Google complying with Russian government censorship requests

Google has already deleted 70 percent of the websites on the country's blacklist.


NSFW    MOUNTAINVIEW, CALIFORNIA — Google is complying with Russian government censorship, accodrding to BuzzFeed News.

Russia, a country listed as 'Not Free' by Freedom House, has asked Google to block a list of sites from their search engine. According to reports, the tech giant has complied.

Russia's state media oversight agency has demanded that Google not show results for porn, drugs, pirated media, political extremism, and other topics. Russia is also said to have asked Google to block an ongoing corruption investigation of a Russian government official, according to the Moscow Times.

Russian business newspaper called Vedemosti alleges that Google has already deleted 70 percent of the websites on the country's blacklist. This is not the first time Google has removed sites at the request of Russia.

According to data from Google's transparency reports, they have already taken down 80 percent of over 160,000 different URLs reported by Russia. The report also shows that Russia has requested a total of 232,583 items for removal.

TomoNews reached out to Google for comment on the reports, however, they didn't get back to us by press time.

Last week they told BuzzFeed News via email, "We're committed to enabling access to information for the benefit of our users in Russia and around the world."

Google has had a tough time managing censorship, especially in countries like Russia and China.

In late 2018, Google's plans of developing a censored search engine for China called Dragonfly became public. The search engine would blacklist information on human rights, activism, democracy and many more topics that are a no-no in China.

The plans were not well received. According to The Intercept, in January human rights groups stood outside Google offices in the U.S., U.K., Sweden, Denmark and other countries in protest.
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