Google switches off Kazakhstan search in “local internet” protest

Jun 8, 2011
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Google switches off Kazakhstan search in “local internet” protest

It's not just China which Google has networking headaches with. The search giant has announced that Kazakhstan users will be forced to endure "a reduction in search quality" after Google decided to reroute all google.kz requests to the general google.com homepage. It's in response to new legislation in the country which demands any site with a .kz domain must be hosted within Kazakhstan borders, a move which Google decided it couldn't comply with.

"Currently, when users search on any of our domains, our systems automatically handle those requests the fastest way possible," Bill Coughran, SVP of research & systems infrastructure at Google says, "regardless of national boundaries." However, "creating borders on the web raises important questions for us not only about network efficiency but also about user privacy and free expression" he continues, adding that Google doesn't want to do anything that would help "to create a fractured Internet."

It's a similar situation to that which Chinese surfers find themselves, since Google decided in 2010 that, rather than filter search results as the Chinese government demanded, it would simply redirect any google.cn requests to google.com.hk, the Hong Kong version of the site. Tensions between the government and Google have since escalated, with accusations of account hacking and more.


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