over the US markets was more than the trading of most US regional banks" and that he "either accumulated or liquidated millions of shares a day for them", stated Mr. Ungar.
In arguing that it was prohibited by offshore secrecy laws from disclosing certain information to the SEC, LOM had submitted declarations from attorneys Paul Smith, of Conyers, Dill &#38; Pearman, in Bermuda; Michael Paton, of Lennox Paton, in the Bahamas; and Richard Fear, of Charles Adams, Ritchie &#38; Duckworth, in the Cayman Islands.
Posted by (4 comments )
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Too funny,'scwab lom' google search returns
news.com to top of google search within a couple hours of posting notice of its disappearance from 'shwab lom google' search.Maybe The Royal Gazette of Burmuda article with title below will return soon as well.Maybe it won't.Cut and paste that title below and see what you find on google.Then do simple 'schwab lom' google search and you will find the article on Yahoo which does not seem to have near te search power of Google.


Clients Stood To Benefit From Suspect Stock Sales - Claim
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