Google Refuses To Censor Search Results For U.S. Government
The House and Senate are working to block websites that promote illegal activities such as piracy sites like thepiratebay.org. At the COICA (Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act) hearing, SVP of Google, Kent Walker came to defend Google’s stance in search engine censorship. Congressman Goodlattes argued that a search for “free mp3 taylor swift” brought up a bunch of results from unlicensed sites, and a search for “watch movies online” led to a Google suggestion for “watch free bootleg movies online.”
Walker said that although Google was willing to help, many sites such as ThePirateBay do have legitimate aspects within their website and Google didn’t want to be the “judge, jury, and executioner” for websites. Walker went further in saying that Google doesn’t know which sites are authorized outlets for music and movies.
Walker even argued that limiting search words would cause legitimate searches to be blocked. It’s a very controversial topic because while it would be nice to eliminate digital theft, it is something difficult to do, especially on as large of a scale as the Internet. Even if Google were to block out all search results that contained certain keywords, pirates could just label their stuff under “off-radar” terms, and continue to distribute their content illegally. While it would be nice to rid the Internet of all things “bad”, I don’t think it is possible. Although the hearing didn’t result into any decisive action, both parties believe that something should be done to at least slow down online infringement. We will learn more within the next couple weeks about what exactly will be done towards online theft.