Monday, 7 March 2011

Google Censoring BitTorrent, Rapidshare and Others

This may have been a long time coming, in fact you may not have believed this would happen but Google has finally given in to the pressure from entertainment industries including the MPAA and RIAA. The leading search engine now censors terms including BitTorrent, torrent, utorrent, RapidShare and Megaupload from its instant and autocomplete services. The companies that have been affected have spoken out, with BitTorrentent, RapidShare and others raising complaints at the drastic censorship move.

Google compiled list of keywords for which auto-complete is no longer available and although this change does not currently affect full search results, it does send the message that Google is willing to censor its services and to an extent that is far greater than many expected.

Some examples of forbidden keywords are 'uTorrent', an extremely popular and legal piece of software and 'BitTorrent', a legitimate file transfer protocol and the name of San Fransisco based company BitTorrent Inc. These keywords will no longer be suggested by Google when you begin to type and will not show up in Google Instant.  Further, all combinations of the word 'torrent' are also completely banned.

What is unusual about the banned keywords list though, is the omissions.  The list does include BitTorrent clients such as uTorrent and Xunlei but not Vuze or BitComet. In the same way, cyberlockers sRapidShare and Megaupload are on the banned list whilst 4shared, HotFile and MediaFire are not.  Perhaps to avoid the headlines the Pirate Bay is also not on the blocked list.

It's entirely disappointing to see this move of Google to broadly censor it's services to please private, albeit extremely large and influential industries.  Censoring search results won't reduce piracy but does nudge the world a step further towards a corporate controlled internet.

15 comments:

  1. Even though I'm not a huge fan of pirating, I still think this is very wrong!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Google should never have been forced to do this. Google is a search engine, itsearches for sites. It doesn't endorse piracy or anything. What about the people at bit torrent and rapidshare who use the site for legitimate reasons? This sucks

    ReplyDelete
  3. this is very vrong search sites should not be censored

    ReplyDelete
  4. This is good to know. It is totally a violation of free expression, but google is a private corporation so I guess what they are doing is technically legal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I appreciate the comment on my blog. What is your drawing style like?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh the inconvenience of having to finish typing the rest of the illegal piracy sites.

    Well done Google.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Bah its not really going to change anything in the long run I feel.

    ReplyDelete
  8. That's ridiculous... what's next?? *siigh*

    ReplyDelete
  9. Too bad, but I understand why they're doing it. It's kinda scary how much Google could control the information we get

    ReplyDelete
  10. agreed with viljami, the amount of information google controls (and has access to) is scary.

    ReplyDelete
  11. while i understand why they're doing it. They shouldnt cause its taking free expression from the web! Then again we all know the websites by hard. so....

    ReplyDelete
  12. I agree with viljami. It IS scary...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Makes you wonder what else they censor. I mean first, theres this. And next thing you know other stuff that they don't deem fit to be seen by everybody else.

    ReplyDelete